Whether or not you qualify as a Texas Resident for tuition purposes will determine the rate you are charged for tuition (in-state or out-of-state). The Legislature for the state of Texas sets up standards for residency and establishing residency tuition. These standards are different and more rigorous than "normal" residency standards.
Learn more about the estimated cost of attendance.
What Texas Residents Need to Know
Do not assume you will be classified as a resident. Qualifying Texas residents can be classified as nonresidents, based on the information they provide on their applications. Also, some students currently residing in Texas are not actually residents for tuition purposes, because they do not meet the Texas Residency Rules. Make sure you answer each question of the residency section completely and accurately.
Admitted students will be notified if they are classified as nonresidents and provided instructions for what to do if they feel this is an error. Make sure your email and postal mailing addresses are correct on your admission application. The earlier you can identify a possible mistake, the easier it will be to correct.
What Out-of-State Residents Need to Know
While still lower than the resident rates in some states, tuition rates for out-of-state students in Texas can be more than double the in-state rates. The total nonresident tuition and fees for a typical full course load at Texas State can be more than $12,000 per semester.
It is important to know that leasing an apartment for a year will NOT qualify an out-of-state student as a resident. As a nonresident student, you have to really commit to becoming a Texas resident by meeting one of the qualifications outlined below. We would love for you to do that, but if you are not able, and you do not qualify for a tuition waiver or exemption, you need to be willing and prepared to pay the full nonresident tuition rate every semester.
Texas law classifies each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university as:
- A resident of Texas
- A nonresident
- A foreign (international) student
How you’re classified is important because it determines whether you pay nonresident tuition or in-state tuition. Being a resident also qualifies you to apply for financial aid awarded by the state.
When you apply for admission, the university uses information you provide on the admission application to make an initial determination about residency. This determination will remain on your student record and continue each semester in which you are enrolled, if no changes are made.
Rules for Texas residency classification for University tuition are different from residency rules for voting, obtaining a Texas driver’s license, or tax purposes. Chapter 21 of Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Rules establish how residency is determined for higher education in the state of Texas and includes the following provisions covering some of the more common residency situations. They are neither exhaustive nor complete. Some edits have also been made to enhance readability.
Establishing Texas Residency
Individuals can establish residency in two basic ways, one based on establishing domicile and the other based on graduation from high school. The option related to establishment of domicile is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students who hold certain types of visas.
This option for establishing Texas Residency is available to:
- Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. (non-citizens and non-permanent residents may also use this option if they have an application for permanent residency on file with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
- International students who possess an eligible visa
If you are independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If you are claimed as a dependent on the federal income tax return of a parent or legal guardian, they must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.
To establish domicile, you or your parent/legal guardian must meet the following criteria:
- Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months, and
- Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months, as evidenced by:
- Gainful employment (student jobs do not qualify) in Texas; or
- Sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent’s parent/legal guardian, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence; or
- Ownership and operation of a business in Texas; or
- Marriage for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas.
This option for establishing Texas Residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to international students.
To establish residency through high school graduation, you must:
- Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and
- Live in Texas for 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and
- Live in Texas for 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at the university (or another college or university).
If you are an international student seeking residency through high school graduation, you must submit a Residency Affidavit (PDF) stating that you will apply for permanent residency when you are eligible to do so.
A member of the United States Armed Services whose Home of Record with the military is Texas is presumed to be a Texas resident, as are his or her spouse and dependent children. A member whose Home of Record is not Texas but who provides the institution Leave and Earnings Statements that show the member has claimed Texas as his or her place of residence for the 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment is presumed to be a Texas resident, as are his or her spouse and dependent children.
A member who did not select Texas as their Home of Record when they entered the service, and has not taken steps to change their permanent residence with the military to Texas, may still qualify for a waiver under Texas statutes. Information about requesting a reclassification of residency status is provided in the next section.
Sometimes students submit incorrect information or information that makes it appear as though they are nonresidents, when they actually do qualify for Texas residency. In other cases, students who were initially ineligible for Texas Residency classification upon admission may later become eligible. If a student currently classified as a nonresident believes they qualify for Texas Residency, they have the option to request residency reclassification.
To request a residency review, submit a Residency Reclassification Request form, along with a completed Core Residency Questionnaire. Additional supporting documentation is required to show the student, or the parent or court-appointed legal guardian of a dependent student, has met the requirements to be classified as a Texas resident.
An incomplete Residency Reclassification Request form, core residency questionnaire, and/or insufficient documentation will delay the review and processing of the request.
Students must submit the Residency Reclassification Request form, a core residency questionnaire, and supporting documentation no later than the first class day of the semester for which they are seeking reclassification. Any residence status changed after the census day will apply the next applicable semester. Refer to the academic calendar for the first class day and census day for each term.
The Residency Office will review the Residency Reclassification Request, the core residency questionnaire, and the supporting documentation. After this initial review, and throughout the review process, additional documentation may be requested. The decision made by the Residency Office is final.
Note: The time period for each review may vary and we cannot guarantee that a final decision will be made before payment of tuition and fees is due, so it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for payment by the due date.