Already earned college credits?
FGCU is transfer friendly.
We make it easier for students to transfer smoothly and smartly to complete their degrees:
- Affordable in-state tuition and cost of living
- Generous scholarship and financial aid resources
- Individual support transferring credits
- Flexible admissions requirements and fees
- Online and accelerated programs
- State-of-the-art housing for upperclassmen
Whether you’ve decided to transfer so you can finish college closer to home, to take a two-year degree to the next level, or to start a new path at FGCU, now’s the time to reshape your future. You won’t find a better fit or value.
Start your FGCU journey now
Already have all the details you need? Start your application to transfer.
Destination FGCU provides FSW students with the tools and guidance they need to easily and successfully move from FSW to FGCU to complete their education.
Connect with the Transfer Admissions Team
Connect during our virtual office hours
(Thursdays, 9am - 4pm)
Transferring to FGCU was a really smart decision financially, socially and academically. My academics transferred kind of seamlessly.”
Senior criminal justice major
We welcome all types of transfer students
Florida Gulf Coast University considers you a transfer applicant if you have a high school diploma from a regionally accredited high school or GED and have completed at least 12 semester hours of transferable college credit after graduation from high school, but have not completed a bachelor’s degree.
High school students who are taking dual-enrollment courses should apply using the freshman (first time in college) application, unless they plan to complete 12 or more semester hours of college coursework after graduating from high school. We will still consider your college coursework for transfer credit, so please have your college transcripts sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
You are considered a second bachelor’s degree applicant if you have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university (including FGCU).
FGCU welcomes all students. DACA and Undocumented students should refer to the FGCU DACA & Undocumented FAQ for additional information. DACA and Undocumented students seeking in state tuition rates must complete a Non-Resident Tuition waiver in addition to submitting the online admissions application.
Use these resources to get started on the right path.
Please make sure to check General and Transcript Requirements below.
General Requirements Applicable to All Transfer ApplicantsToggle More Info
- Transfer applicants have earned 12 or more transferable college credits since receiving
a standard high school diploma or its equivalent. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions
determines the number of transferable credits by evaluating applicants’ college transcripts.
Applicants who earn transferable college credits, regardless of the total number,
before graduating high school are considered freshmen; however, if they earn 12 or
more credits after high school graduation they are considered transfer applicants. Applicants
are classified as upper-level, mid-level or lower-level transfer.
- Upper-level transfer applicants have graduated with an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from a Florida public college or university or they have 60 or more transferable credit hours.
- Mid-level transfer applicants have 30 to 59 transferable credit hours.
- Lower-level transfer applicants have 12 to 29 transferable credit hours.
- Their academic status must be in good standing and they must be eligible to return
to the last institution attended as a degree-seeking student.
- Applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements are not guaranteed admission
into FGCU or its degree programs. Individual programs may have additional requirements
including a supplemental application, minimum GPA, pre-requisite courses and test
scores, so applicants should verify specific requirements with these programs prior
to starting the application process. Applications received or completed after the
posted deadlines may be processed for admission into the requested term based on space
or time limitations; therefore, some applicants may be offered admission into the
next available term.
- Undergraduate Admissions determines the number of transferable credits by evaluating
applicants’ college transcripts. The following types of college courses are not transferable:
technical, vocational, physical education or remedial courses or courses for which
a grade below D- is received.
- Must satisfy the foreign language requirement.
An evaluation of your application may take up to two weeks after your file is completed. This timeframe may be extended if your admissions review is on hold.
Please read each category to help you decide which application process you should follow. Failure to provide the required documents may delay the application review process.
- Transfer applicants have earned 12 or more transferable college credits since receiving a standard high school diploma or its equivalent. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions determines the number of transferable credits by evaluating applicants’ college transcripts. Applicants who earn transferable college credits, regardless of the total number, before graduating high school are considered freshmen; however, if they earn 12 or more credits after high school graduation they are considered transfer applicants. Applicants are classified as upper-level, mid-level or lower-level transfer.
Process and TranscriptsToggle More Info
- Submit the FGCU Undergraduate Admission Application online. Make sure you also complete these related tasks. Answer the conduct questions
and provide the necessary documentation as appropriate. Failure to perform either
action will delay processing your application. Follow the instruction regarding the
signature on the application.
- Pay the non-refundable $30.00 application fee using a credit card or send a check
payable to Florida Gulf Coast University.
- Send your official high school transcript reflecting all completed coursework and
a graduation date. Your high school can send the transcript by mail to the Undergraduate
Admissions address. Most Florida public high schools can send transcripts electronically
through the Florida state-wide transcript service (FASTER). Transcripts sent from
a personal email address or by fax are unofficial and will not be accepted.
- Applicants with a GED must submit official GED test scores. Applicants who were home-schooled must submit a properly formatted transcript- learn more at Home-Schooled Students.
- Applicants with an international high school transcript must submit a transcript evaluated
by a credential evaluation agency — learn more at International Students.
- Send official college transcripts from all colleges and/or universities previously attended to the Undergraduate Admissions office in the following ways:
- Postal Mail: Send an official transcript in a sealed envelope to the mailing address: Florida Gulf Coast University Office of Undergraduate Admissions 10501 FGCU Blvd. S., Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565.
- Florida Electronic Transcript Service (SPEEDE): The institutions in the Florida College System may send transcripts electronically to FGCU using a state-wide transcript service (FASTER). Contact the Registrar's office at the institution for more information on this option. The FGCU SPEEDE code is 730000003255300.
- Other Transcript Services (Parchment, eScripp Safe or National Clearinghouse): Some colleges or universities send transcripts electronically using a third-party transcript service. Notifications to view transcripts from these services should be sent to Undergraduate Admissions. Contact your institution's Registrar's office for more details on this option. Transcripts sent from a personal email address or by fax are unofficial and will not be accepted.
- Military credit is considered college credit: All active duty, reserve and veterans of the Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy must request transcripts from Joint Services Transcript (JST). Air Force transcripts can be requested from Air University (AU). *NOTE** Transcripts, test scores, and all supporting documentation received by the university will not be transferred to a third party and become the sole property of FGCU. For information on Transfer of Credit and Articulation Agreements please refer to our Transfer Articulation page.
- Submit the FGCU Undergraduate Admission Application online. Make sure you also complete these related tasks. Answer the conduct questions and provide the necessary documentation as appropriate. Failure to perform either action will delay processing your application. Follow the instruction regarding the signature on the application.
Transfer Articulation PolicyToggle More Info
Transfer of credit is awarded for academic courses completed at regionally accredited institutions, or in candidacy for regional accreditation by one of the following regional accrediting associations:
- Middle States Higher Education
- Higher Learning Commission
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Northwest Association of Schools and of Colleges and Universities
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges Community & Junior Colleges
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges & Universities
Transfer students from non-regionally accredited Florida institutions that follow the state common course numbering system may have a limited number of courses articulated. Visit the Florida Department of Education website for details.
All transfer work is evaluated first by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to determine overall acceptance of credit. The credits transferred may or may not apply toward your specific degree program, so speak with an advisor to learn more about how your credits will apply towards your degree program.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions evaluates the acceptability of total credits transferable to FGCU and identifies total credits accepted at the lower division (1000 and 2000 level courses). The college of the student's major assigns the equivalent upper division (3000 and 4000 level) courses. Admission to FGCU does not guarantee acceptance into all programs or courses offered by the university. The university reserves the right to evaluate transfer credit courses on an individual basis. The final applicability of transfer of credit rests with the respective academic advisor, thus they may ask you to provide course descriptions and/ or syllabi for formal review of your transfer credit. We determine the transferability of credit by reviewing course titles, course descriptions, degree program and other curriculum information provided by the institution. The General Education Program and academic departments are consulted to help admissions determine the transferability of credit.
Checking the Status of your Transfer Articulation:
Within a few weeks of being admitted to Florida Gulf Coast University we will articulate your college transcripts. We only articulate official transcripts and do not articulate courses from another college/university that may have been posted as transfer credit on that transcript. Please make sure to send all final official transcripts to the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly. We cannot accept faxed transcripts or transcripts in sealed envelopes that have been opened by the student.
The transfer equivalency tool offers an unofficial, preliminary estimation of how your credits may transfer. This is to assist prospective students during the pre-admissions stage with determining how courses completed at other institution equate to FGCU courses. Your first step is to create an account to ensure the information you entered is saved. Then you will enter your anticipated term of entry and major. Finally, enter your classes and/or credit-by-exams. Some courses you completed may not appear on the unofficial evaluation because we it may not exist in our transfer catalog. If you submit an application and send us your official college transcripts, then these courses will be added to our transfer catalog. Also, if the courses meets our general guidelines for award transfer credit below, then it will be accepted for admissions purposes. You would need to talk to an academic advisor for more information on how the courses apply to a particular academic program.
How many credits will transfer to FGCU?
In order to access your transfer articulation, you must log in to Gulfline with your UIN number and PIN number. You will want to choose Student Records and then click on Academic Transcript. This will let you know the number of transferable credits. If you have any questions after looking over your transfer of credit, please contact your academic advisor.
General Guidelines for Awarding Transfer Credit:
- Credit is not given for technical, vocational, physical education or pre-college courses, or for courses completed below a grade of D-.
- Transfer credits will not be computed into a student’s FGCU institutional grade point average but are included in the overall grade point average.
- If credits are in quarter hours, they will be converted to semester hours by multiplying the quarter hours by .67. As an example, a course with four quarter hours will only be awarded 2.67 semester credits.
- At least 25 percent of coursework for the degree must be earned at FGCU. Thirty (30) of the last 60 hours must be earned at FGCU to receive a baccalaureate degree from FGCU.
- Credit by departmental examination from another institution will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Credits awarded by another institution solely based on SAT or ACT scores will not be accepted by FGCU.
- Accreditation status and evaluation of credits from an institution outside of the U.S. must be made by an international credential evaluation agency with associated costs to be paid by the student. University-level coursework undertaken abroad may be transferable if earned at a recognized institution depending on academic equivalency. Course transferability is determined on a course-by-course basis. All transfer credit evaluations are completed after admission to the university as a degree-seeking student and prior to the student’s orientation. Only official transcripts will be articulated. Click this link for information on international evaluation services.
- An equivalent FGCU course number will be entered on the student's official academic transcript.
- Courses with a transfer grade of C- or below may not be used toward satisfaction of computational and communication requirements.
- Transfer course credits that exceed the number of credits for that equivalent course at FGCU will be split and articulated as separate credit. (Example: STA 2023 for 4 credits at the issuing institution will be articulated as STA 2023 for 3 credits and STA XXXX for 1 credit). Articulation officers should keep the same prefix for the excess credits to allow for attaching of appropriate course attributes. When determining excess hours for transfer courses taken prior to 2016 the same methodology may be used. While the student’s academic articulation history will not be changed the hours may be deducted from the excess hours’ report.
Degree Acceleration Programs (AP, CLEP, IB Equivalencies)
Florida Gulf Coast University awards up to 45 semester hours of Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced International Certificate of Education Program (AICE), or the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) towards a degree if an applicant meets the qualifiers or standards for each program. Equivalency information for these programs can be found at AP/AICE/CLEP/IB equivalencies. Official test scores or transcripts must be sent to the Undergraduate Admissions office in order for an official to review and award the credits. For more information, visit Degree Acceleration Programs in the Undergraduate Catalog.
Military Service Credit and the Admissions Review Process
Florida Gulf Coast University considers military service credit utilizing the American Council on Education (ACE) course equivalency information. Credits are awarded based on the recommendations of ACE and the evaluation of their equivalency to FGCU courses; however, ACE’s recommendations are not binding upon the university. A maximum of 45 semester hours of military service credits can be applied toward a degree. FGCU accepts official transcripts from ACE, AARTS, and SMART. An applicant must submit official copies of these documents to the Undergraduate Admissions office in order for an official to review and award the credits.
College Credit for Online Courses Completed Prior to Initial Enrollment
If requested by an applicant prior to the student’s initial term of enrollment in undergraduate education, FGCU shall evaluate online coursework. Credit will be awarded if the academic program determines the online course content and learning outcomes are comparable to FGCU offered courses, the online course meets the quality and accreditation standards intended for transfer courses, and the online course is relevant to the applicant’s intended program of study. It is the applicant’s responsibility to initiate the request for review of such online coursework. The request should be made to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and include an official transcript, course description, and syllabus. Additional documentation made be required as determined by the reviewing academic program. A student denied transfer of online coursework may submit a written appeal to the appropriate college dean. Credit awarded by the university for online coursework will be noted on the student’s transcript.
Upper-Level TransfersToggle More Info
AA graduates from Florida College System Institutions or State Universities (upper-level transfer)
- AA degree has been awarded and posted on official college transcript.
- Completed at least 60 transferable hours and the general education requirement, excluding courses not accepted by the university.
- Have an overall 2.0 GPA in all courses attempted as calculated by the university.
- Completed 2 college-level courses in both English and math with a grade of C or higher.
AA graduates from non-Florida or private institutions (upper-level transfer)
- Have 60 or more transferable credit hours, excluding courses not accepted by the university.
- Have an overall 2.0 GPA in all courses attempted as calculated by the university.
- Completed 2 college-level courses in both English and math with a grade of C or higher.
Applicants can meet the Math and English course requirements in one of three ways:
- Completing an Associate of Arts degree at a public Florida state/community college
- Completing two (2) college-level courses in both English and math with a grade of C or higher. Upper-level transfer applicants who have not completed an AA from a Florida public state/community college will need to have at minimum two English composition courses AND two college-level mathematics courses, such as algebra, statistics, liberal-arts mathematics or finite mathematics. A grade point average of 2.5 or higher is required in the two English courses, as well as the two Mathematics courses.
If an applicant has not been determined to meet course requirements through completion of an AA degree from a public Florida state/community college, through grades from math and English courses, or minimum test scores on the ACT or SAT, they may not be admitted to the university.
Mid-Level TransfersToggle More Info
Applicants with 30 or more but less than 60 transferable hours (mid-level transfer)
- Have an overall 2.5 GPA in all courses attempted as calculated by the university.
- Completed at least one English composition course and one college-level mathematics course with a grade of C or higher. Both courses must consist of three (3) semester credit hours. Students not meeting these requirements must meet the requirements for transfer students with less than 30 transferable hours.
- May submit an official high school transcript to demonstrate completion of the foreign language admission requirement.
Factors such as the number of post-secondary hours completed, grades obtained, coursework completed, and length of time since high school graduation are some of the factors that will be considered.
Lower-Level TransfersToggle More Info
Applicants with at least 12 but less than 30 transferable hours (lower-level transfer)
- Have an overall 2.5 GPA in all courses attempted as calculated by the university.
- Must submit an official high school transcript and ACT/SAT test scores. They must meet the freshman admission requirements.
- A limited number of lower-level transfer applicants not meeting freshman admission requirements may be admitted if they can reasonably be expected to complete satisfactory academic work.
Submit official test scores from the ACT or SAT. Official test scores can be sent to FGCU electronically through either testing agency using the following codes: ACT (0733) or SAT (5221). Scores can also be sent on a paper score report from the testing agency or an official high school transcript. Since March 2016, the College Board has offered a redesigned SAT. Applicants may submit scores from either version of the test to FGCU as each required score will be included in the admission’s evaluation process. There will be a correlation standard used to compare scores. The FGCU Admissions website will contain the most up-to-date information on the redesigned SAT and the admissions process.
Second Bachelor's Degree Admission ProcessToggle More Info
Students with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university may apply to FGCU for admission to work toward a second bachelor's degree. The first bachelor's degree satisfies the general education and College-Level Skills and provides exemption from the foreign language requirement.
Students with a bachelor's degree from FGCU must reapply for admission to work toward a second bachelor's degree.
- If a student graduates with one degree and wishes to obtain a second major or degree, he/she must be readmitted to the institution.
- A minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed toward the second degree at FGCU after re-admission.
- After completion of the second degree on a subsequent date, he/she will receive a second diploma.
- Service Learning (40 hours) is required for all Second Baccalaureate students who
did not receive their initial degree from FGCU
If the bachelor’s degree was awarded from an out-of-country institution, all foreign transcripts must be evaluated for equivalency purposes. University-level coursework undertaken abroad may be transferable if earned at a recognized institution depending on academic equivalency. Applicants should submit an original evaluation of courses taken and an English translation of course syllabi for which credit is desired. The evaluating agency will review your transcripts and determine your level of academic study comparable to the U.S. education system. However, academic departments have the option of denying credit for any coursework not applicable to that department. Failure to send foreign transcripts to an outside evaluation agency may cause delay in application processing.
Graduates from regionally accredited four-year U.S. institutions may apply for admission for a second undergraduate degree.
- The first baccalaureate degree satisfies the general education and Gordon Rule requirements and provides exemption from the foreign language requirement for admission.
- Admission test scores are not required by the university, but may be required by a limited-access program.
- Admission to a limited-access program is not guaranteed.
If the student’s grade point average is at least 2.0 on previous coursework and the applicant is in good standing at the last institution attended, the applicant is admissible to FGCU.
- Submit application via FGCU Application Portal.
- Be sure to complete the code of conduct section and provide any necessary documentation if needed.
- Be sure to sign the application.
- Pay the non-refundable $30.00 application fee using a credit card or send a check payable to Florida Gulf Coast University.
- Send official college transcripts from all colleges and/or universities previously attended. Official transcripts may be sent to the Undergraduate Admissions office in the following ways:
- Postal Mail: An official transcript sent in a sealed envelope from your previous institution to the mailing address below.
- Florida Gulf Coast University
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
10501 FGCU Boulevard South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
- Florida Electronic Transcript Service: The following institutions send transcripts electronically to FGCU using a state-wide transcript service (FASTER). Contact the Registrar's office at the institution for more information on this option.
- Third Party Transcript Service (Parchment, eScripp Safe or National Clearinghouse): Some colleges or universities use third party transcript services to send transcripts. Transcript notification from these services should be sent to Undergraduate Admissions. Contact your institution's registrar's office for more details on this option. Transcripts sent from a personal email address are unofficial and will not be accepted.
- A high school transcript may be submitted to prove completion of the foreign language requirement.
**NOTE** Transcripts, test scores, and all supporting documentation received and opened by the university may not be transferred to a third party or the applicant and become the sole property of FGCU. For information on Transfer of Credit and Articulation Agreements please refer to our Transfer Articulation page.
Destination FGCUToggle More Info
Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) have teamed up to offer FSW students a seamless transfer to FGCU to earn their bachelor’s degree.
|Domestic (U. S.) Students||international students|
4/1 – Out-of-State Waiver Application Deadline
5/1 – Application Deadline to be Considered for Scholarships
7/1 – Application Deadline
7/1 - Application Deadline
11/1 - Application Deadline to be Considered for Scholarships
12/1 - Out-of-State Waiver Application Deadline
12/1 - Application Deadline
11/1 – Application Deadline
5/1 - Application Deadline
Not Accepting Applications
Limited-Access Programs (Clinical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Music or PGM)Toggle More Info
A limited-access program is one where both program admission and registration in program classes are restricted to a certain number of students meeting pre-determined criteria. This means that you are initially accepted into the university as a pre-major AND then you must submit a supplemental application for consideration for acceptance into a limited-access undergraduate major.
Limited-access status is justified where student demand exceeds available resources (student/faculty ratios, instructional facilities, equipment or specific accrediting requirements) or students require minimum skills to be admitted into the program (such as Music or PGA Golf Management). Limited-access programs have separate admissions processes and selection criteria. Not all students who meet the selection criteria are admitted into the limited-access majors. The selection process is very competitive and space is limited in each incoming class. Freshmen do not need to submit supplemental applications; applications are due in the sophomore year or when program prerequisite requirements have been completed.
Florida Residency RequirementsToggle More Info
A current FGCU student, classified as a non-Florida resident, seeking reclassification must contact the Office of Records & Registration.
Residency for Tuition Purposes
A Florida resident for tuition purposes refers to whether a student qualifies as an in-state Florida resident or an out-of-state resident. If admitted, this classification determines a student’s tuition and fee charges as a Florida resident pays less per credit hour than a non-Florida resident. The requirements for Florida residency status are defined in Florida Statute Section 1009.21.
A claimant must complete the Florida Residency Declaration For Tuition Purposes form and submit at least two supporting documents to prove his/her Florida residency status (in-state) for tuition purposes. If a claimant indicates “non-resident” on the residency form, then he/she does not need to submit any supporting documents to prove this status.
A U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, and an eligible non-U.S. citizen may be classified as Florida residents (in-state status) provided legal residence has been established in the state of Florida for at least 12 consecutive months before the first day of the term for which Florida residency is sought. Contact the Admissions office for more information on the types of eligible non-U.S. citizens.
Initial residency classification is determined by the Admissions office when a student applies to the university. A student is classified as an out-of-state, or non-Florida, resident until he/she provides all relevant information and required documents to prove his/her Florida resident status. Failure to provide this information in a timely manner could result in the student’s status remaining as a non-Florida resident (out-of-state), which results in higher tuition and fee charges. The Florida Residency Declaration For Tuition Purposes is an online form available for students to provide the necessary documents described below.
A claimant seeking Florida residency for tuition purposes must have established and maintained a legal Florida residence at least 12 consecutive months before the first day of the term for which Florida residency is sought. Maintaining a legal residence in Florida requires substantial physical presence as a condition. However, absolute physical presence is not required. For example, a claimant might take vacations outside Florida without altering his/her residency status. Finally, in some circumstances, a claimant may leave Florida to work or attend school temporarily in another state and remain eligible for residency. Eligibility in these circumstances depends on the extent to which the claimant maintains Florida legal ties and did not establish ties with another state.
A legal residence in Florida must be as a bona fide domicile rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in the university. Living or attending school in Florida will not establish legal residence. If a student’s status is out-of-state, then he/she may be eligible for Florida residency only if he/she qualifies by one of the exceptions, as provided in Florida Statute Section 1009.21.
Family situations related to legal residency:
- If a dependent student has been residing continuously with a legal resident adult relative other than the parent for at least 3 years immediately prior to the first day of classes of the term which Florida residency is sought, the dependent student may provide documentation from the adult relative or from the parent. Both the dependent student and the adult relative or the parent must meet the consecutive 12-month legal residence requirement.
- The legal residence of a dependent student whose parents are divorced, separated, or otherwise living apart will be considered Florida if either parent is a legal resident of the state – regardless of who claims the dependent student for federal income tax purposes.
- For a dependent student, the legal residence of his/her parents is prima facie evidence (i.e., evidence that establishes a fact if uncontested) of the student’s legal residence; however, the evidence may be reinforced or rebutted, relative to the age and general circumstances of the dependent student, by the other evidence of legal residence required of or presented by the dependent student.
- For a dependent student, the legal residence of his/her parents who are domiciled outside this state is not prima facie evidence (i.e., evidence that establishes a fact if uncontested) of the student’s legal residence if that student has lived in this state for 5 consecutive years prior to enrolling or re-registering at a higher education institution.
- A student who physically resides in the state may be classified as a resident for tuition purposes if he or she marries a person who meets the 12-month requirement and who is a legal resident.
- A student who is classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes and who marries a legal resident of the state or marries a person who becomes a legal resident of the state may, upon becoming a legal resident of the state, become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes upon submitting evidence of his or her own legal residency in the state, evidence of his or her marriage to a person who is a legal resident of the state, and evidence of the spouse’s legal residence in the state for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application for reclassification.
- A student shall not lose his or her resident status solely by reason of his/her service or parent’s service in the Armed Forces outside this state.
- For students who have been classified properly as a resident for tuition purposes but who, while enrolled, lose resident tuition status because he/she or his/her parents establish domicile or legal residence elsewhere, shall have the benefit of in-state tuition for a 12-month grace period (extended to the end of the term in which the 12 months is reached).
Dependent vs. Independent Status
The determination of dependent or independent status is important because it is the basis for whether a student needs to submit his/her own documentation of residency (as an independent) or his/her parent's or guardian’s documentation of residency (as a dependent). A claimant may either be an independent student or the parent of a dependent student.
Dependent Student. A student, whether living with a parent or not, who is eligible to be claimed by his/her parent under the federal income tax code is classified as a dependent student. A parent means either or both parents of a student, any guardian or a student, or any person in a parental relationship to the student. To be considered a "qualifying child" or "dependent" for federal income tax code purposes, the following must be true:
- The student must be the parent’s son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendent of any of them.
- The student must be:
- under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than the parent (or spouse, if filing jointly)
- under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student and younger than the parent (or spouse, if filing jointly), or
- any age if permanently and totally disabled.
- The student must have lived with the parent for more than half of the year subject to IRS exceptions.
- The student must not have provided more than half of his/her own support for the year.
- The student is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only as a claim for refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid).
In some situations, a student cannot be claimed as a dependent. Generally, a married student cannot be claimed as a dependent if he/she files a joint return with his/her spouse. Also, to claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. There is an exception to this rule for certain adopted children. See IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for additional tests to determine who can be claimed as a dependent.
Independent Student. A student who meets any one of the following criteria shall be classified as an independent student for the determination of residency for tuition purposes:
- The student is 24 years of age or older by the first day of classes of the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution.
- The student is married.
- The student has children who receive more than half of their support from the student.
- The student has other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student.
- The student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard or Reserves for purposes other than training. The U.S. Armed Forces consist of the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy.
- At any time since the student turned age 13, where both the student's parents are deceased, or the student is or was (until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court or in foster care.
- The student is determined an unaccompanied homeless youth by a school district homeless liaison, or by a staff member of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
- The student is working on a master's or doctoral degree during the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution.
Evidence that the student meets one of these criteria will be requested by the university.
A student who does not meet one of the criteria outlined above may be classified as an independent student only if he/she submits documentation that he/she provides more than fifty (50) percent of the cost of attendance for an independent, in-state student as defined by the university (exclusive of federal, state and institutional aid or scholarships).
The following documents are examples of evidence that must be provided to the university to prove a student’s status as an independent if the student is under the age of 24 by the first day of classes of the term:
- Marriage certificate, insurance information showing marital status, most recent tax return showing marital status;
- Tax returns showing support of children or other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student;
- Military discharge documents;
- Legal documents showing a student is a ward/dependent of the courts; or
- Documentation showing that the student provides more than fifty (50) percent of his/her support for the year (examples may include: tax return, W-2 form, pay stubs, employer earnings verification).
A claimant (or a parent if the student is a dependent) must submit documentation that he/she has been a Florida resident for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes for which the student is enrolling. At least two of the following documents must be submitted, with dates evidencing the 12-month qualifying period. At least one of the documents must be from the First Tier. As some evidence is more persuasive than others, more than two may be requested. No single piece of documentation will be considered conclusive. Additionally, there must not be any contrary evidence establishing residence in another state.
First Tier (at least one of the two documents submitted must be from this list):
- A Florida voter's registration card.
- A Florida driver's license.
- A State of Florida identification card.
- A Florida vehicle registration.
- Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the claimant.
- Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.
- Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years (2 or more years) if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months.
- Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a consecutive 12-month period.
Second Tier (may be used in conjunction with one document from First Tier):
- A declaration of domicile in Florida.
- A Florida professional or occupational license.
- Florida incorporation.
- A document evidencing verifiable family ties to a Florida resident, as defined for tuition purposes.
- Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
- Any other document that supports the student's request for Florida resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payment; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payment; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
The university reserves the right to require additional documentation to determine the resident status of any student. If Florida residency status for tuition purpose is denied, the student may send an appeal to the Admissions office.
Examples of documents that may not be used:
- Hunting/fishing licenses
- Library cards
- Shopping club/rental cards
- Birth certificate
- Social Security Card
- Florida Concealed Weapons permit
- Insurance Card
A student who has his/her tuition and fees waived or exempted according to the following sections of Florida Statutes shall be classified as a Florida resident and shall not be required to submit additional residency documentation for tuition purposes for the duration of the exemption or waiver eligibility period:
- S. 112.19(3), F.S.: Dependents or spouses of law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation officers killed in the line of duty,
- S. 112.191(3), F.S.: Dependents or spouses of firefighters killed in the line of duty,
- S. 112.1912(2), F.S.: Dependents or spouses of first responders killed in action,
- S. 112.1915(3)(d), F.S.: Dependents of teacher or school administrators killed or injured in the line of duty,
- S. 961.06(1)(b), F.S.: Wrongful incarceration (for example documentation see Appendix D),
- S. 1009.25(1)(c), F.S. and (d): Custody of Department of Children and Families, in the care of a relative or adopted from the Department of Children and Families, and
- S. 1009.25(1)(f), F.S.: Homeless
After eligibility for the waiver or exemption has expired, the student must be reclassified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes to continue receiving in-state tuition benefits.
Exceptions & Qualifications
The Florida Statute, section 1009.21, permits a student who does not meet residency requirements to be classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes if he/she is in exceptions and qualifications categories below. The university requires documentation in support of the following exceptions; however, the student does not have to show 12 months of residence in Florida prior to qualifying. The exceptions and qualifications categories are as follows:
- A student who was enrolled as a Florida resident for tuition purposes at a Florida public college/university, but who abandon Florida domicile and then re-enroll in Florida within 12 months of the abandonment – provided he/she continuously maintains the re-established domicile in Florida during the period of enrollment. (This benefit only applies one time.)
- An active duty member of the Armed Services of the United States residing or stationed in Florida (and spouse/dependent student) and an active drilling member of the Florida National Guard at the time of acceptance to the university; or military personnel not stationed in Florida but his/her home of record or state of legal residence certificate, DD Form 2058, is Florida (and spouse/dependent student).
- An active duty member of the Armed Services of the United States (and spouse/dependent student) attending a public college or university within 50 miles of the military establishment where he/she is stationed, if such military establishment is within a county contiguous to Florida.
- Full time instructional and administrative personnel employed by the State of Florida public school system or Florida public college/university (and spouse/dependent children).
- A student from Latin America and the Caribbean who receive scholarships from the federal or state government. The student must attend, on a full-time basis, a Florida public college/university.
- A full-time employee of a state agency, or political subdivision of the state, when the student fees are paid by the state agency, or political subdivision, for job-related law enforcement or corrections training.
- An active duty member of the Canadian military residing or stationed in Florida under the North American Air Defense (NORAD) agreement (and spouse/dependent student) attending a public college or university within 50 miles of the military establishment where he/she is stationed.
- An active duty member of a foreign nation's military who is serving as a liaison officer and he/she is residing or stationed in Florida (and spouse/dependent student) attending a public college or university within 50 miles of the military establishment where the foreign liaison officer is stationed.
- A qualified beneficiary under the Stanley G. Tate Florida Pre-Paid College Program.
- A Linkage Institute participant receiving partial or full exemptions from s. 1009.21, F.S., based on criteria approved by the Florida Department of Education per s. 288.8175(5), F.S., which establishes linkage institutes between postsecondary institutions in Florida and foreign countries.
- Military personnel (and spouse/dependent children) not stationed in Florida but his/her home of record or state of legal residence certificate is Florida (as noted on an approved DD Form 2058 [s.1009.21(2)(a), F.S.], State of Legal Residence Certificate, or a Leave and Earning Statement, also called an LES or the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) Form 702).
Immigration & International Student Issues
A permanent resident is person who has been granted permanent resident status in the U.S. and has (or is waiting for) a Permanent Resident Card (identified as either Form I-151 or Form I-551). A permanent resident is eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes in Florida.
A non-immigrant is a foreign national seeking to enter the U.S. temporarily and for a specific purpose. Once in the U.S., he/she is restricted to the activity or reason for which his/her visa was issued. A student with certain non-immigrant visas may be eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes in Florida - contact the Admissions office for more information.
An unauthorized alien is a foreign national who lives in the U.S. without the required documentation. An unauthorized alien is not eligible to establish residency for tuition purposes in Florida; however, a dependent student who is a U.S. citizen may not be denied classification as a resident for tuition purposes based solely upon the immigration status of his or her parents.
Foreign Language RequirementsToggle More Info
All students admitted as freshmen or transfers must satisfy the foreign language admission requirement. A limited number of undergraduate students not meeting this requirement may be admitted; however, these students must fulfill the requirement prior to completion of the baccalaureate degree.
Admitted undergraduate students must demonstrate competency of foreign language by meeting one of these requirements:
1. Completing a foreign language or American Sign Language course in high school at the 2nd-year level or higher (i.e., Spanish 2, Haitian Creole 2, American Sign Language 2, etc.).
2. Completing a foreign language college course at the elementary 2 level or higher.
3. Obtaining qualifying scores on the AP, AICE, IB and/or CLEP exams. Learn more about the qualifying scores for foreign language in the FGCU Academic Catalog.