Texas Residency

Under Texas state law, each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university is classified as a resident of Texas, a nonresident, or a foreign (international) student. How students are classified will impact eligibility for resident tuition rates and financial aid.  For additional information on Texas Residency, please visit College For All Texans.

When students apply for admission, the university uses information they provide on their ApplyTexas applications to make an initial determination about residency.


Establishing Residency

Residency Rules

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has established rules that govern residency for higher education in Texas.

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.

Option 1: Residency by Establishing Domicile

  • 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 hold an eligible visa.

If you are independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.

To establish domicile, you or your parent(s)/guardian(s) must meet the following criteria:

  1. Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months; and
  2. Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months by doing one of the following:
  • Be gainfully employed in Texas (student jobs do not qualify as gainful employment);
  • Have sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent's parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence;
  • Own and operate a business in Texas;
  • Be married for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas.

For a detailed list of documents that are acceptable as proof to establishing domicile in Texas, please see: Documentation Form. In addition to submitting the above documentation, students must complete and submit the Core Residency Questionnaire in order to petition for reclassification of residency status.

Option 2: Residency through High School Graduation

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to some international students.

To establish residency through high school graduation, you must graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and

  1. Live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation or receipt of GED; and
  2. Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (see the Academic Calendar for the exact date) of the semester in which you enroll.

Note: an individual who is neither a US citizen nor permanent resident must complete and submit the Residency Affidavit.


General Guidelines

  • It is the student's responsibility to submit the Core Residency Questionnaire and/or requested documentation for the establishment of residency for tuition purposes.
  • Please be aware that an incomplete Core Residency Questionnaire will result in a delay processing your request.
  • Additional documentation may be requested after the initial review of your Core Residency Questionnaire.
  • Any resident status changed after Census Day shall apply to the next succeeding semester in which the student enrolls.