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Frequently Asked Questions about
Residency for Tuition Purposes

  1. How do I qualify for residency for tuition purposes?
    All students seeking a reclassification of their residency status must complete the Residency Reclassification ApplicationCertification Form for Resident Exceptions for Tuition Purposes, or Application for In-State Tuition Based Upon Military Service Exceptions and submit it with the required supporting documentation to the Office of Admissions by the term deadline.

    A student seeking in-state (resident) tuition must be a United States citizen, have been granted legal immigrant or permanent U.S. resident status, or have obtained asylum or refugee status under U.S. immigration law. Residency reclassification will not be granted to foreign nationals without proof of permanent resident, asylum, or refugee status in the United States.

    Individuals who came to Utah for the purpose of attending an institution of higher education must meet the requirements of the general rule of the law, or “One Year Rule.” Most undergraduate students apply for residency based upon the One Year Rule, although incoming graduate students (including those in the Medical and Dental programs) may apply under this policy if they qualify prior to the start of their graduate studies. Students applying under the One Year Rule must:

    • Reside (be physically present) in Utah for twelve continuous months immediately prior to the beginning of the semester for which they are seeking residency.
    • Not be claimed as a dependent on the federal tax returns of any person who is not a resident of Utah.
    • Take overt steps to establish intent to become a resident of Utah by relinquishing domiciliary ties (such as driver’s license, vehicle registration, and/or voter registration) held in any other state and establishing them in Utah several months prior to the first day of class for the term for which the student is seeking resident status.

    University of Utah institutional policy states that, in addition to meeting the requirements of the general rule of the law, once he or she has begun graduate school, a graduate non-resident student, except for those in the Medical or Dental programs, must earn 40 graduate level semester credit hours at the University of Utah prior to the term for which the student is seeking resident status. Non-resident students entering the School of Medicine or the School of Dentistry will retain their non-resident classification and pay tuition at that rate for the duration of their Medical/Dental studies, unless they qualify under a military service exception. 

  2. What are the residency reclassification application term deadlines?
    Applications for reclassification are accepted for all three academic terms. Students must submit the reclassification application or the certification form by the appropriate term deadline:
    • Summer Term April 1
    • Fall Semester July 1
    • Spring Semester November 1
  3. How can I prove that I have been in Utah for the required 12 continuous months?
    • The following documents can be used to prove physical presence:
      • A transcript verifying enrollment in on-campus, term-length classes at a Utah college or university. Transcripts only can be used to verify dates classes were in session.
      • Copies of pay stubs for the required time period or a letter from a Utah employer verifying physical presence for work inside the state of Utah (letter must be on company letterhead, dated, include from and to dates of employment and be signed by someone authorized to verify the student’s employment).
    • The following documents cannot be used to prove physical presence:
      • Utility bills
      • Lease/rental agreements
      • W-2 forms 
      • Letters from friends
    • It is your responsibility to be able to prove your physical presence in Utah for the required twelve month period.As the residency application deadlines are generally earlier than when a student meets the 12-month rule, you will be expected to follow up with our office and continue to provide proof of physical presence for the full 12-month period in question. It is essential that you submit your application for residency reclassification prior to the term deadline. You will be allowed to continue submitting documentation required to prove eligibility for reclassification up to the Friday of the first week of term-length classes.
  4. During the 12 continuous months I am establishing residency in Utah, can I go home to see my family during holidays or summer breaks?
    A student may have limited travel outside the state of Utah, but total absences during the twelve continuous month time period cannot exceed a cumulative total of 29 days, including all holiday breaks, school breaks, and summer months. Remember that until you are granted residency for tuition purposes, it is in your best interest to do all you can to present a strong case for residency reclassification.
  5. Which tax forms will I need to verify my Financial Independence?
    We require a copy of the student’s federal tax return for the tax year prior to the academic year for which the student is seeking residency reclassification. If a student does not claim themselves or does not file federal tax returns, they will need to provide a copy of their parents’ federal tax return for the prior tax year. For example, if a student is applying for residency for Summer Semester 2017, Fall Semester 2017, or Spring Semester 2018, we require federal tax returns for the 2016 tax year.

    Please note that W-2 forms cannot be used to verify financial independence.
  6. What if I came to Utah for non-educational reasons?Are there exceptions to the One-Year Rule or Graduate Rule?
    There are exceptions to the general rule of the law that will allow you to apply and qualify immediately for residency. The exceptions are listed in the
  7. What documents do I need to provide to prove that I have established my domiciliary ties or a permanent residence in Utah? 
    All students submitting a Residency Reclassification Application must take overt steps to prove their intent to make Utah their permanent residence. You must provide a copy of a Utah driver’s license, Utah car registration (if you operate a vehicle in Utah), and Utah voter registration (if you are a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older). 

    Students applying under the Undergraduate Policy (One Year Rule) or Graduate Policy must demonstrate that they have relinquished domiciliary ties held in any other state and established them in Utah by the deadlines listed below, which fall before the Residency Reclassification Application deadlines.

    • Summer Term February 1
    • Fall Semester May 1
    • Spring Semester October 1
  8. Why do I have to change my driver’s license and car registration to Utah in order to qualify for residency?
    Students who hold domiciliary ties in any other state MUST change them to Utah. Part of qualifying for residency for tuition purposes is showing that you have established your domicile in Utah and have the intent to make Utah your permanent residence. Establishing legal ties such as a Utah driver license and relinquishing such ties from your previous domicile proves your intent to establish a permanent domicile in Utah. You may review the policies on driver’s licenses and car registration at and
  9. What if I do not hold a driver’s license from any state and do not drive; how can I meet this requirement?
    If you do not hold a valid driver’s license from any state and you do not drive, you are required to provide a Utah ID card. See the Utah Department of Public Safety website for details on applying for a Utah driver’s license or ID card:
  10. What if I am not registered to vote in any state and choose not to register?
    If you are not registered to vote in any state and do not choose to register, you must indicate your choice on your residency application. If you wish to register to vote, you may do so online with the voting office in the county in which you reside or call the voting office for other options on how to register.
  11. Do you have to be a United States citizen in order to qualify for residency for tuition purposes?
    You must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident, asylum, or refugee status in the U.S. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must submit verification of your status.
  12. Can I find out if I will be admitted as a resident or nonresident before I apply for admission to the University of Utah?
    No. Your initial residency classification is made in the admissions process. If you are admitted, your official letter of acceptance will tell you your residency classification. If you are coded a nonresident and feel you qualify under our state residency law as a resident, you may file a Residency Reclassification Application with the supporting documentation to show how you qualify based on the residency policy. Be sure to submit your application by or before the term deadline.
  13. What if I’ve been granted residency by another Utah state school? Do I have to file another application with the University of Utah? 
    The University of Utah honors the resident status determination by other Utah System of Higher Education institutions unless the student never attended the other Utah school as a resident student, or the resident classification was obtained under false pretense, or the facts at the time of the granting of residency have changed significantly. 

    If a student has attended another Utah school within the last year as a resident and wishes to carry this resident status as he/she transfers to the University of Utah, the student must complete the Certification Form for Resident Exceptions for Tuition Purposes and submit it by the term deadline with a copy of their Utah driver’s license and a letter from the other USHE school verifying their attendance and resident classification.
  14. What do I need to do after I have turned in my residency reclassification application? How will I know if I’ve been reclassified?

    We will begin evaluating applications for Spring Semester in November, Summer Semester in February, and Fall Semester in May. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. We will notify applicants through his/her UMail account if additional documentation is required. Once a decision has been made regarding an applicant’s eligibility, we will notify them through their UMail account as well. If you have not heard any response from us within four weeks of submitting your application, please contact the Office of Admissions at or (801) 581-8761, option 5 to determine the status of your application.


Revised 8/2016

Last Updated: 7/13/18