Rules of Residency
Students Associated with Armed Forces
Reclassification of Residence Status
California Non-Resident Tuition Exemptions
California state law requires that each student enrolled in or applying for admission
to a California community college provide information and evidence as deemed necessary
by the Board of Trustees of the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District to
determine his/her residence classification.
Rules of Residency
Adults 19 Years of Age and Older
A student may establish California residency by meeting the three requirements listed
below. No one factor is controlling and all three criteria must be met. The responsibility
for establishing residence lies with the student.
- Physical presence in California must be one year prior to the day before the start
of the term. Residency is determined by union of act and intent. The one-year period
begins when the student is not only present in California but also has demonstrated
clear intent to become a permanent resident of California.
- Residency Primary Determinants:
- Possession of a valid California driver’s license or a Department of Motor Vehicles
- Filing a California state income tax return as a resident
- Possession of a California motor vehicle license plates and registration
- Registering to vote in California
- For students who are in the armed forces California must be listed as the legal state
of residence on their Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) and W-2 form for one year
prior to the start of the term of enrollment.
- Residency Supplemental Determinants
- Listing a California home address on federal tax forms;
- Petitioning for divorce in California
- Possession of a California license for professional practice
- Having active California bank accounts
- Owning residential property in California
- Holding active membership in service or social clubs
- Having a spouse, children, or other close relatives reside in California.
- Not be involved in conduct inconsistent with a claim of California residency. Some
examples of inconsistent conduct which nullify intent are:
- Maintaining voter registration in another state
- Petitioning for a divorce in another state as a resident of that state
- Attending an out-of-state institution as a resident of that state
- Declaring non-residency for California state income tax purposes
- Retaining a driver’s license and/or keeping a vehicle registered in another state
during the time period for which California residence is claimed
- Paying state income state tax in a state other than California as a resident of that
state or being claimed as a dependent on state or federal taxes in a state OTHER than California
during the time residency is being established in California.
Students Associated with the Armed Forces
Students who are members of the armed forces of the United States on active duty stationed
in California, except those stationed in California for educational purposes only,
and their dependents are exempt from paying non-resident tuition. There is no requirement
for the military person to establish residence; however, the student must be on active
duty on the residence determination date.
Per Assembly Bill 2411 & 1346 proof of active duty status may be required. If a nonresident
student who is a member of the military becomes separated from the military, he/she
would be required to provide evidence of intent to establish California residence
for a minimum of one year prior to the residence determination date.
A member of the armed forces who was stationed in California on active duty for more
than one year prior to being discharged from the service, may be granted resident
classification for up to one year if he/she lives in California after being discharged.
After the one-year exception, the student would have to prove that California residence
has been established (AB 723).
Reclassification of Residence Status
Students who were previously classified as nonresidents need to contact the Admissions
and Records office to provide documentation for consideration to be classified as
a resident before registering for classes.
In addition to the above, if you are not a U.S. citizen, or on a visa that allows
you to establish California residency, please provide verification that you have applied
for residency with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
California non-resident tuition exemptions
Nonresident Tuition Exemption
Nonresident students who attended a California high school for three or more years
and graduated from a California high school may be exempt from nonresident tuition
if they meet the following criteria.
- The student must have attended a California high school for three or more years. There
are no provisions for partial attendance (e.g. two years and 7 months). The law does
not require consecutive attendance nor require that the student attended the last
three years in California (in the case of four-year high schools). Such attendance
could be at multiple California high schools. Attendance at continuation high schools,
charter high schools, and K-12 approved independent education is acceptable. Attendance
at a home school is not acceptable unless the home schooling was provided in a manner
recognized under state law. The law does not distinguish between public or private
high schools. There is no time limit on how far in the past the student might have
attended a California high school.
- The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent
thereof (e.g., a GED or a high school proficiency exam). There is no time limit on
how far in the past the student might have attained this status.
- In the case of a student without lawful immigration status, an affidavit must be filed
with the college that indicates the student has applied for legalization or will do
so as soon as the student is eligible to do so. The law does not require the institution
to explore the student’s eligibility for legalization nor does it require the institution
to monitor future changes in eligibility. Students may obtain the California Non-resident
Tuition Exemption Request form at the Admissions and Records office or access it by
clicking on the link below.
- Except for nonimmigrant aliens, any nonresident student who meets the first two requirements
shall be exempted from nonresident tuition even if he or she is a US citizen or a
lawful or unlawful immigrant; however, they will not be classified as California residents.
- Student must currently reside in California to be eligible for the exemption.
Nonresident Tuition Exemption AB540 PDF
AB 540 High School Graduation Letter PDF
(To be completed by high school seniors, and their high school counselor, if completing
the application for admission before the actual graduation date. High schools please
print on your official letterhead.)
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Exemption
The student must provide evidence that he/she, or the student’s parents with whom
the student is living, earns a livelihood primarily performing agricultural labor
for hire in California and has performed such labor for at least two months in each
of the preceding two years. The Seasonal Agricultural Exemption Request form may be
obtained at the Admissions and Records office or accessed by clicking the link below.
Seasonal Agricultural Exemption Request PDF
The California non-resident tuition exemptions discussed above are not available for
students who are not physically present in California. This would apply to students
who are taking distance learning education classes from California community colleges.
Non-resident students who meet the criteria above will be exempted from paying non-resident
tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents.
For information regarding residency contact the Admissions & Records office at ext.
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