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Florida Resident vs. Non-Florida Resident

Under Florida law, there is a difference between being a “Florida Resident” and being a “Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes” in accordance with S1009.21 Florida Statutes, Florida Department of Education Rule  6A-10.044, and the Board of Governors Regulation 7.005.

Living in or attending school in Florida is not tantamount to establishing a legal residence for tuition purposes.

For the purpose of assessing residency and tuition fees, students will be classified as “resident” or “nonresident.” A “resident” for tuition purposes is a student who qualifies for the in-state tuition rate; a “nonresident” for tuition purposes is a student who does not qualify for the in-state tuition rate.

To best help you understand the process, here are some things you need to know about Residency Reclassification.



Applications submitted after the deadline date will not be reviewed and must be resubmitted for the next term.

As the applicant, read the instructions thoroughly before beginning the reclassification application. Please ensure that all sections of the application and all required documents are complete before submission. PDF copies of all documentation is required before a decision can be rendered. JPG photos, PNG photos, or HEIC photos of applications and/or documents are not acceptable and will be returned. The following items are not acceptable forms of documentation to establish that one has been living in Florida for 12 months: birth certificate; Social Security card; passport; shopping club/rental cards; theme park annual passes; bank statements; cell phone bills; hunting/fishing permit; concealed weapons permit; credit card bills; cable bills/statements; vessel, boat, dune buggy or other recreational vehicles; medical bills or doctor’s notes.

No single piece of documentation will be considered conclusive.

As documentation is reviewed, additional requests for documentation or clarifying statements may be sent to the student. Monitor your UCF email closely to ensure you receive all communication regarding your reclassification application.

Approved residency reclassification will not be applied retroactively to previous terms.

Every effort will be made to have a decision made by the Payment Deadline date. However, residency reclassification decisions can take up to six weeks because of the evaluative process required. Submitting applications as early as possible is crucial. Please see the Academic Calendar at

Initial Residency Classification vs. Residency Reclassification

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the College of Graduate Studies Admissions determines a brand new student’s initial residency classification when the student applies to UCF. (These links will not take you to the Registrar’s Office Residency Reclassification application)

Failure to provide all relevant information and required documentation in the residency section of the admission application could result in an initial non-Florida or out-of-state resident classification for tuition purposes.

Enrolled undergraduate students who are classified as non-Florida residents for tuition purposes and who believe they may qualify for in-state tuition effective with the next academic semester may submit a Residency Reclassification petition with the Registrar’s Office. Enrolled graduate students who are classified as non-Florida residents for tuition purposes and who believe they may qualify for in-state tuition effective with the next academic semester may submit a Residency Reclassification petition with the College of Graduate Studies.

Documentation Needed for Reclassification

The evidentiary requirement for reclassification goes beyond that for the initial residency classification because these students have previously been determined to be out-of-state residents.

A student who is initially classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes may become eligible for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes only if that student, or his or her parent if that student is a dependent, presents clear and convincing documentation that supports maintaining a bona fide domicile (permanent legal residency) in the state of Florida for 12 consecutive months, rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrolling at an institution of higher education.

Documentation must demonstrate that the student or, if the student is a dependent, the student’s parent has maintained legal residence in Florida for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately prior to the first day of classes for the term for which residency reclassification is sought except as otherwise provided in section 1009.21(6).

Dependent vs. Independent Students

The determination of dependent or independent student status is important because it is the basis for whether the student has to submit his/her own documentation for residency (as an independent) or his/her parent’s or guardian’s documentation of residency (as a dependent). Parent means one or both of the parents of a student, any guardian of a student or any person in a parental relationship for at least 3 years to a student.

Proof of relationship may be required if you do not indicate a parental/guardian relationship with your claimant, or if your last names are different. Acceptable documentation for proof of relationship may include: birth certificate(s), marriage certificate (if name differs from birth certificate), or your claimant’s prior year’s tax documents. A combination of these documents may be required if a single form of proof is inconclusive.

Independent Students

A student who meets any of the following criteria shall be classified as an independent student for the determination of residency for tuition purposes:

  • The student is 24 years of age or older prior to the Proof of Florida Residency Deadline listed in the Academic Calendar.
  • You are married. (Copy of marriage certificate required.)
  • You have children who receive more than half of their support from you, the student.
  • You have other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from you, the student.
  • The student is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or is currently serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard or Reserves for purposes other than training.
  • At any time since the student turned age 13, where both of the student’s parents are deceased, or the student is or was (until age 18) one of the following:
  • (a) a ward/dependent of the court or
  • (b) in foster care.
  • The student is determined an unaccompanied homeless youth by a school district homeless liaison, or by a staff member of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
  • The student is working on a master’s or doctoral degree during the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution.

A student who does not meet any of the criteria outlined above may be classified as an independent student only if he or she submits documentation that he or she provides fifty (50) percent or more of the cost of attendance for independent, in-state students as defined by the Office of Student Financial Assistance (exclusive of federal, state, and institutional aid or scholarships).

Dependent Students

All other students who do not meet the definition of an independent student shall be classified as dependent students for the determination of residency for tuition purposes. For a student to qualify as a dependent, or a parental adult other than the biological parent or legal guardian, the student must have resided continuously with the adult for the 3 years immediately prior to the student’s initial enrollment in an institution of higher education, during which time the adult exercised day-to-day care, supervision, and control of the student pursuant to 1009.21 (2) (b).

Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes

Despite the length of time a student attends UCF, they may not qualify for “Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes”. To be considered a “Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes,” a student must prove through official and/or legal documents that they have moved to Florida permanently and not merely living in Florida temporarily while they attend UCF. All supporting documents (for example; driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration card, lease, proof of full-time employment; etc. [not a comprehensive list] ) must be dated 12 calendar months prior to the first day of classes for the requested reclassification term. Please see the Academic Calendar at There are no exceptions to this requirement.

The Registrar’s Office cannot consider personal justifications for documents not meeting the 12-month requirement. For example, “I have a Florida driver’s license/vehicle registration now, but I did not get it when I moved here a year ago because . . .”, is not a personal justification that can be considered.

Rent receipts, leases, employment records are not evidence in itself of legal Florida residence as they show physical presence only. By themselves, they do not qualify you for Residency Reclassification.

Legal ties to another state or country will disqualify students from Residency Reclassification.

Evidence that a student is the financial dependent of an out-of-state resident will disqualify the student from Residency Reclassification. Financial hardship cannot be considered in Residency Reclassification.

Residency Reclassification Application

The absolute deadline for this Application and ALL COPIES accompanying documentation proving Florida residency for tuition purposes is one week (7 calendar days) before the first day of classes for the semester in which the student seeks reclassification. Please see the Academic Calendar at Applications submitted after the deadline date will not be reviewed and must be resubmitted for the next term. Applications for previous semesters will not be accepted.

The University of Central Florida uses UCF email as the official method of communication and notification during the review process. As the student, please ensure that you have activated your UCF e-mail account for purposes of receiving important information related to your application.

Applications can be found here.

Appealing a Residency Decision

In cases where the applicant expresses a desire to appeal the residency classification decision and submit a formal residency appeal, the matter will be referred to the University Residency Appeals Committee. The written appeal and any additional supporting documentation must be submitted within 30 days of the denial. Applicants will be notified online of the decision following the final review.

The Residency Appeals Committee’s decision is final for the term.

Please contact the Residency Reclassification area in the University Registrar’s Office for any questions (