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 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.

Rules and Regulations for Determining Residence Status Pursuant to Title 3, Texas Education Code. Effective Fall 1995..

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. The residence of a minor or dependent child is usually that of the parent with whom the individual resides. However, a dependent child who is not eligible to establish a domicile in the United States may not establish residence for tuition purposes based on his or her parent's residence.

Residence of a Dependent 18 Years of Age or Older. The residence of a dependent 18 years of age or older is that of the parent who claims the individual as a dependent for federal income tax purposes both for the year for which the dependent is enrolling and for the preceding tax year. However, a dependent child who is not eligible to establish a domicile in the United States may not establish residence for tuition purposes based on his or her parent's residence.

Divorce of Parents. Upon divorce of parents, residency of a dependent is based on the residence of the parent who has custody at the time of enrollment or has claimed the dependent for federal income tax purposes both at the time of enrollment and for the tax year preceding enrollment. For dependents 18 or older, residency is determined by the residence of the parent who claims the student for federal income tax purposes both at the time of enrollment and for the tax year preceding 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 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 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. 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 for 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, 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:

(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 I688 cards which have not expired).*

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

12-Month Residence. Only a permanent resident may file with the federal immigration authorities a declaration of intention to become a citizen. Generally, individuals who enter the state under a visa which does not allow the establishment of a domicile and who obtain permanent resident status while in Texas must wait a minimum of 12 months from the date of issue to request resident status for tuition purposes. However, in cases where a protracted amount of time (more than 12 months) lapses between the date of application for permanent residence and the granting of permanent residence status, the institution may consider the lapsed time a part of the individual's required 12 months in the state if the individual has otherwise met the requirements for establishing residency.

NATO Forces Stationed in Texas. Nonresident aliens stationed in Texas in keeping with the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty Regarding the Status of Forces, their spouses, and dependent children are entitled to pay the same tuition rate at public institutions of higher learning as residents of Texas.

Citizens of Mexico. See section on Special programs, Residents of Bordering States or Countries.

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 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 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. If such nonresident students withdraw from school and reside in the state while gainfully employed for a period of 12 months, upon re-entry into an institution of higher education they will be entitled to be reclassified as residents for tuition purposes. Accumulations of summer and other vacation periods do not satisfy this requirement.

Reclassification to resident status after residing in the state for 12 months cannot be based solely upon the student's or the student's spouse's employment, registration to vote, registration of a motor vehicle and payment of personal property taxes thereon, or the securing of a Texas driver's license. The presumption of "nonresident" is not a conclusive presumption, however, and other facts may be considered to determine if the presumption has been overcome. Material to this determination are business or personal facts or actions unequivocally indicative of a fixed intention to reside permanently in the state. Such facts may include, but are not limited to, the length of residence and full-time employment prior to enrolling in the institution, the fact of full-time employment and the nature of such employment while a student, purchase of a homestead with substantial down payment, or dependency upon a parent or guardian who has resided in Texas for at least 12 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. 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. Application for reclassification must be submitted prior to the official census date of the relevant term.

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.

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. 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 Act to charge a nonresident tuition or registration fee is subject to the rules, regulations, and interpretations issued by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 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 public institution of higher education 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.

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 Permanent Address While in the Service. 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. An extended period of service alone is not sufficient. The purchase of residential property is not conclusive evidence unless coupled with other facts indicating an intent to put down roots in the community and to reside there after termination of military or Public Health Service.

Evidence which will be considered in determining this requisite intent includes, but is not limited to, a substantial investment in a residence and the claiming of a homestead exemption thereon, registration to vote and voting in local elections, registration of an automobile in Texas and payment of personal property taxes thereon, obtaining a Texas driver's license, maintaining checking accounts, savings accounts, and safety deposit boxes in Texas banks, existence of wills or other legal documents indicating residence in Texas, change of permanent address with the military or Public Health Service and designation of Texas as the place of legal residence for income tax purposes on military or Public Health Service personnel records, business transactions or activities not normally engaged in by military or Public Health Service personnel, and membership in professional or other state organizations.

Purchase of property during terminal years of military or Public Health Service preceding retirement generally is given greater weight than a similar purchase made prior to such terminal period. Additionally, a terminal duty assignment in Texas in which an individual has engaged in personal, business and/or professional activities indicative of their intent to remain in the state will be given more consideration than most other evidence presented.

Eligibility of Nonresident Military Personnel, Commissioned Public Health Service Officers, and Their Dependents. 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 the time of each enrollment a statement from their commanding officer or personnel officer 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 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 Dependents of Those 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 while the spouse or parent is on his/her first assignment subsequent to assignment in Texas. In order for the dependent child to qualify, a parent must also continuously reside in Texas. This provision also applies to commissioned Public Health Service officers and their dependents.

Status of Dependents of Those 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 dependents.

Status of Dependents of Those Who Die While in Service. Texas Education Code 54.058(f) provides that members of the immediate family (which includes spouse and/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.

General Rule. Persons who enroll in an institution of higher education following separation from military service must be classified as nonresident students unless they were legal residents of Texas at the time of entry into military service and have not relinquished that residence; they can prove that during military service they have, in fact, established a bona fide, legal residence in Texas at a time at least 12 months prior to enrollment; or they have resided in Texas other than as students for 12 months prior to enrollment and subsequent to discharge from service. This provision also applies to commissioned Public Health Service officers and their dependents.

Reclassification. The nonresident classification is a presumption, however, that can be overcome pursuant to the guidelines and standards for establishing Texas residence. (See Residence of Individuals Over 18).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 only when they are attending the same institution which is employing the assistant.

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) Beginning with the 1989-1990 academic year, 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. To qualify for exemption from paying nonresident tuition rates a student must be awarded a competitive scholarship in the amount set out below 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.

At the time the competitive scholarship is made, the institution must designate the term or terms in which the scholarship will be in effect. An institution shall not waive nonresident tuition on the basis of competitive scholarships 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.

(1) During the 1995-96 academic year, students awarded competitive academic scholarships prior to September 1, 1995 may receive a waiver of nonresident tuition for the period covered by the scholarship if the academic scholarship is for at least $200.

(2) During the 1995-96 academic year, students awarded nonacademic competitive scholarships and recipients of any type of competitive scholarships awarded after September 1, 1995 must receive scholarships of at least $500 in order to qualify for a waiver of nonresident tuition during the period covered by the scholarship.

(3) Beginning with awards for fall 1996, competitive scholarships must be for at $1,000 in order to qualify a student for a waiver of nonresident tuition during the period covered by the scholarship.

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.

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 the Lamar University System*, any Texas public junior college or public technical institute as defined by Section 61.003 of this code situated in a county immediately adjacent to the state in which the nonresident student resides. The nonresident junior college student described in this section 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. The nonresident fee prescribed in 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 at a two-year institution in the Lamar University System*, public junior college or public technical institute described in this section 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. The nonresident student at a public junior college or public technical institute described in this section shall pay equivalent fees and charges to those charged Texas students registered at a similar institution in the state in which the nonresident student resides, when such student registers at a Texas public senior upper-level (those institutions offering only junior, senior, and graduate-level programs) institution of higher education, located within the Texas public junior college district or within the county in which the public technical institute is located or adjacent to such county and from which the nonresident student has graduated or completed 45 semester credit hours.

*The Lamar University System was merged with the Texas State University System, effective September 1, 1995. The two-year institutions referred to in this statute are: Lamar University-Orange, Lamar University-Port Arthur, and Lamar University Institute of Technology.

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, in a county immediately adjacent to the nation in which the foreign student resides or who registers in Texas A&M University-Kingsville, 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 section shall pay tuition equal to that charged Texas residents under Sections 54.051 and 54.0512 of this code.

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 are entitled to pay Texas resident rates upon registering in a two-year institution in the Lamar University System or in any Texas public technical college or public junior college if the county in which the public technical college is located is within 100 miles of the state in which the nonresident student resides or the district of the public junior college includes any part of a county that is immediately adjacent to the state of the United States in which the nonresidents reside, provided that Texas residents are entitled to pay in-state fees and charges at a similar school in the bordering state.

Nonresident students described in this section who have graduated or completed 45 semester credit hours at an eligible junior college shall be entitled to pay Texas resident rates at a Texas public senior upper-level institution of higher education (those institutions offering only junior, senior and graduate-level programs) which is located within the Texas public junior college district, provided that Texas residents are entitled to pay in-state fees and charges at a similar institution in the bordering state.

Nonresident public technical college students described in this section who have graduated or completed 45 semester credit hours at an eligible technical college shall be entitled to pay resident rates at a Texas public senior upper level institution which is located in the same county as the public technical college or a county adjacent to that in which the technical college is located, provided that Texas residents are entitled to pay in-state fees and charges at a similar institution in the bordering state.

Reciprocity Letter for Bordering State Institution. The admitting Texas public junior college, public technical college, or public senior upper level institution 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 state 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 in a county bordering Mexico or at Texas A&M University-Kingsville 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, 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 one (1) 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 five (5) 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. 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.

Ad Valorem Tax Payers

Statute: Section 130.003(b) (4) . . . the governing board of a public junior college district may waive the difference in the rate of tuition for nonresident and resident students for a person, and his dependents, who owns property which is subject to ad valorem taxation by the junior college district.

The governing board of a public junior college district may waive the difference in the rate of tuition for nonresident and resident tuition rates 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.

Glossary

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.

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.

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 and the previous tax year.

Minor. An individual who is l7 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 paid or 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.)

Out-of-district student. A Texas resident who does not physically reside within the geographic boundaries of the classifying public junior college taxing 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 community colleges, public 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 student's course work in a semester or term for that institution.


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LAST UPDATE: 5-1-97