How To Establish Residency in Florida for College

Florida Residency for Tuition Purpose

“Florida residents for tuition purpose” is a person who has, or whose parent or legal guardian has established and maintained legal residence in Florida for at least twelve months prior to the first day of class.

Under Florida law, being a legal Florida resident does not automatically qualify you for in-state tuition. Therefore, students seeking Florida residency for tuition purposes (ability to pay in-state tuition) are required to submit documentation to the college that proves their residency.

Students who are not Florida residents for tuition purposes will be assessed an out-of-state fee. This fee will make the tuition bill for an undergraduate out-of-state student approximately 3 1/2 times higher than the tuition bill for an undergraduate Florida resident. The graduate tuition bill for an out-of-state student is approximately 2 1/2 times higher than the graduate tuition bill for a Florida resident.

To be eligible for in-state tuition, you or your parents must have been a Florida resident, as defined by state law for tuition purposes, for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of the term. The first step in deciding what type of documentation is required is to determine if the student is dependent or independent.

Dependent and Independent Students

If the student qualifies as a dependent on a parent’s federal income taxes, the student is considered a dependent student and one of the parents or a legal guardian must provide a document showing proof of their residency.

If the student is 24-years-old or older, they are considered an independent student and the student – not the parents – must provide proof of residency. If the student is under 24-years-old and married, active military personnel, a veteran, orphan, previously a ward of the state, in foster care, or provides more than 50% of their own financial support, the student may also be considered an independent student and at such are required to submit documentation validating their independent status.

Note: All graduate students are considered independent by the state of Florida for residency purposes.

Documentation Required to Establish Residency in Florida for College

How To Establish Residency in Florida for College? – To qualify as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, you must be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident alien, or legal alien granted indefinite stay by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and to prove residency for tuition purposes, students will need to present at least two pieces of documentation with dates that prove the student or their parents were a Florida resident for at least twelve months before the first day of class.

Documentation must include at least one item from the list below. If the student is a dependent student, the document must be in the name of one of their parents. If the student is an independent student, the document must be in the student’s name.

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida vehicle registration
  • Florida voter’s registration card
  • State of Florida identification card
  • Official transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years (2 or more years), if the Florida high school diploma or GED® was earned within the last 12 months. 
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period. (Required: pay stubs and/or verification from employers, and/or an IRS 1099 with verification of employment for the past 12 consecutive months from an employer.)
  • Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida. (Required: document from the county tax collector demonstrating the application of a homestead exemption to the claimant’s primary residence.) 
  • Proof of permanent home in Florida occupied as primary residence for 12 consecutive months prior to the student’s enrollment. (Required: document such as a deed or other evidence of title to property used as primary residence, a homeowner’s policy, a title insurance policy, evidence of a property tax payment on the primary residence.) 

If the student only has one document from the list above, they may use one or more of the additional documents listed below:

  • Declaration of domicile in Florida
  • Florida professional or occupational license.
  • Florida incorporation.
  • Evidence of verifiable family ties to a Florida resident, as defined by tuition purposes.
  • Evidence of members in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
  • Court document demonstrating legal ties to Florida.
  • Any other documentation that supports your request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
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