Filling out the residency section of a public “Florida university or college” has been a continuing problem for many years. Failure to properly complete this section of your application may cause you to be denied the “in-state tuition” discount offered to Florida residents.
Remember for the most part, applying high school students are considered “dependent” and therefore must enter their parents residency information and NOT theirs.
Florida Residency for Tuition Classification - Required Documentation
Students who are admitted to public-supported postsecondary educational institutions in Florida, including state universities and colleges, must complete a declaration and provide proof of “Florida residency for tuition classification purposes,” in accordance with state law. Applicable state laws on this subject are 1009.21, Florida Statutes (F.S.) and 6A-10.044, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).
The following information serves as a summary of the Florida Residency requirements.
Information about Florida Residency for Tuition Classification
The tuition amount due for the classes in which you enroll is determined by your residency classification. Florida residents pay a much lower tuition rate than out-of-state residents. All students who apply online will be admitted as non-Florida residents until each student provides the required declaration form and supporting documentation needed to prove Florida residency. You will be charged out-of-state tuition if you do not provide this information to an MDC campus Admissions and Registration Office before the first day of the term.
Florida Residency for Tuition Classification Purposes Documentation Requirements
Living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition classification purposes. Your residence in Florida must be based on establishing a permanent home unrelated to college enrollment. Students who depend on out-of-state parents for support are presumed to be legal residents of the same state as their parents. Additional determinations, such as immigration and dependent/independent status may affect Florida residency for tuition classification. The documents required to establish initial classification and reclassification are explained below.
Non-U.S. citizen students and/or their parent(s)/guardian must provide evidence of eligible legal immigration status in the U.S. before they may be considered for Florida resident fees. Please check with your Admissions and Registration Office for more specific information on the non-U.S. citizen categories that are eligible to be considered for Florida resident fees.
A Florida resident for tuition purposes is an independent person, or a dependent person’s parent, who has established and maintained legal residency in Florida for at least 12 consecutive months before the first day of the term. Listed below are the definitions of “independent” and “dependent” statuses, as applicable to Florida residency for tuition classification purposes.
- Dependent Status
Students under the age of 24 are considered “dependent” automatically, unless proven otherwise. Dependent students must provide their parent’s or guardian’s documentation for residency. A “parent”, as defined by s. 1009.21, Florida Statutes, means either or both parents of a student, any guardian of a student, or any person in a parental relationship to the student. Documentation in the form of IRS tax return transcripts showing that the student was claimed as a dependent in the previous income tax year may be required.
- Independent Status
Students age 24 and over are considered “independent” automatically, unless proven otherwise. Students who claim to be “independent” and are under the age of 24 must meet one of the following criteria and must provide the indicated documents:
- Prove 50% or more of their own support, as indicated by the previous year IRS tax return transcripts showing a minimum income of $13,767. Independent students cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person on their taxes; or
- Proof of marriage, as indicated by a marriage license; or
- Be a veteran of the United States military service, as indicated on form DD214; or
- Be a ward of the court, as indicated on court documents.
All documents supporting the establishment of Florida residency for tuition classification purposes must:
- Be original and unaltered, as well as dated, issued, or filed twelve (12) months before the first day of the term in which the Florida residency-for-tuition-purposes classification is requested.
- Be received no later than the 100% refund date for the term in which Florida residency is being requested; otherwise, the Florida classification for tuition purposes will be effective the following term.
- Show that all names listed on each of the documents match.
Unacceptable documents–the documents below cannot be used to support Florida residency classification for tuition purposes
- Hunting/fishing licenses
- Library cards
- Birth Certificate
- Social security card
- Shopping club/rental cards
NOTE THAT MORE THAN TWO DOCUMENTS MAY BE REQUESTED, NO SINGLE DOCUMENT SHALL BE CONCLUSIVE, AND ALL DOCUMENTATION IS SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION. EVIDENCE OF TIES TO ANOTHER STATE INVALIDATES THE ELIGIBILITY OF FLORIDA RESIDENCY CLASSIFICATION FOR TUITION PURPOSES.
Requirements for Initial Classification of Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes
(Dependent) Students who claim Florida residency for tuition purposes must provide the following documents FROM THEIR PARENTS:
- A minimum of two documents from the first group listed below, or
- A minimum of one document from the first group and one document from the second group listed below.
- First group - at least one of the two documents submitted must be from the first group
- Florida driver’s license (licenses from any other state must be relinquished)
- Florida identification card (if no evidence of ties to another state exists)
- Florida voter’s registration card
- Florida vehicle registration
- Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual’s parent if the individual is a dependent child. (e.g., warranty deed)
- Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years [if Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last twelve (12) months]
- Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a twelve (12)-month period. This may include paycheck stubs from the previous twelve (12) consecutive months of work in Florida and/or a letter on official company letterhead from the employer verifying the previous twelve (12) consecutive months of employment in Florida
- Proof of Homestead exemption in Florida
- Second group - if you provide a document from the second group, you must also provide a document from the first group (or you may provide two documents from the first group)
- Declaration of domicile in Florida [twelve (12) months from the date the document was sworn and subscribed as noted by the Clerk of Circuit Court]
- A Florida professional or occupational license
- Florida incorporation
- Documents evidencing family ties in Florida
- Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organizations
- Utility bills and proof of twelve (12) consecutive months of payments
- Lease agreement and proof of twelve (12) consecutive months of payments
- Official Federal, State or court documents evidencing legal ties to Florida
Out-of-State Fee Waiver
An Out-of-State Fee Waiver for select Florida high school graduates became effective on July 1, 2014 for eligible students who do not qualify as Florida residents for tuition purposes. See the Out-of-State Fee Waiver requirements if you believe you may be eligible for this waiver.