Residency Status Determination

Interpretations of Residence. It is the duty of each student to register under the proper residence and pay the correct tuition fees. The explanation below of what constitutes a nonresident is intended to assist students in properly determining whether or not they qualify as residents of the state for tuition purposes. If there is any possible question whether or not a student qualifies as a resident of Texas, he or she should consult the office of admissions. For each improper registration there may be a penalty of $10 per semester-in addition to the proper fee. There can be no change in residence status except upon express authorization by the Office of Admissions. The following State Statutes and Coordinating Board's Rules and Regulations for Determining Residence Status are subject to change respectively by the State Legislature and the State Coordinating Board without notice. Please refer to the last item of this section for a glossary that explains the terms used in residency interpretation.

General Residency Rules

Minors and Dependents

Statute: Section 54.052(a)(3) "Dependent" means an individual who is claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes by the individual's parent or guardian at the time of registration and for the tax year preceding the year in which the individual registers.

Section 54.052(c) An individual who is under 18 years of age or is a dependent and who is living away from his family and whose family resides in another state or has not resided in Texas for the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of registration shall be classified as a nonresident student.

Section 54.052(d) An individual who is 18 years of age or under or is a dependent and whose family has not resided in Texas for the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of registration shall be classified as a nonresident student regardless of whether he has become the legal ward of residents of Texas or has been adopted by residents of Texas while he is attending an educational institution in Texas, or within a 12-month period before his attendance, or under circumstances indicating that the guardianship or adoption was for the purpose of obtaining status as a resident student.

Section 54.055 An individual who is 18 years of age or under or is a dependent and whose parents were formerly residents of Texas is entitled to pay the resident tuition fee following the parents' change of legal residence to another state, as long as the individual remains continuously enrolled in a regular session in a state-supported institution of higher education.

Residence of a Minor or a Dependent. Residency of a minor or dependent is based on one of the following circumstances: The residence of the parent who has custody at the time of enrollment (upon divorce of parents), the residence of the parent who has claimed the dependent for federal income tax purposes both at the time of enrollment and for the tax year preceding enrollment, or the residence of the parent with whom the dependent has resided for the 12 months prior to enrollment.

Custody by Court Order. If the custody of the minor has been granted by court order (e.g., divorce decree, child custody action, guardianship or adoption proceedings) to some person other than the parent, the residence of that person shall control; provided, however, that such grant of custody was not ordered during or within a year prior to the minor's enrollment in a public institution of higher education and was granted under circumstances indicating that such guardianship was not for the purpose of obtaining status as a resident student.

If the minor is not residing with either parent, and there is no court-appointed guardian, the residence of the parent with whom the minor last resided shall be presumed to control. If, however, the minor has resided with, and has been dependent upon a grandparent for more than a year prior to enrollment in an institution of higher education, the residence of that natural guardian shall be regarded as the minor's residence. The residence of a person other than a parent or a natural or legal guardian, who may furnish funds for payment of tuition, fees, or living expenses shall in no way affect the residence classification of a minor.

Abandoned Child. In the case of an abandoned child, the residence of a person who has stood in loco parentis for a period of time may determine the residence. The fact of abandonment must be clearly established and must not have been for the purpose of affecting the residence of the minor, and the minor must have actually resided in the home of such person for two years immediately prior to enrolling in a public institution of higher education in Texas and such person must have provided substantially all of the minor's support. In the event that the in loco parentis relationship has not existed for the full two year period, a lesser period of time is acceptable in unusual hardship cases, such as death of both parents.

Orphans. Orphans who have lived for longer than a year in an established orphans' home in Texas operated by a fraternal, religious, or civic organization and have been graduated from the orphans' home shall be considered residents of Texas provided they reside in Texas from the time of such graduation until they enter an institution of higher education.

Emancipation. Under certain circumstances, minors may become emancipated or freed from parental control. If their parents have ceased to exercise parental control and responsibility, if they are responsible for all of their own decisions and affairs, and if they are not dependent on their parents, minors may establish emancipation. If emancipation is clearly proved, the residence classification of the minors is determined by their own residence rather than the residence of the parents. After 12 months in Texas under such circumstances, minors may be classified as residents if they otherwise satisfy the statutory requirements applicable to those over 18. (See Reclassification). Proof of emancipation is the responsibility of the minor.

Married Minors. Minors who are married have the power and capacity of single persons of full age.

Dependents Whose Parents Moved to Another State or Foreign Country and No Longer Claim Residence in Texas. If both of the parents of dependents who have been enrolled as resident students move their residence to another state or foreign country, the dependents shall be classified as nonresidents at all subsequent registration periods.

1) Under the provisions of Texas Education Code 54.055, although classified as nonresidents, the dependents will be entitled to pay the resident tuition fee as long as they remain continuously enrolled in a state-supported institution of higher education. Such dependent students must enroll for the next available fall or spring semester immediately following the parents' change of residence to another state.

2) When the parents of dependents who have established their residence in another state or foreign country return and reestablish their residence in Texas the dependents must continue to be classified as nonresidents until the first registration after the parents have resided in the state for a 12-month period.

Dependents Whose Parents Moved to Another State or Foreign Country But Continue to Claim Texas Residence.

1) If both of the parents of dependents move to another state or foreign country, or reside outside the state or in a foreign country at the time the dependents enroll in an institution of higher education, but claim residence in Texas, conclusive evidence must be presented that the parents are still claiming residence in the State of Texas and that they have the present intent to return to the state. A certificate from the employer of the parents that the move outside the state was temporary (generally less than five years) and that there are definite plans to return the parents to Texas by a determinable future date will be considered in this connection.

2) Persons who resided in Texas for at least five years prior to moving from the state, and who have returned to the state for residence purposes before having resided out of the state for a year, shall be classified as residents. The parent(s) of dependents must return to the state to live in order for the dependent to be considered a resident.

Independent Individuals 18 Years of Age or Older

Statute: Section 54.052(e) An individual who is 18 years of age or over who has come from outside Texas and who is gainfully employed in Texas for a 12-month period immediately preceding registration in an educational institution shall be classified as a resident student as long as he continues to maintain a legal residence in Texas.

Section 54.052(f) An individual who is 18 years of age or over who resides out of the state or who has come from outside Texas and who registers in an educational institution before having resided in Texas for a 12-month period shall be classified as a nonresident student.

Section 54.052(g) An individual who would have been classified as a resident for the first five of the six years immediately preceding registration, but who resided in another state for all or part of the year immediately preceding registration, shall be classified as a resident student.

Establishment of Residence. Independent individuals 18 years of age or over who move into the state and who are gainfully employed within the state for a period of 12 months prior to enrolling in an institution of higher education are entitled to classification as residents. An individual who is self employed or employed as a homemaker within the home may be considered gainfully employed for tuition purposes. If such 12 months residence, however, can be shown not to have been for the purpose of establishing residence in the state but to have been for some other purpose, the individuals are not entitled to be classified as residents. Students enrolling in an institution of higher education prior to having resided in the state for 12 months immediately preceding time of enrollment shall be classified as nonresidents for tuition purposes.

Married Students

Statute: Section 54.056 A student who is a resident of Texas and who marries a nonresident is entitled to pay the resident tuition fee as long as the student does not adopt the legal residence of the spouse in another state.

Marriage of a Texas resident to a nonresident does not jeopardize the former's right to pay the resident tuition rate unless the resident has taken steps to claim the out-of-state residence of his or her spouse.

A nonresident who marries a resident of Texas must establish his or her own residency by meeting the standard requirements. (See section relating to Residence of Independent Individuals 18 Years of Age or Older or section relating to Married Minors.)

Foreign Students

Statute: Section 54.057(a) An alien who is living in this country under a visa permitting permanent residence or who has filed with the proper federal immigration authorities a declaration of intention to become a citizen has the same privilege of qualifying for resident status for fee purposes under this Act as has a citizen of the United States. A resident alien residing in a junior college district located immediately adjacent to Texas Boundary lines shall be charged the resident tuition by that junior college.

Section 54.057(b) A nonimmigrant alien who resides in this state in accordance with the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty Regarding the Status of Their Forces (4 U. S. T. 1792) and the spouse or children of such an alien are residents for tuition and fee purposes under this code.

Eligible Aliens. Aliens living in the United States under a visa permitting permanent residence, and aliens who are permitted by Congress to adopt the United States as their domicile while they are in this country, and aliens who have filed with the proper federal immigration authority a declaration of intent to become a United States citizen have the same privilege of qualifying for Texas resident status for tuition purposes as do citizens of the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has identified the following categories of foreign students as being eligible to establish domicile in the United States, however, if an individual provides proof from the Department of Justice or Immigration and Naturalization Service that the visa he/she holds has been granted eligibility to establish a domicile in the United States, such individuals may be granted the same privileges in establishing Texas Residency for tuition purposes:

(1) holders of visas with A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3 G-4, K, or OP-1 classifications; and

(2) individuals classified by the Immigration and Naturalization Service as Refugees, Asylees, Parolees, Conditional Permanent Residents (holding I-551 cards which have not expired), and Temporary Residents (holding I-688 cards which have not expired).*

A declaration of intent to become a citizen, according to the United States Department of Justice, may only be filed by the following four groups:

(1) permanent residents,

(2) aliens lawfully admitted for temporary residence under section 245A(a)(1) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act (holders of I-688 cards which have not expired)

(3) aliens admitted as refugees, and

(4) aliens granted asylum

An individual who enters the state under a visa which does not allow the establishment of a domicile and who obtains permanent resident status while in Texas must wait a minimum of 12 consecutive months from the date on which permanent residence status was granted before they may apply for reclassification. The date on which permanent residence status was granted can be determined by the adjudication date (ADJ date) on Alien Registration Receipt Cards or by other official documentation provided buy the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. >Family Unity Program. A noncitizen residing in Texas under the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) Family Unity Program may qualify to pay the resident tuition rate. A noncitizen is eligible to apply for benefits under the Family Unity Program if he or she entered the United States on or before May 5, 1988 and has been residing in the United States since that date; and if he or she was the spouse or unmarried child of a legalized alien as of that date and continues to be so. An individual proving his or her eligibility should provide an institution two Immigration and Naturalization Service forms I-797, one of which indicates an INS-approved "Application for Voluntary Departure under the Family Unity Program," and the other which must indicate either an INS-approved "Immigration Petition for Relative" or a "Visa Petition for Spouse". Since INS may cancel eligibility for the Family Unity Program at any time, it is necessary that institutions confirm the student's current INS status each time he or she registers. To comply with the provisions of the Family Unity Program and qualify to pay resident tuition rates at Texas Institutions, the parent or spouse must have established a domicile in the State of Texas.

*Students holding I688A and I688B cards are not eligible to establish domicile in the United States.

Reclassification

Section 54.054 A nonresident student classification is presumed to be correct as long as the residence of the individual in the state is primarily for the purpose of attending an educational institution. After residing in Texas for at least 12 months, a nonresident student may be reclassified as a resident student as provided in the rules and regulations adopted by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System. Any individual reclassified as a resident student entitled to pay the tuition fee for a resident of Texas at any subsequent registration as long as he continues to maintain his legal residence in Texas.

Reclassification. Persons classified as nonresidents upon first enrollment in an institution of higher education are presumed to be nonresidents for the period during which they continue as students. Students classified as nonresident students shall be considered to retain that status until they make written application for reclassification in the form prescribed by the institution and are officially reclassified in writing as residents of Texas for admissions and tuition purposes by the proper administrative officers of the institution. Application for reclassification must be submitted prior to the official census date of the relevant term. If such nonresident students withdraw from school and reside in the state while gainfully employed for a period of 12 consecutive months, upon reentry into an institution of higher education they will be entitled to be reclassified as residents for tuition purposes if other evidence indicates they have established a domicile in the State of Texas. Accumulations of summer and other vacation periods do not satisfy this requirement. If such nonresident students enroll while gainfully employed for a period of 12 consecutive months, they shall be considered for reclassification as residents for tuition purposes if other evidence indicates they have established a domicile in the State of Texas. Material to the determination of the establishment of a domicile in Texas are business or personal facts or actions unequivocally indicative of a fixed intention to reside permanently in the state. Such facts shall include, but are not limited to:

(1) the length of residence and employment prior to enrolling in the institution;

(2) the nature of employment while a student;

(3) presence in Texas as a part of a household transferred to the state by an employer or as part of a household moved to the state to accept employment offered in Texas;

(4) purchase of a homestead, or

(5) dependency upon a parent or legal guardian who has resided in Texas for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the student's enrollment.

All of these facts are weighed in the light of the fact that a student's residence while in school is primarily for the purpose of education and not to establish residence, and that decisions of an individual as to residence are generally made after the completion of an education and not before. A person who moves to Texas as the spouse of an individual transferred here by the military (see section relating to Military Personnel, Veterans, and Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service), through the state's plan for economic development and diversification (see section relating to Economic Development and Diversification Employees) or as a part of a household moved to the state to accept employment offered in Texas, is considered not to have come to Texas for the purpose of going to school. Therefore, once he or she has physically resided in Texas for 12 consecutive months, the person may be considered a resident if he or she has otherwise established a domicile in the state.

Loss of Residence. Residents who move out of state will be classified as nonresidents immediately upon leaving the state, unless their move is temporary (generally less than five years) and residence has not been established elsewhere. Conclusive evidence must be provided by the individuals supporting their present intent to return to the state. Among other things, a certificate from the employer that the move outside the state is temporary and that a definite future date has been determined for return to Texas may qualify as proof of the temporary nature of the time spent out of state. Internship programs as part of the academic curriculum that require the student to return to the school may qualify as proof of the temporary nature of the time spent out of state.

Reestablishment of Residence. Persons who resided in Texas for at least five years prior to moving from the state, and who have returned to the state for residence purposes before having resided out of the state for a year, shall be classified as residents.

Application for Reclassification. Students classified as nonresident students shall be considered to retain that status until they make written application for reclassification in the form prescribed by the institution and are officially reclassified in writing as residents of Texas by the proper administrative officers of the institution.

Reclassification as a Nonresident. Persons who have been classified as residents of Texas shall be reclassified as nonresident students whenever they shall report, or there is found to exist, circumstances indicating a change in residence to another state. If students who have been classified as residents of Texas are found to have been erroneously classified, those students shall be reclassified as nonresidents and shall be required to pay the difference between the resident and nonresident tuition for those semesters in which they were so erroneously classified.

Reclassification as a Resident. If students have been erroneously classified as nonresident students and subsequently prove to the satisfaction of the appropriate officials of an institution of higher education that they should have been classified as resident student, they shall be reclassified as residents of Texas and may be entitled to a refund of the difference between the resident and nonresident fees for the semesters in which they were so erroneously classified. Normally the refunds must be requested and substantiated during the current term.

Exceptions to Basic Residency Rules

Military Personnel and Veterans and Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service

Statute: Section 54.058(a) Military personnel are classified as provided by this section.

Section 54.058(b) A person who is an officer, enlisted person, selectee, or draftee of the Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Navy, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Reserve of the United States, who is assigned to duty in Texas and the spouse and children of such an officer, enlisted person, selectee, or draftee are entitled to register in a state institution of higher education by paying the tuition fee and other fees or charges required of Texas residents, without regard to the length of time the officer, enlisted person, selectee, or draftee has been assigned to duty or resided in the state. However, out-of-state Army National Guard or Air National Guard members attending training with Texas Army or Air National Guard units under National Guard Bureau regulations may not be exempted from nonresident tuition by virtue of such training status nor may out-of-state Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard Reserves training with units in Texas under similar regulations be exempted from nonresident tuition by virtue of such training status. It is the intent of the legislature that only those members of the Army or Air National Guard or other reserve forces mentioned above be exempted from the nonresident tuition fee and other fees and charges only when they become members of Texas units of the military organizations mentioned above.

Section 54.058(c) As long as they reside continuously in Texas, the spouse and children of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who has been assigned to duty elsewhere immediately following assignment to duty in Texas are entitled to pay the tuition fees and other fees or charges provided for Texas residents.

Section 54.058(e) A Texas institution of higher education may charge to the United States Government the nonresident tuition fee for a veteran enrolled under the provisions of a federal law or regulation authorizing education or training benefits for veterans.

Section 54.058(f) The spouse and children of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies or is killed are entitled to pay the resident tuition fee, if the wife and children become residents of Texas within 60 days of the date of death.

Section 54.058(g) If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States is stationed outside Texas and his spouse and children establish residence in Texas by residing in Texas and by filing with the Texas institution of higher education at which they plan to register a letter of intent to establish residence in Texas, the institution of higher education shall permit the spouse and children to pay the tuition, fees, and other charges provided for Texas residents without regard to length of time that they have resided within the State.

Legal Residence--General Rule. Persons in military service and commissioned Public Health Service officers are presumed to maintain during their entire period of active service the same legal residence which was in effect at the time of entering the service. Persons stationed in a state by the military or Public Health Service are presumed not to establish a legal residence in that state because their presence is not voluntary but under military or Public Health Service orders.

Change of Domicile. It is possible for members of the military service or Public Health Service to abandon the domicile of original entry into the service and to select another, but to show establishment of a new domicile during the term of active service, there must be clear and unequivocal proof of such intent including evidence of abandonment of domicile of original entry, evidence of establishment of a domicile in Texas, and proof that Texas has remained the individual's domicile when stationed outside of Texas after having established Texas as his or her domicile. Abandonment of domicile of original entry is evidenced by the establishment of a domicile in Texas.

Establishment of a domicile in Texas requires 12 consecutive months physical presence in the state. The military member must simultaneously file the appropriate documentation to change his or her military records to reflect Texas as the state of legal residence. Other actions may be considered in determining whether a domicile has been established in Texas. If four of the following actions have been taken by the military member at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the date of enrollment and continue to be in effect, the member has established a domicile in Texas:

(1) purchasing a residence and claiming it as a homestead,

(2) registering to vote and voting in local elections,

(3) registering automobiles in Texas and paying personal property taxes thereon,

(4) maintaining a Texas driver license,

(5) maintaining checking accounts, savings accounts, or safe deposit boxes in Texas,

(6) having wills or other legal documents that indicate residence in Texas,

(7) having membership in professional organizations or other state organizations, and/or

(8) establishing a business in Texas.

To prove Texas has remained as his or her domicile when stationed outside of Texas, and individual must provide evidence that he or she was a Texas resident upon entry into the service and that Texas continues to be his or her state of record with the military. If he or she has established a domicile in Texas while in the service in accordance with the above conditions, the member must currently meet at least three of the following criteria in order to qualify to pay the resident tuition rate at a public institution of higher education:

(1) owning a residence in Texas and claiming it as a homestead,

(2) registering to vote and voting in Texas elections,

(3) registering automobiles in Texas and paying personal property taxes thereon,

(4) maintaining checking accounts, savings accounts, or safe deposit boxes in Texas,

(5) maintaining a Texas driver's license, and/or

(6) having wills or other legal documents indicate legal residence in Texas.

Status of Military Personnel, Commissioned Public Health Service Officers, and Their Spouses and Dependents Stationed in Texas. Education Code 54.058(b) provides that military personnel assigned to duty within the state of Texas, their spouse and their dependent children, shall be entitled to pay the same tuition as a resident of Texas regardless of the length of their physical presence in the state. To be entitled to pay resident tuition, such military personnel shall submit at least once per 12 month academic year as defined by the institution a statement from an appropriately authorized officer in the service certifying that they are then assigned to duty in Texas and that same will be in effect at the time of such enrollment in a public institution of higher education. This same provision also applies to commissioned Public Health Service officers and their spouses and their dependents. This subsection also provides that nonresident members of an out-of-state National Guard unit who are temporarily training with a Texas National Guard unit will not be entitled to pay the resident tuition.

Status of Spouses and Dependents of Military Personnel and Public Health Service Officers Reassigned Out-of-State. Texas Education Code 54.058(c) provides that if they reside continuously in the State of Texas, the spouse and dependent children of members of the armed forces previously assigned to active duty in Texas, but reassigned to duty outside the state of Texas may pay resident tuition rates. This provision also applies to spouses and dependents of commissioned Public Health Service officers.

Status of Spouses and Dependents of Military Personnel and Public Health Service Officers Stationed in Out-of-State Locations. Texas Education Code 54.058(g) provides that the spouse and dependent children of members of the armed forces who are assigned to duty outside the State of Texas may be entitled to pay the resident tuition if they reside in Texas and file with the public institution of higher education at which a child or spouse plans to register a letter of intent, an affidavit, or other evidence satisfactory to the institution stating they intend to become permanent residents of Texas. This provision also applies to commissioned Public Health Service officers and their spouses and their dependents.

Status of Spouses and Dependents of Military Personnel or Commissioned Public Health Service Officers Once Stationed in Texas But Now Stationed in Out-of-State Locations. Texas Education Code 58.058 (d) provides that a spouse or dependent child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, who is not assigned to duty in Texas but who has previously resided in Texas for a 12-month period, is entitled to pay the tuition fees and other fees or charges provided for Texas residents at a state institution of higher education if the member:

(a) at least one year preceding the first day of the term or semester executed a document with the applicable military service that is in effect on the first day of the term or semester and that:

(i) indicates that the member's permanent residence address is in Texas and

(ii) designates Texas as the member's place of legal residence for income tax purposes;

(b) has been registered to vote in Texas for the entire year preceding the first day of the term or semester, and

(c) satisfies at least one of the following

(i) for the entire year preceding the first day of the term or semester has owned real property in Texas and in that time has not been delinquent in the payment of any taxes on the property;

(ii) has had an automobile registered in Texas for the entire year preceding the first day of the term or semester, or

(iii) at least one year preceding the first day of the term or semester executed a will that has not been revoked or superseded indicating that the member is a resident of this state and deposited the will with the county clerk of the county of the member's residence under Section 71, Texas Probate Code.

Status of Spouses and Dependents of Military Personnel and Public Health Service Officers Who Die While in Service. Texas Education Code 54.058(f) provides that members of the immediate family (which includes spouse or dependent children) of members of the armed forces who die while in military service may qualify to pay the resident tuition if they become residents of Texas within 60 days of the date of death. To qualify under this provision, the students shall submit to the institution of higher education satisfactory evidence establishing the date of death and residence in Texas. This provision also applies to commissioned Public Health Service officers and their dependents.

Nonresidents Attending College Under Federal Benefits Programs for Veterans. Texas Education Code 54.058(e) provides that the public institution of higher education may charge the nonresident tuition fee for nonresident veterans to the United States government under the provisions of any federal law or regulation authorizing educational or training benefits for veterans.

Residence Classification Upon Separation from Military or Public Health Service.

Residence Classification of Veterans or Commissioned Public Health Service Officers upon separation from Military or Public Health Service. A former member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the former member's spouse or dependent child is entitled to pay the tuition fees and other fees or charges provided for Texas residents for any term or semester at a state institution of higher education that begins before the first anniversary of the member's separation from the Armed Forces if the former member has retired or been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces and has complied with the requirements of subsection 21.28 (f)(4) of these rules.

Students Enrolled in ROTC Programs. A nonresident student who is a member of an ROTC unit will be required to pay nonresident tuition rates until such time the student has signed a contract which cannot be terminated by the student and which obligates the student to serve a period of active military duty.

NATO Forces Stationed in Texas. Nonresident aliens stationed in Texas in keeping with the agreement between the parties to the North Atlantic Treaty regarding status of forces, their spouses, and dependent children are entitled to pay the same tuition rate at public institutions of higher education as residents of Texas.

Other Federal Employees. The privilege of paying resident tuition rates described in this section is restricted to persons in the military service and commissioned officers of the Public Health Service, and is not extended to other federal employees.

Civilian Employees of the Military. The privilege of paying resident tuition rates described in this section is restricted to persons in the military service and commissioned officers of the Public Health Service, and is not extended to civilians employed by the military or the Public Health Service.

A nonresident who marries a resident of Texas who is in the military must establish his or her own residency by meeting the standard requirements as stated in this title (relating to married students).

Teachers, Professors, and Their Dependents

Statute: Section 54.059 A teacher or professor of an institution of higher education, and the spouse and children of such a teacher or professor, are entitled to register in an institution of higher education by paying the tuition fee and other fees or charges required for Texas residents without regard to the length of time the teacher or professor has resided in Texas. A teacher or professor of an institution of higher education and the teacher's or professor's family are entitled to the benefit of this section if the teacher or professor is employed at least one-half time on a regular monthly salary basis by an institution of higher education.

Teachers and professors employed at least half time on a regular monthly salary basis (not an hourly employee) by any Texas public institution of higher education may pay the same tuition as a resident of Texas for themselves, their spouses, and their dependent children, regardless of the length of residence in the state if their effective date of employment is on or prior to the official census date of the relevant term(s). To be entitled to pay the resident tuition fees, such employees must submit, prior to the time of each enrollment, a statement certifying employment from the director of personnel or a designated representative of the institution of higher education by which he or she is employed. This provision applies to eligible teachers and professors and their dependents no matter which Texas public institution of higher education they may attend. It is the intent of this rule that employment be for the duration of the period of enrollment for which a waiver is awarded.

Students Employed as Teaching or
Research Assistants

Statute: Section 54.063 A teaching assistant or research assistant of any institution of higher education and the spouse and children of such a teaching assistant or research assistant are entitled to register in a state institution of higher education by paying the tuition fees and other fees or charges required for Texas residents under Section 54.051 of this code, without regard to the length of time the assistant has resided in Texas, if the assistant is employed at least one-half time in a teaching or research assistant position which relates to the assistant's degree program under rules and regulations established by the employer institution.

Students employed as teaching or research assistants employed at least half time by any public institution of higher education in a degree program-related position, with an effective date of employment on or before the official census date of the relevant term(s), may pay the same tuition while attending the employing institution as a resident of Texas for themselves, their spouses, and their dependent children, regardless of the length of residence in the state. The institution which employs the students shall determine whether or not the students' jobs relate to their degree programs. This provision applies to eligible teaching assistants, research assistants, and their dependents no matter which Texas public institution of higher education the may attend. It is the intent of this rule that employment be for the duration of the period of enrollment for which a waiver is awarded.

Scholarship Recipients

Statute: Section 54.064(a) A student who holds a competitive scholarship of at least $1,000 for the academic year or summer for which the student is enrolled and who is either a nonresident or a citizen of a country other than the United States of America is entitled to pay the fees and charges required of Texas residents without regard to the length of time the student has resided in Texas. The student must compete with other students, including Texas residents, for the scholarship and the scholarship must be awarded by a scholarship committee officially recognized by the administration and be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board under criteria developed by the board.

Section 54.064(b) The total number of students at an institution paying resident tuition under this section for a particular semester may not exceed five percent of the total number of students registered at the institution for the same semester of the preceding academic year.

Statute: Section 54.065 A student is entitled to pay the fees and charges required of Texas residents without regard to the length of time the student has resided in Texas if the student: (1) holds a competitive academic scholarship or stipend; (2) is accepted in a clinical and biomedical research training program designed to lead to both doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy degrees; and (3) is either a nonresident or a citizen of a country other than the United States of America.

Competitive Academic Scholarship Recipients. Certain students receiving competitive scholarships may be exempted from paying nonresident tuition rates.

Approved Procedures for Awarding Scholarships. Each institution awarding nonresident tuition waivers based on competitive scholarships shall have in the appropriate office of the institution a memo from the institution's administration granting the scholarship committee the authority to award scholarships which hold a nonresident tuition waiver option. In addition, the scholarship committee shall maintain records which verify that residents as well as nonresidents were eligible to compete for the scholarship and the criteria used to select scholarship recipients.

To qualify for exemption from paying nonresident tuition rates students must be awarded competitive scholarships totaling at least $1, 000 for the academic year, the summer session or both by an official scholarship committee or committees of the public institution of higher education they are attending. If nonresidents or foreign students in competition with other students, including Texas residents, obtain these competitive scholarships, the students may pay the same tuition as a resident of Texas during the registration period in which the competitive scholarship is in effect. In order for a competitive scholarship to qualify a student to pay the resident rate, both the funds and the selection process must be under the control of the institution. At the time the competitive scholarship is made, the institution must designate the term or terms of the current 12-month academic year as defined by the institution in which the scholarship will be in effect. Scholarship funds need not be disbursed in each term covered by the scholarship and waiver, but documentation for the scholarship must define the relevant time period for the scholarship. The waiver's time period will be the same as that of the scholarship. If the scholarship is terminated for any reason, the waiver shall also cease as of the end of the enrollment period in which the scholarship is terminated. An institution shall not waive nonresident tuition on the basis of competitive scholarship for more than five percent of its total enrollment in the corresponding semester or term of the previous academic year. If the recipient of the scholarship is concurrently enrolled at more than one institution, the waiver of nonresident tuition is only effective at the institution awarding the scholarship.

Beginning with awards for fall 1998, institution of higher education that offer competitive scholarships shall adopt a written policy describing the factors to be used by the institution or unit making an award. A policy adopted under this section shall be published in the institution's or unit's catalog and shall be made available to the public in advance of any deadline for the submission of an application for a competitive scholarship to which the policy applies.

Economic Development and Diversification Program

Section 54.052(h) An individual who has come from outside Texas and registered in an educational institution before having resided in Texas for a 12-month period immediately preceding the date of registration is entitled to pay the tuition fee and other fees required of Texas residents if the individual or a member of his family has located in Texas as an employee of a business or organization that became established in this state as part of the program of state economic development and diversification authorized by the constitution and laws of this state and if the individual files with the Texas institution of higher education at which he registers a letter of intent to establish residency in Texas.

Economic Development and Diversification Employees. An individual eligible to establish a domicile in Texas who has come from outside Texas and registered in an educational institution before having resided in Texas for a 12-month period immediately preceding the date of registration and his dependents are entitled to pay the tuition fee and other fees required of Texas residents if the individual has located in Texas as an employee of a business or organization within five years of the date that such business or organization became established in this state as part of the program of state economic development and diversification authorized by the constitution and laws of this state and if the individual files with the Texas institution of higher education at which he registers a letter of intent to establish residency in Texas.*

*The only companies whose employees qualify under this provision are those identified by the Coordinating Board as being eligible. Check with your College Residence Determination Official.

Special Programs

Residents of Bordering States or Countries

Statute: Section 54.060(a) Resident of Bordering State or Nation: Tuition. The nonresident tuition fee prescribed in this chapter does not apply to a nonresident student who is a resident of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma and who registers in a public upper-level institution of higher education, Lamar State College-Orange, Lamar State College-Port Arthur, a Texas public junior college or public technical institute that is situated in a county immediately adjacent to the state in which the nonresident student resides. The nonresiden tuitiont fee prescribed by this chapter does not apply to a nonresident student who is a resident of New Mexico or Oklahoma and who registers in a public technical institute that is situated in a county that is within 100 miles of the state in which the nonresident student resides and who is admitted for the purpose of utilizing available instructional facilities. The nonresident student described in this subsection shall pay an amount equivalent to the amount charged a Texas student registered at a similar school in the state in which the nonresident student resides. For purposes of this subsection, "public upper-level institution of higher education" means an institution of higher education that offers only junior-level and senior-level courses or only junior-level, senior-level, and graduate-level courses.

Section 54.060(b) The foreign student tuition fee prescribed in this chapter does not apply to a foreign student who is a resident of a nation situated adjacent to Texas, who registers in any general academic teaching institution, as defined in Section 61.003(3) of this code, or component of the Texas State Technical College System in a county immediately adjacent to the nation in which the foreign student resides or who registers for lower division courses at a community or junior college having a partnership agreement pursuant to Subchapter N. Chapter 51, of this code, with an upper-level university and both institutions are located in the county immediately adjacent to the nation in which the foreign student resides, or who registers in Texas A&M University-Kingsville, or Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and, except as provided by this subsection, and who demonstrates a financial need after the financial resources of the foreign student and the student's family are considered. The foreign student described in this subsection shall pay tuition equal to that charged Texas residents under Sections 54.051 and 54.0512 of this code. The Coordinating Board shall adopt rules governing the determination of financial need of students under this subsection and rules governing a pilot project to be established at general academic teaching institutions and at components of the Texas State Technical College System in counties that are not immediately adjacent to the nation in which the foreign student resides.

Section 54.060(f) The nonresident tuition fee prescribed by this chapter does not apply to a nonresident student who is a resident of a county or parish of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, or Oklahoma that is adjacent to this state and who registers in an institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003, the governing board of which has agreed to admit the student at the resident tuition fee prescribed by this chapter. The state in which the student resides must allow a resident of a county of this state that is adjacent to that state to register in a public institution of higher education in that state at the tuition fee charged residents of that state. The student shall pay tuition equal to that charged residents of this state at the institution.

Residents of a Bordering State. Nonresidents who are residents of a state of the United States bordering Texas and who register in a public upper-level institution of higher education, two-year institution in the Lamar University System, or in any Texas public technical college or public junior college situated in a county immediately adjacent to the state in which the nonresident student resides are entitled to pay an amount equivalent to the amount charged a Texas student registered at a similar school in the bordering state. However, the amount paid by the nonresident for tuition may not be less than the amount charged Texas residents to attend the Texas institution.

Nonresidents who are residents of New Mexico or Oklahoma and who register in a public technical college that is situated in a county within 100 miles of the state in which the nonresident student resides are entitled to pay an amount equivalent to the amount charged a Texas student registered at a similar school in the bordering state. However, the amount paid by the nonresident for tuition may not be less than the amount charged Texas residents to attend the Texas institution.

The admitting Texas public junior college, public technical college, public senior upper-level institution, or two-year institution in the Lamar University System must have on file a copy of a letter from the Chief Executive Officer of the comparable neighboring state institution which certifies that eligible Texas residents are entitled to pay in-state tuition at the comparable neighboring institution. To be valid, the certifying letter must have been issued no longer than two years before the start of the involved enrollment period; also, a copy of the letter must be filed with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Citizens of Mexico. A citizen of Mexico who registers for instruction offered by a general academic teaching institution or component of the Texas State Technical College System in a county bordering Mexico or who registers for lower division courses at a community or junior college having a partnership agreement pursuant to Texas Education Code Subchapter N, Chapter 51, with an upper-level university and both institutions are located in the county immediately adjacent to the nation in which the foreign student resides, or who registers at Texas A&M University-Kingsville or Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is eligible to pay tuition equal to that charged Texas residents provided the student demonstrates a financial need after the resources of the student and the student's family have been considered.

General academic teaching institutions other than Texas A&M University-Kingsville and components of the Texas State Technological College System, located in counties which are not adjacent to Mexico, may allow a limited number of citizens of Mexico who demonstrate financial need to register and pay the Texas resident rate at their institution. The number of such students each institution may enroll in any one term is not to exceed two (2) eligible student per thousand of enrollment of the institution's total enrollment in that term. Institutions with fewer than 5,000 students may enroll up to ten (10) eligible students.

Residents of Adjacent Counties of Bordering States. A nonresident student who is a resident of a county or parish of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico or Oklahoma that is adjacent to this state and who registers in a Texas public institution of higher education, the governing board of which has agreed to admit the student at the resident tuition fee prescribed by this chapter, shall pay tuition equal to that charged residents of this state at the institution. The state in which the student resides must allow a resident of a county of this state that is adjacent to that state to register in a public institution of higher education in that state at the tuition fee charged residents of that state.

The admitting Texas institution must have on file a copy of a letter from the Chief Executive Officer of a neighboring state public institution which certifies that eligible Texas residents are entitled to pay in-state tuition at the neighboring state institution or, a copy of a memorandum from the board that such a letter has been provided by a Texas institution and is on file at the board. To be valid, the certifying letter must have been issued no longer than two years before the start of the involved enrollment period; also, a copy of the letter must be filed with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. For the Coordinating Board memorandum to justify a waiver, the student's enrollment period must fall within the eligibility period indicated in the memorandum by the board.

Ad Valorem Tax Payers

Pursuant to The Coordinating Board Rules, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, Section 21.37 the governing board of a public junior college district may waive the difference in the rate of tuition for nonresident and resident students for individuals, or their dependents, who own property which is subject to ad valorem taxation by the junior college district. Aliens not domiciled in the United States are not eligible for waiver of the nonresident tuition rate due to payment of ad valorem taxes. Persons, or their dependents, applying for such waiver shall verify property ownership by presentation of an ad valorem tax statement or receipt issued by the tax office of the junior college district; or by presentation of a deed, property closing statement, or other appropriate evidence of ownership of property which is subject to ad valorem taxation by the junior college district. If a sworn affidavit is accepted at the time of enrollment, verification of the student as an ad valorem taxpayer must be provided by the end of the semester of enrollment.

Responsibilities of Students
and Schools

Student Responsibilities

Statute: Section 54.0521 Oath of Residency. (a) Before an individual may register at an institution of higher education paying tuition at the rate provided for residents, the individual must affirm under oath to the appropriate official at the institution that the individual is entitled to be classified as a resident for purposes of tuition.

Section 54.0521(b) If the institution later determines that the individual was not entitled to be classified as a resident at the time of the individual's registration, the individual shall, not later than 30 days after the date the individual is notified of the determination, pay to the institution the amount the individual should have paid as a nonresident.

Section 54.0521(c) If the individual fails to make a timely payment as required by this section, the individual is not entitled to receive a transcript or to receive credit for courses taken during the time the individual was falsely registered as a resident student.

Oath of Residency. When completing the oath of residency portion of an application for admission process, the student is responsible for registering under the proper residence classification and for providing documentation as required by the public institution of higher education. If there is any question as to the right to classification as a resident of Texas it is the student's obligation, prior to or at the time of enrollment, to raise the question with the administrative officials of the institution in which they are enrolling for official determination. Students classified as Texas residents must affirm the correctness of that classification as a part of the admissions procedure. If the student's classification as a resident becomes inappropriate for any reason, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the proper administrative officials at the institution. Failure to notify the institution constitutes a violation of the oath of residency and will result in disciplinary action.

Responsibilities of the Public Institutions
of Higher Education

Review of Enrollment and/or Registration Forms. Each public institution of higher education is responsible for reviewing enrollment and/or registration applications for errors, inconsistencies or misclassifications of residency status. Institutions should obtain written documentation to resolve any problems noted during the review of forms.

Affirmation of Residence for Returning Students. When independent students classified as residents have been out of school for 12 months or more, an institution may continue the students' classification as residents upon receipt of affirmations from the students that they have not changed their state of residence since their last enrollment at that institution, provided the institution has documentation of residence status on file. When dependent students classified as residents have been out of school for 12 months or more, an institution may continue the students' classification as residents upon receipt of affirmations from the students that their parents or legal guardians have not changed their state of residence since the student's last enrollment at that institution, provided the institution has documentation of residence status on file.

Oath of Residency. Each public institution is responsible for incorporating a core of residency questions and an oath of residency into its student application for admission process. The required core of questions will be developed by the Coordinating Board staff with the assistance of an advisory committee. Answers to the questions should then be reviewed to determine the student's proper residency classification. If any of the answers raise questions as to the appropriateness of classification, the institution must file and maintain a copy of one or more appropriately dated documents which will certify that the student classified as a resident has legal right to such classification as of the official census date of the semester or term for which enrolling. However, documents which cannot legally or conveniently be reproduced should be observed by an official of the institution and pertinent information about the document should be noted and signed by the observing officer. Such notations should be maintained in the school's records for audit purposes. Documents acceptable for this purpose include, but are not limited to:

(1) Texas high school transcript for the full senior year immediately preceding the first semester enrolled.

(2) Texas college or university transcript (in conjunction with other documents from the institution).

(3) Employer statement of date of employment.

(4) Permanent driver's license (at least one year old). The license expiration date minus date of enrollment should not exceed three years.

(5) Texas voter registration.

(6) Lease agreement which includes student's name and period covered.

(7) Property tax payments for the year preceding enrollment.

(8) Canceled checks.

(9) Utility bill for the year preceding enrollment.

(10)A signed, dated, and notarized comprehensive residence questionnaire.

(11)(For aliens) Proof of permanent residence classification which is eligible for the establishment of a domicile in Texas.

(12)An income tax form or, (if current year federal tax form has not been filed) a signed, notarized statement regarding the student's independence or regarding the individual(s) who claim the student as a dependent.

(13)A current credit report which documents the student's length and place of residence.

(14)Other third party documentation which confirms residency status for the 12-month period preceding enrollment.

(15)For a homeless individual, documentation may consist of written statements from the office or one or more legitimate social service agencies located in Texas, attesting to the provision of services to the individual over the previous 12-month period.

Penalties

Statute: Section 54.053 The governing board of each institution required by this Chapter to charge a nonresident tuition or registration fee is subject to the rules, regulations, and interpretations issued by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System, for the administration of the nonresident tuition provisions of this Act. The rules, regulations and interpretations promulgated by the Coordinating Board shall be furnished to the presidents or administrative heads of all Texas public senior and junior colleges and universities.

Section 54.061 The governing board of an institution of higher education may assess and collect from each nonresident student who fails to comply with the rules and regulations of the boards concerning nonresident fees a penalty not to exceed $10 a semester.

Student Compliance with Institutional Rules and Regulations. Each institution has been authorized by statute to assess and collect from nonresident students failing to comply with the provisions of the tuition statute and with these interpretations concerning nonresident fees a penalty not to exceed $10 a semester. In addition, if students have obtained residence classification by virtue of deliberate concealment of facts or misrepresentation of fact, they may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, in accordance with the rules and regulations that may be adopted by the governing boards of the respective institutions of higher education.

Glossary

Competitive Scholarship. A scholarship which is designated as competitive by the institution, whose sum either singularly or in combination with other competitive scholarships totals the amount named in Texas Education Code 54.064, that is publicized and open to all students including Texas residents, and which has been selected by the institution to be a basis for the waiver of nonresident tuition charges.

Conclusive Evidence. Proof which removes uncertainties. In the case of proving residency, conclusive evidence may include but is not limited to the purchase of a homestead with substantial down-payment, significant employment, dependence on parents who are residents of the state, and business or personal ties in the state which imply a fixed intent to remain in Texas.

Dependent. An individual (minor or 18 years of age or older) who is claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes by a parent or guardian the year of enrollment and the tax year prior to enrollment.

Domicile in Texas. Physically residing in Texas for at least 12 consecutive months with the intent to make Texas one's permanent home.

Foreign Students. Aliens who are not permanent residents of the United States or have not been permitted by Congress to adopt the United States as their domicile while they are in this country.

Gainful Employment. Lawful activities intended to provide an income to the individual or allow an individual to avoid the expense of paying another person to perform the tasks (as in child care or the maintenance of a home).

Homeless Individual. A homeless individual who resides in Texas for the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of registration, but who does not have a permanent residence in Texas, may enroll in vocational education courses at a public junior college by paying the resident tuition rate. For this purpose, a homeless individual is defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11302, which states, "the term homeless" or "homeless individual" or "homeless person" includes:

(1) an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence; and

(2) an individual who has a primary night time residence that is

(a) a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodation;

(b) an institution that provides temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized; or

(c) a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

Documentation for a homeless individual may consist of written statements from the office of one or more legitimate social service agencies located in Texas, attesting to the provision of service to the homeless individual over the previous 12-month period.

In-District Student. A Texas resident who physically resides within the geographic boundaries of the classifying public junior college district.

Independent Student. A student who is not claimed by a parent or a guardian as a dependent for federal income tax purposes during the tax year including the enrollment period.

Minor. An individual who is 17 years of age or younger.

Nonresident. A citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States or an alien who has been permitted by Congress to adopt the United States as his or her domicile while in this country and who has not met the state requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes.

Official Census Date. The official reporting date for enrollments; the date upon which the student (by virtue of having obligated him/herself to pay requisite tuition and/or fees) is considered to be enrolled in the institution. (For 16-week semesters, the 12th class day; for 6-week summer sessions, the 4th class day. For other length programs, consult the Reporting and Procedures Manual, published by the Educational Data Center of the Coordinating Board.)

Out-of-District Student. A Texas resident who does not physically reside within the geographic boundaries of the classifying public junior college district.

Prior to Enrolling. Prior to or including the official census date.

Public Institution of Higher Education. State-supported institutions of higher education, including public junior and community colleges, public senior colleges and universities, public health science centers and the Texas State Technical College System.

Resident. A citizen, national or permanent resident of the United States, or an alien who has been permitted by Congress to adopt the United States as his or her domicile while in this country, and who has otherwise met the state requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes.

Time of Enrollment. Official census date for the semester or term for that institution (for specific dates, refer to the Reporting and Procedures Manual of the Educational Data Center of the Coordinating Board).

Clinical Biomedical Research Students. A nonresident or foreign student is eligible to pay the fees and charges required of Texas residents if the student holds a competitive academic scholarship or stipend and is accepted in a clinical biomedical research training program designed to lead to both a doctor of medicine and doctor of philosophy degree.

Students Enrolled in Radiological Sciences. United States Air Force personnel stationed outside the State of Texas who are enrolled in the bachelor of science or master of science degree program in radiological sciences at Midwestern State University by instructional telecommunication will be entitled to pay tuition and other fees or charges provided for Texas residents if they began the program while stationed at an Air Force base in Texas.

Appeals to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In the event two or more Texas public institutions of higher education determine a different residency status for members of the same family with identical evidence of residency currently enrolled at each institution, the individuals who were the subject of the residency determination may appeal the unfavorable decision to the Commissioner for Higher Education. Before making an appeal to the Commissioner, the student classified as a nonresident must exhaust all appeal processes available at the institution level. A decision by the Commissioner as to one family member's residency status will apply to each family member with identical evidence of residency at any institution of higher education he or she attends.

Students Who Are Beneficiaries of the Texas Tomorrow Fund. The tuition and required fees charged by an institution of higher education for semester hours and fees that are paid for by a prepaid tuition contract shall be determined as if the beneficiary of that contract is a resident student. If a student is a nonresident, any tuition and fees not paid by the contract will be assessed at the nonresident rate.


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LAST UPDATE: 6-1-00