Tuition and fees calculated at registration are determined not only by the number of classes a student is taking but also by whether the student is a Texas resident. The university classifies students as resident, non-resident or foreign. A person who has made Texas their permanent home for at least 12 months prior to attending the university is likely to be classified as a Texas resident. However, there are numerous other considerations in determining residency status, including whether a person is a dependent, is on active military duty, is moving temporarily for work-related reasons or is eligible for a border county waiver.
When students apply for admission, the university uses information they provide on their ApplyTexas applications to make an initial determination about residency. If the submitted information indicates that the student isn’t a U.S. citizen or permanent resident but that he or she may qualify for residency based on Texas high school graduation, the student will be prompted by the ApplyTexas application to download and submit the Residency Affidavit.
The affidavit is a statement by the student that he or she qualifies for residency. It must be completed, signed, notarized, and submitted to the university in order for the student to be classified as a resident.
Correcting Errors in Classification
Sometimes students submit incorrect information or information that makes it appear as though they are non-residents when they actually do qualify for Texas residency. In such cases, the students must submit additional documents to correct their status.
Students who are incorrectly classified as non-residents can take steps to correct the error by submitting additional information to the university in the form of the Residency Core Questions. In some cases, responses to the questions on the form show that the student meets the requirements for one of the two options available for establishing residency.
- One option is related to attending school in Texas for a certain period of time before high school graduation.
- The second option is related to establishing domicile in the state.
Request for Reclassification
Non-resident students must pay non-resident tuition and fees until such time as they can establish Texas residency by establishing a domicile. Clear and convincing evidence must be presented to the Registrar that the student has maintained a domicile for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the term in which reclassification is sought. A request for reclassification must be completed and submitted with supporting documentation (see page two of the form for acceptable documentation). Students should not assume they will be eligible for resident tuition or a waiver after their first year living in Texas.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for residency?
If you are a prospective student, you must submit your application for admission. Students completing a U.S. application will complete the residency questions as part of the admissions application. International students will need to submit the Residency Core Questions or the Residency Affidavit to apply for residency.
Currently enrolled students may submit the Residency Core Questions after they or their parents have lived in Texas for 11 consecutive months.
I’d like to have my residency status reviewed. What’s the best time to request such a review?
A request for reclassification or review of residency must be made before the census date of the semester (the 12th class day).
How can I obtain the Residency Core Questions or the Residency Affidavit?
The forms are available in printable format on the Residency Forms page.
What other documents should I turn in with the Residency Core Questions form?
You should submit verification that you have established domicile in Texas. To establish domicile, you should submit documentation that verifies
- One year of employment (paycheck stubs or letter from employer),
- Property ownership in Texas for one year (Warranty Deed),
- Business ownership in Texas for one year
- Proof that you have been married to a Texas resident for one year (marriage license and verification of spouse’s employment, property ownership or business ownership in Texas).
After review of your responses to the Residency Core Questions, the residency officer may request additional items from you to help establish your residency status.
Are their additional waivers for which I may be eligible?
Information concerning waivers is available at College For Texans Financial Aid – Waivers page.
My parents live in a state other than Texas and claim me on their taxes. Can I establish residency?
If your parents live in another state and claim you as a dependent on their federal income taxes, then you are not eligible to establish residency unless one of the following is true:
- You are graduating from a Texas high school.
- Your parents can claim a temporary absence from Texas.
- You are over the age of 18 and your parents stop claiming you as a dependent when filing federal income taxes; in this case you would be eligible to establish residency as an independent student.
One of my parents is a Texas resident. May I claim residency even if I live out of state?
You can base Texas residency on the parent who resides in Texas if that parent
- Claims you as a dependent on his or her federal income tax return or
- Is eligible to claim you as a dependent on his or her federal income tax return. (In general, parents who pay child support are eligible to claim a child for federal income tax purposes.)
I am currently attending Sul Ross as a Texas resident, but my parents will be moving to another state. Will I still be classified as a Texas resident?
Once you enroll as a Texas resident, your status will not change as long as you remain continuously enrolled each fall and spring semester.
If I am temporarily absent from Texas, will I lose my status as a Texas resident?
A temporary absence by a student or by the parent of a student (upon whom the student bases his or her residency) does not affect the student’s ability to claim residency if the temporary absence is the result of:
- Service in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Public Health Service, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Department of State,
- An employment assignment
- Educational purposes
The person or the dependent’s parent must provide documentation of the reason for the temporary absence. To claim a temporary absence, a student or parent must first establish Texas residency. Non-resident classification may result if the temporary absence occurs before completion of at least one year of residency connected to establishment of a domicile.
I am currently enrolled at a Texas college or university and am classified as a Texas resident. Will my residency status transfer to Sul Ross?
If you were classified as a Texas resident while you were enrolled in another Texas college or university and you were enrolled for more than one summer term, you will be classified as a Texas resident if you enroll at Sul Ross State University. You may be required to verify your residency classification at the previous institution to be classified as a resident at Sul Ross State University.
If you were enrolled at another Texas college or university for only one summer term, you will not qualify under this rule.
I live in a state other than Texas and I am marrying a Texas resident. Does marriage to a Texas resident make me a Texas resident?
Being married to a Texas resident does not qualify a person for immediate Texas residency. If you are a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident of the U.S., or an international student with an immigration status that allows you to domicile in the U.S. and you are married to a Texas resident, you must live in the state of Texas for 12 consecutive months and be married to a Texas resident for 12 months to qualify for Texas residency.
Spouses of Texas residents may attend a Texas college or university during the 12 months needed to establish residency but will pay out-of-state tuition during that time. If you are in this situation, you may apply for reclassification as a Texas resident after one year of residence in Texas and one year of marriage to a Texas resident.
I received resident status some time after classes started. Will I get a refund for the out-of-state portion of tuition and fees that I previously paid?
You must submit the Residency Core Questions by the census date (12th class day) of the relevant term in order for your classification as a Texas resident to be effective for that semester. Students are eligible for refunds only if the residency form is submitted before the census date.
I moved to Texas to go to Sul Ross State University (or another college/university). But I think I now meet the criteria for establishing residency. Is it possible for me to be classified as a resident?
In general people who move to Texas to attend college are presumed not to have the required intent to make Texas their domicile. In some situations, however, this presumption may be overruled if the student submits “clear and convincing evidence” that he or she has established and maintained a residence or domicile, as appropriate. Submitting such evidence is the responsibility of the student seeking to be classified as a resident.
I am a member of the military. What are the general rules about my residency status?
A military member’s residency is based on the state they list as their legal residence for tax purposes with the military as found on their LES. If you’re in the military and you list Texas as your legal residence for tax purposes, you will be classified as a resident of Texas. To claim residency through this process, you must have resided in Texas for one year at some point.
Please see the College for Texans Financial Aid – Waivers page for information on out-of-state-tuition waivers for military members who are not Texas residents.
I am currently active duty military. How can I have my out-of-state tuition waived so I can pay in-state tuition?
Active duty military (including active reserves and National Guard) may have their out-of-state tuition waived to in-state tuition if they are stationed with a unit in Texas.
- To obtain this waiver, submit a letter to the Residency Office from your commanding officer on military letterhead.
- The submitted letter must include the student’s name and SRSU ID number and must state that the student is on active duty and stationed with a Texas unit.
- A new letter must be submitted every semester before the census date (12th class day).
- The student will remain classified as non-resident for admissions purposes but will be eligible to pay in-state tuition.