Florida residency for tuition purposes is different from establishing Florida residency for many other circumstances.
Your residence in Florida must be for establishing a permanent home and not incidental to college enrollment. Living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition purposes. Students who depend on out-of-state parents for support are presumed to be legal residents of the same state as their parents.
A Florida resident for tuition purposes is:
- An independent person who has established and maintained legal residency in Florida at least 12 consecutive months before the first day of the term OR
- A dependent person whose parent has established and maintained legal residency in Florida at least 12 consecutive months before the first day of the term. A parent is either one of the parents of the student, any guardian of the student, or any person who has been in a parental relationship to the student.
To qualify for Florida residency for tuition purposes, you must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, or a legal alien granted indefinite stay by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The tuition you pay is determined by your residency classification. Florida residents pay a much lower (discounted) tuition rate than out-of-state residents. All students who apply for admission will be admitted as non-Florida residents pending submission of the required forms and supporting documentation needed to prove Florida residency. You will be charged out-of-state tuition if you do not supply this information by the first day of classes.
In accordance with Florida Department of Education Rule 6A-10.044, in order to receive discounted tuition (Florida residency for tuition purposes), residency documentation must meet the following requirement:
- For documentation to be "clear and convincing," it must be credible, trustworthy, and sufficient to persuade the institution that the student, or if that student is a dependent, his or her parent, has established legal residency in Florida that is not solely for the purpose of pursuing an education AND has relinquished residency in any other state for at least twelve (12) consecutive months prior to classification.
Students and/or claimants, therefore, who have chosen not to surrender their previous driver's licenses from other states and obtain a Florida driver's license within 30 days of establishing residency in Florida will not be eligible for discounted tuition until 12 months from the date of issuance of the driver's license. Learn more at dmvflorida.org/moving-to-florida.shtml.
Students who do not submit a Residency Declaration form and begin taking classes paying out-of-state fees must go through the residency reclassification process in order to pay the reduced Florida tuition rate for subsequent terms.
Your residency status can be viewed on eSantaFe under "My Status."
Unaccompanied Youths - McKinney Vento Act
Students who were homeless and designated Unaccompanied Youths during high school do not qualify for a tuition waiver in college unless they are still homeless and receiving benefits from a certified homeless facility (see Homeless Exemption above). They do, however, qualify for Florida's discounted tuition and financial aid as an independent student once they complete and submit the Florida Residency Declaration form with the required documents for approval. Students who have been designated Unaccompanied Youths must obtain and submit the required Unaccompanied Youth form, which is available from the student's high school.