Residency Requirements for Tuition Purposes

Find information about how California residency is determined, how to file an appeal if you're classified as a nonresident, exceptions and exemptions, and more.

The determination of residency for tuition purposes affects whether a student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition fees. Out-of-state tuition fees are higher than in-state tuition fees. Just because a student is or has been a resident of the State of California does not mean they qualify for the in-state tuition rate. Certain requirements established under California law must be met.

Your campus admissions office will make the determination of residency status based on the information you provide, including information provided on the Application for Admission and/or the CSU Residence Questionnaire. You must contact the campus to receive a final determination of residency status.

It is the responsibility of the student to verify all fee balances prior to the start of the term. Out-of-state tuition will be charged if the student does not meet the residency or Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB540) requirements. If a student paid out-of-state tuition in previous terms, the CSU is unable to grant retroactive requests or change residency status as evidence of California residency was not provided to the campus by the stated deadlines.

Which Type of Student Are You?

Start here: Are you a new or continuing CSU student?


Applies to all new CSU applicants, including first-time freshmen, transfer students, and new graduate students.


Applies to students who arealready enrolled at the CSU.

After you’ve determined whether you are a new or continuing student, find additional residency resources for students with these unique circumstances.

Military &
Under 19

Exceptions & Exemptions

Students not classified as California residents for tuition purposes may qualify for an exception or exemption (e.g., AB 540, military exceptions).

Learn Whether You Qualify 

Mandatory Fee Waivers

CSU offers Mandatory Fee Waivers for qualifying students (e.g., Alan Pattee – spouse/child of active law enforcement/fire killed in the line of duty, CalVet Fee Waiver).

Learn About Fee Waivers

Filing a Residency Appeal

Any student may submit an online appeal of their residence classification within 30 days, but ONLY if certain criteria are met.

Learn About Appeals

Financial Aid

Learn about financial aid resources, and find out whether you should fill out the FAFSA or the Dream Act form

See Financial Aid Resources

Residency Forms

These documents enable you to share information about your residency status, file an appeal and more.

Find the Forms You Need

Free Immigration Services

Free immigration legal services are available at every CSU campus for students, faculty, staff, their immediate family (spouses, parents, siblings, and children), and alumni (up to 2 years after graduating).​

Find ​Legal Support Services

Each campus admissions office is responsible for determining the residency status of all new and returning students.