I am 22 years old. I am self-supporting. In 2017 - 2018, I lived in San Jose and paid my rents and expenses,In 2018-2019 I moved to Davis and stayed with my aunt. Because I have been living with my aunt and instead of paying rent, I have given her ride services and bought most of the grocery. Now my residency is not being accepted by UC Davis and therefore I am being requested to pay tuition fee for non-resident. For the last 2 years I have been paying tuition fee to college as a resident. My parents do not live in US and are not able to support me. What is the law on this, and what appeals are available?
The Advocate page says:
There are THREE requirements for qualifying for residency for tuition purposes.
You (or your parent) must be physically present in California on a continuous basis for at least 366 days immediately prior to the residence determination date.
Residency may not be established in absentia and the prior residence must have been relinquished.
You or your parent must be able to demonstrate physical presence in California with sufficient documentation. The documentation can include receipts, bank statements, credit card bills, and housing contracts. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you were present (as opposed to the University having to prove that you were NOT present).
Within the 366-day period, you or your parent can be absent from California for a total of six weeks.
A residency classification will not be granted for absences that exceeds six weeks.
Intent to Remain in California
You (or your parent) must demonstrate the intent to make California your permanent home and relinquish ties to your previous place of residence. Examples of establishing California legal ties include but are not limited to:
obtain a California Driver’s License or State Identification card within the first 30 days of arriving in California
register vehicle in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
- register to vote in California (if applicable) within the first 30 days of arriving in California
- file California state income tax returns as a resident or part-year resident on all taxable income earned in or out of the state after arriving to California
- file out-of-state income tax returns as a nonresident or part-year resident on income earned prior to arriving to California
Financial Independence FOR UNDERGRADUATES ONLY:
If you are an unmarried undergraduate under the age of 24, you must be financially dependent on a California-resident parent. If your parent does not meet the UC residency requirements, you must be able to verify financial independence for the two full years immediately before the term in which you wish to enroll.
Relevant documentation to support a finding of financial independence may include tax returns from the student to verify the student’s income, as well as W-2s, two year budget of income and expenses, official apartment rental contracts or leases, and copies of all financial documentation (bank statements, loans, trust, etc.) to verify the sources of the student’s income/savings. The student must not have accepted any type of financial assistance from any individual, including California residents, during the required two years.
Requirements: An undergraduate student or a student enrolled in a degree or non-degree program who is not dependent on a California-resident parent will meet the financial independence requirement if s/he meets the following criteria:
a. student was not claimed as an income tax dependent by any individual for the two tax years immediately preceding the term for which resident classification is requested.
b. student is self-sufficient. Student has supported self with own resources (employment, commercial/institutional loans in student’s name only, financial aid and savings from earnings, all of which require official documentation) for two full years prior to the residence determination date for the term s/he proposes to attend the University.
The official page also lists a 4th requirement:
You must have the legal ability to establish a permanent domicile in the United States, meaning that you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or hold a valid, qualifying nonimmigrant visa.
The advocate page says of appeals that:
A student may appeal a campus nonresident determination only if at least one of the following applies:
The decision was based on:
a. a significant error of fact,
b. a significant procedural error, and/or
c. an incorrect application of policy which, if corrected, would require that the student be reclassified as a resident.
Significant new information:
a. became available after the date of the campus decision classifying the student as a nonresident;
b. despite the exercise of reasonable diligence, the information was not previously known or available to the student; and,
c. based on the new information, the classification as a nonresident is incorrect.
If denied California residency by the Office of the Registrar’s Residency Affairs Unit, you have 30 days to appeal the decision to the UC Office Of General Counsel.
The page gives contact addresses and additional information.