Admission Information

Residency Information

Residency refers to whether you are an in-state Florida resident or an out-of-state resident. This classification is important since it determines your tuition rate.

What are the requirements for establishing Florida residency? The rules of the road are set forth in Florida state statute Section 1009.21. The most important thing to keep in mind is that living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition purposes.

When you apply to the university, your initial residency classification is determined by the Office of Admissions based on information you provide with your application. If we don’t receive enough information to determine your residency, you will be classified as a non-Florida resident for tuition purposes. It’s very important to respond to requests for information about your residency as soon as possible.

You have until the last day of classes in your first term to request a re-evaluation of your initial residency status by providing sufficient documentation. However, if your residency status is listed as non-Florida at the time that classes begin, you will be assessed out-of-state tuition charges.

Once you have completed your first term at USF, you can request a reclassification of your residency status from the Office of the Registrar.

How to Qualify

Florida statute requires the claimant to be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien (hold a green card), or legal alien granted indefinite stay by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to claim in-state residency. Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status. The claimant must have established and maintained a legal Florida residence for at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the semester for which in-state status is sought. In other words, if a student is applying for the Fall term, the documents submitted to complete the Florida residency review must be issued at least one year prior to the Fall term's start date.

In-state status is only for those residents who reside in the state permanently with established legal domicile in Florida. Permanent Florida residency is demonstrated by the absence of ties to any other state and establishment of a bona fide domicile in Florida. An out-of-state permanent address on pertinent records can result in an out-of-state classification as it indicates established ties to another state.

Students may qualify for Florida residency status through dependenceindependence, or an exception.

For residency purposes a student is considered...

DEPENDENT if under the age of 24 and not a graduate student

INDEPENDENT if age 24 or older OR a graduate student OR under the age of 24 and can claim independence by the proof of a marriage license, proof of a dependent, or proof of financial independence.

Dependent Status

A dependent student is considered a legal resident of the same state as his or her parent or legal guardian (the claimant). If the claimant is a legal guardian and NOT the student's parent, additional guardianship documentation will be required (see Section II). Graduate students (under the age of 24) can be considered as a dependent if they provide proof of dependency (see section III).

To qualify for in-state status, the claimant must complete the Residency Declaration Form and submit copies of eligible documents.

I. Eligible Residency Documents

The State of Florida requires the submission of two documents which must be dated/issued at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the semester for which Florida residency is sought. Moreover, if there is evidence of legal ties to another state, Florida residency may not be claimed. The documents submitted must include at least one proof from the list of Primary documents below. No single document shall be conclusive.

Primary Documents:

  • Florida driver's license or State Identification card
  • Florida vehicle registration
  • Florida voter's registration
  • Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida
  • Letter on company letterhead stating that the claimant has been employed at least 30 hours per week for at least 12 months

Secondary Documents:

  • A declaration of domicile in Florida (the date that an applicant shall be deemed as establishing residency for tuition purposes shall be 12 months from the date that the Clerk of Circuit Court notes the declaration)
  • A Florida professional or occupational license
  • Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
  • Documents evidencing a Florida incorporation
  • Proof of 12 consecutive months of payment on a water, electric, or natural gas bill OR proof of a lease agreement and 12 consecutive months of payment

II. Proof of Guardianship (required if claimant is NOT the student's parent)

  • Documents showing Court appointed guardianship (power of attorney is NOT sufficient)
  • Three consecutive years of tax returns in which the student is claimed as a dependent by the claimant

Students and claimants who are non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

III. Proof of Dependency (required if student is a graduate student (under 24) and claimant is the student's parent and/or guardian)

  • Claimant is the student's parent
    • Copy of most recent tax return showing the student was claimed as a financial dependent
  • Claimant is the student's guardian
    • Copy of most recent tax return showing the student was claimed as a financial dependent
      • AND
    • Documents showing Court appointed guardianship (power of attorney is NOT sufficient)
      • OR
    • Three consecutive years of tax returns in which the student is claimed as a dependent by the claimant 

Independent Status

Undergraduate students age 24 or older and all graduate students regardless of age are presumed to be independent by the State. All other students seeking to claim independence must provide proof of independence in addition to Florida residency documentation (see Section II).

To qualify for in-state status, the student must complete the Residency Affidavit and submit copies of eligible documents.

I. Eligible Residency Documents

The State of Florida requires the submission of two documents which must be dated/issued at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the semester for which Florida residency is sought. Moreover, if there is evidence of legal ties to another state, Florida residency may not be claimed. The documents submitted must include at least one proof from the list of Primary documents below. No single document shall be conclusive.

Primary Documents:

  • Florida driver's license or State Identification card
  • Florida vehicle registration
  • Florida voter's registration
  • Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida
  • Letter on company letterhead stating that the claimant has been employed at least 30 hours per week for at least 12 months

Secondary Documents:

  • A declaration of domicile in Florida (the date that an applicant shall be deemed as establishing residency for tuition purposes shall be 12 months from the date that the Clerk of Circuit Court notes the declaration)
  • A Florida professional or occupational license
  • Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
  • Documents evidencing a Florida incorporation
  • Proof of 12 consecutive months of payment on a water, electric, or natural gas bill OR proof of a lease agreement and 12 consecutive months of payment

II. Proof of Independence (required if student is under the age of 24 and is NOT a graduate student)

Students seeking to claim residency as an independent must submit one of the following along with eligible residency documentation outlined above.

  • Marriage license
  • Tax return indicating that the student claims a dependent child OR copy of child's birth certificate
  • Copy of student's tax return (1040) indicating that they have earned at least 51% of the estimated cost of attendance* for the application year AND copy of parent's tax return (1040) indicating that the student is NOT claimed on the parent's taxes

*The estimate is based on the cost of attendance for in-state residents.

Students and claimants who are non-U.S. citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status. 

Exceptions

In special cases, Florida statute provides accommodation for a student to receive classification for in-state tuition purposes when supporting documentation is submitted. A student should only request residency classification using one of these categories if they do not qualify as either an independent or a dependent student.

Students must submit the supporting documentation along with the Residency Affidavit. All letters of verification must include a contact name and telephone number so university staff can confirm the information you provided.

In special cases, Florida statute provides accommodation for a student to receive classification for in-state tuition purposes when supporting documentation is submitted. A student should only request residency classification using one of these categories if they do not qualify as either an independent or a dependent student.

Students must submit the supporting documentation along with the Residency Affidavit. All letters of verification must include a contact name and telephone number so university staff can confirm the information you provided.

Exception 1: I am married to a person who has maintained legal residence in Florida for at least 12 months.

Required Documentation:

Copy of marriage license, AND Residency Affidavit completed by the spouse AND two eligible residency documents.

Eligible Residency Documents:

The State of Florida requires the submission of two documents which must be dated/issued at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the semester for which Florida residency is sought. Moreover, if there is evidence of legal ties to another state, Florida residency may not be claimed. The documents submitted must include at least one proof from the list of Primary documents below. No single document shall be conclusive.

Primary Documents:

  • Florida driver's license or State Identification card
  • Florida vehicle registration
  • Florida voter's registration
  • Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida
  • Letter on company letterhead stating that the claimant has been employed at least 30 hours per week for at least 12 months

Secondary Documents:

  • A declaration of domicile in Florida (the date that an applicant shall be deemed as establishing residency for tuition purposes shall be 12 months from the date that the Clerk of Circuit Court notes the declaration)
  • A Florida professional or occupational license
  • Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
  • Documents evidencing a Florida incorporation
  • Proof of 12 consecutive months of payment on a water, electric, or natural gas bill OR proof of a lease agreement and 12 consecutive months of payment
  • Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 2: I am a member of the armed services of the United States and I am stationed in Florida on active military duty pursuant to military orders, or my home of record is Florida, or I am a member's spouse or dependent child.

Required Documentation:

  • Copy of military orders or DD-2058 showing home of record, AND
  • For a spouse, copy of marriage license
  • For a dependent child, copy of the claimant's most recent federal income tax return indicating that the student was claimed as a dependent.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 3: I am a full-time instructional or administrative employee of a Florida public school, community college, or institution of higher education, or I am the employee's spouse or dependent child.

Required Documentation*:

  • Copy of employment contract OR letter from employer verifying employment as a full-time instructional or administrative employee, AND
    • For a spouse, copy of marriage license
    • For a dependent child, copy of the claimant's most recent federal income tax return indicating that the student was claimed as a dependent.

*Please Note: You must still show proof of Florida residency. This option is only intended to waive the 12-month requirement on your residency documents.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 4: I am a student from Latin America and the Caribbean who receives scholarships from the Federal or State government. I attend a Florida institution on a full-time basis.

Required Documentation:

Copy of scholarship award letter for the current academic year.

Note: You must also be a citizen of a Latin American or Caribbean nation receiving a scholarship award from a Florida state agency of at least $500 per academic year. Privately administered scholarships do not qualify. Reclassification as a temporary Florida resident for tuition purposes is valid only for the academic year(s) in which the scholarship is awarded.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 5: I am a qualified beneficiary under the terms of the Florida Pre-Paid Post-Secondary Expense Program per s.1009.988(2) (Pre-Paid ID Card Required).

Required Documentation:

Copy of the front and back of your Florida pre-paid postsecondary expense card.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 6: I am a dependent person who has resided for five years with an adult relative other than my parent/legal guardian and my relative has maintained legal residence in Florida for at least 12 months.

Required Documentation:

Copies of your adult relative's federal income tax returns for the past five years, establishing the familial relationship and indicating that you were claimed as a dependent, AND Residency Affidavit completed by the relative AND two eligible residency documents.

Eligible Residency Documents

The State of Florida requires the submission of two documents which must be dated/issued at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the semester for which Florida residency is sought. Moreover, if there is evidence of legal ties to another state, Florida residency may not be claimed. The documents submitted must include at least one proof from the list of Primary documents below. No single document shall be conclusive.

Primary Documents:

  • Florida driver's license or State Identification card
  • Florida vehicle registration
  • Florida voter's registration
  • Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida
  • Letter on company letterhead stating that the claimant has been employed at least 30 hours per week for at least 12 months

Secondary Documents:

  • A declaration of domicile in Florida (the date that an applicant shall be deemed as establishing residency for tuition purposes shall be 12 months from the date that the Clerk of Circuit Court notes the declaration)
  • A Florida professional or occupational license
  • Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
  • Documents evidencing a Florida incorporation
  • Proof of 12 consecutive months of payment on a water, electric, or natural gas bill OR proof of a lease agreement and 12 consecutive months of payment

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 7: I was previously enrolled as a Florida resident for tuition purposes at a Florida public institution. I abandoned my Florida domicile less than 12 months ago and I am now re-establishing Florida legal residence.

Required Documentation:

Proof that you have previously paid in-state tuition and proof that you have relinquished any and all legal ties to the state of your most recent previous residence AND that you have re-established at least two legal ties with the state of Florida as proven through the submission of the Residency Affidavit AND two eligible residency documents.

Eligible Residency Documents

The State of Florida requires the submission of two documents which must be dated/issued at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for the semester for which Florida residency is sought. Moreover, if there is evidence of legal ties to another state, Florida residency may not be claimed. The documents submitted must include at least one proof from the list of Primary documents below. No single document shall be conclusive.

Primary Documents:

  • Florida driver's license or State Identification card
  • Florida vehicle registration
  • Florida voter's registration
  • Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida
  • Letter on company letterhead stating that the claimant has been employed at least 30 hours per week for at least 12 months

Secondary Documents:

  • A declaration of domicile in Florida (the date that an applicant shall be deemed as establishing residency for tuition purposes shall be 12 months from the date that the Clerk of Circuit Court notes the declaration)
  • A Florida professional or occupational license
  • Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
  • Documents evidencing a Florida incorporation
  • Proof of 12 consecutive months of payment on a water, electric, or natural gas bill OR proof of a lease agreement and 12 consecutive months of payment

You may be asked to provide evidence of previous issue dates for these items, such as a transcript from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 8: I am a United States citizen living on the Isthmus of Panama and have completed 12 consecutive months of college work at the Florida State University Panama Canal Branch or I am the student's spouse or dependent child.

Required Documentation:

  • Copy of transcript OR a letter of enrollment certification from FSU verifying enrollment at the Panama Canal Branch for the past three terms, AND
  • For a spouse, copy of marriage license
  • For a dependent child, copy of the claimant's most recent federal income tax return indicating that the student was claimed as a dependent.
  • Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 9: I am a Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market graduate student attending Florida's State University.

Required Documentation:

A letter of certification from the state coordinator for the Southern Regional Education Board's Academic Common Market.

Exception 10: I am a full-time employee of a State agency or political subdivision of the State whose student fees are paid by the State agency or political subdivision for the purpose of job-related law enforcement or correction training.

Required Documentation:

A letter of verification from employer indicating you are a fulltime employee of a State agency or political subdivision AND you are enrolling in courses for the purpose of job-related law enforcement or corrections training.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 11: I am a McKnight Fellowship recipient.

Required Documentation:

A letter of verification from the Graduate School certifying that you are a McKnight Fellowship recipient.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Exception 12: I am an active member of the Florida National Guard who qualifies under Florida Statutes s.250.10(7) and (8) for tuition assistance.

Required Documentation:

Your Interstate Transfer Contract, NGB form 22-5-R-E, if you are an active National Guardsman who has been transferred to Florida from another state, OR Your US Armed Forces enlist/re-enlist document, DD 4/1 and 4/2, if you have left the active armed services and have entered the National Guard.

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Students and claimants who are Non-U.S. Citizens are required to submit documentation to verify permanent resident or visa status IN ADDITION to documentation required for in-state status.

Required Documentation: Proof of Florida residency as a dependentindependent or exceptionAND

For a permanent resident alien, acceptable documentation includes:

  • A copy of the front and back of resident alien card, OR
  • Proof of issuance of an I-551, OR
  • A copy of your I-485 indicating approval for a change in status.

For an international student, proof of visa status is required. Only the following categories of visa holders are eligible for consideration. All others are ineligible to establish Florida residency for tuition purposes.

  • Visa category A - Government official
  • Visa category E - Treaty trader or investor
  • Visa category G - Representative of international organization
  • Visa category H-1 - Temporary worker performing professional nursing services or in a specialty occupation
  • Visa category H-4 - Only if spouse or child of alien is classified H-1
  • Visa category I – Foreign information media representative
  • Visa category K – Fiancé, fiancée or child of a United States citizen
  • Visa category L – Intracompany transferee (including spouse or child)
  • Visa category N – Parent or child of alien accorded special immigrant status
  • Visa category O-1 – Workers of "extraordinary" ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics
  • Visa category O-3 – Only if spouse or child of alien is classified O-1
  • Visa category R – Religious workers
  • Visa category NATO I-7 – Representatives of NATO and their families

Non-U.S. citizens in the following categories are also eligible to establish Florida residency for tuition purposes.

  • Citizens of Micronesia
  • Citizens of the Marshall Islands
  • Beneficiaries of the Family Unity Program
  • Individuals granted temporary protected status
  • Individuals granted withholding of deportation status
  • Individuals granted suspension of deportation status or cancellation of removal
  • Individuals granted a stay of deportation status
  • Individuals granted deferred enforced departure status
  • Applicants for adjustment of status
  • Asylum applicants with INS receipt or Immigration Court stamp