California Residency Information
Law Governing Residence
The rules regarding legal residence for tuition purposes at Los Medanos College are governed by the California Education Code. Under these rules, adult citizens or certain classes of aliens can establish residence for tuition purposes. There are also particular rules that apply to the residence classification of minors (see below).
Who is a California Resident?
If you are an adult who is not an alien present in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant status which precludes you from establishing domicile in the U.S. (e.g., a B, F, H2, H3, or J visa) and you want to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes, you must have established your continuous presence in California more than one year prior to the starting date for the semester during which you wish to attend (LMC). You must also present evidence that you intend to make California your permanent home.
Evidence of intent must be dated one year before the term for which you seek resident classification. Physical presence within the state solely for educational purposes does not constitute the establishment of California residence under state law, regardless of the length of your stay. Your residence cannot be derived from your spouse nor, since you are an adult, from your parents. Likewise, a registered domestic partner does not derive residence from the other registered domestic partner.
Establishing Intent to Become a California Resident
Indications of your intent to make California your permanent residence can include the items below. Indications of your intent to make California your permanent residence can include
- registering to vote and voting in California elections
- designating California as your permanent address on all school and employment records, including military records if you are in the military service
- obtaining a California driver's license or, if you never had a driver's license from any state, a California Identification Card
- obtaining California vehicle registration
- paying California income taxes as a resident, including taxes on income earned outside California from the date you establish residence
- establishing a California residence in which you keep your permanent belongings
licensing for professional practice in California
- the absence of these indications in other states during any period for which you claim California residence.
Documentary evidence is required. All relevant indications will be considered in determining your classification. Your intent will be questioned if you return to your prior state of residence when the College is not in session.
On the above items you must produce documentary evidence. The burden of proof is on the student to demonstrate clearly both physical presence in the state of California and intent to establish permanent California residence. Presence and intent may be manifested in many ways - no one factor is controlling. All documents presented must be valid, readable, dated at least one year before the residence determination date, and be properly identified with respect to student’s name and address. Your intent will be questioned if you return to your prior state of residence when the college is not in session.
Financial Independence Requirement
If your parents are not residents of California for tuition purposes, you will be required to be financially independent in order to be a resident for tuition purposes. If you are an adult student and your parents are not California residents, you must demonstrate financial independence, along with physical presence and intent, when seeking resident classification for tuition purposes. You are considered "financially independent" if one or more of the following applies:
- the student is at least 24 years of age by December 31 of the calendar year for which resident classification is requested
- the student is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- the student is a ward of the court or both parents are deceased
- the student has legal dependents other than a spouse
- the student is married or has a registered domestic partner, and was not claimed as an income tax deduction by parents or any other individual for the tax year immediately preceding the term for which resident classification is requested
- the student is a single undergraduate student and was not claimed as an income tax deduction by parents or any other individual for the two tax years immediately preceding the term for which resident classification is requested, and can demonstrate self-sufficiency for those two years and the current year
- the student reached the age of 18 in California while his or her parents were residents of California, and the parents left the state to establish a residence elsewhere while the student continued to be a resident of California after the parents' departure
Verifying Financial Independence
To verify financial independence (self-support) per item 6 above, you must document your income and verify that you were not claimed as an exemption by parents or anyone else for the two years prior to the request for residence. You are also required to present a budget showing how you are able to be supported by the funds claimed. Self-support is defined as money the student has earned through his or her own employment or loans obtained with the student's own credit, without a cosigner. A gift or loan to the student from a parent, grandparent, or other family member does not constitute self-support regardless of the terms.
Residing in California with an aunt, uncle, grandparent, or friend who provides the student with room and board cannot be considered self-support, even if that person meets the (LMC) residence requirement.
General Rules Applying to Minors
If you are an unmarried minor (under age 18), the residence of the parent with whom you live is considered your residence. If you have a parent living, you cannot change your residence by your own act, by the appointment of a legal guardian, or by the relinquishment of a parent's right of control. If you live with neither parent, your residence is that of the parent with whom you last lived. Unless you are a minor alien present in the U.S. under the terms of a nonimmigrant status which precludes you from establishing domicile in the U.S., you may establish your own residence when both your parents are deceased and a legal guardian has not been appointed. If you derive California residence from a parent, that residence must satisfy the one-year requirement.
If you submitted an online application and you have been classified as a non-resident for tuition purposes, and you feel this is in error, fill out the Residency Reclassification Request and submit it to Admissions & Records with appropriate documentation to prove your status. You must request reclassification by the end of the term in which you have been charged non-resident tuition or you will be responsible for the higher tuition amount.
If you have lived in California for over a year and need to be reclassified, you will need to fill out the Residency Reclassification Request and submit it to Admissions & Records with appropriate documentation to prove your status. This reclassification is not an automatic process.
You may turn in your documentation and residency request to Admissions & Records. We will respond by email within 2 business days of the results of the residency reclassification. On Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, we will perform on the spot residency reclassification requests. If you turn in incomplete requests, your request will be denied and you will need to start over.
Please resolve your residency reclassification by the end of the semester in which you incurred the fees. Under no circumstances will a residency reclassification be processed beyond the end of the academic year (end of spring term in May).
AB540 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request
For Eligible California High School Graduates
Any student, other than a non-immigrant alien, who meets all of the following requirements
exempt from paying non-resident tuition at the California Community Colleges.
- The student must have attended a high school (public or private) in California for three or more years.
- The student must have graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent prior to the start of the term (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).
- An alien student who is without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that he or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so.
- The student must be currently living in California.
- Students who are non-immigrants [for example, those who hold F (student) visas, B (visitor) visas, etc.] are not eligible for this exemption.
- The student must file an exemption request including a signed affidavit with the college that indicates the student has met all applicable conditions described above. Student information obtained in this process is strictly confidential unless disclosure is required under law.
- Students eligible for this exemption who are transferring to another California public college or university must submit a new request ( and documentation if required) to each college under consideration.
- Non-resident students meeting the criteria will be exempted from the payment of nonresident tuition, but they will not be classified as California residents. They continue to be “non-residents”.
- AB540 does not provide student financial aid eligibility for undocumented alien students. These students remain ineligible for state and federal financial aid.
Effective January 1, 2014 - concurrently enrolled students (high school students enrolled in college classes) who are classified as non-resident students for tuition purposes may be eligible for the SB150 waiver of non-resident tuition while still in high school. Students must be special admit part-time (enrolled in 11 units or less) students who currently reside in California and are attending high school in California. Students wishing to take advantage of this exemption should complete a residency reclassification form and attach a copy of high school transcripts showing current enrollment. Forms and attachments should be submitted to the Admissions and Records Office.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Effective June, 2014 - Students who have been given a C33 Visa (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) may qualify for California residency with appropriate documentation. Please contact Admissions & Records for more information.