An individual must have been domiciled in Colorado for one calendar year before he or she is entitled to in-state tuition. A domicile is a person's true, fixed and permanent home. Having a domicile in Colorado involves more than mere physical presence or "residence" in the state. A person may have several places of residence but can have only one true domicile at any given time. In order to establish a domicile for tuition purposes, there must be 1) physical presence for at least 12 months within the state along with 2) demonstrated intent to make Colorado one’s permanent home. Intent is demonstrated by several kinds of connections with the state dated one year prior to the beginning of classes. Note: For School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine applicants there is a different reference date for residency determination: the date of selection for admission. Each of these Schools determines that uniformly-applied date for the admitted term. Please check with the Admissions director of the respective school or the Tuition Classification Officer for that date.
There is no formula or checklist to follow in establishing domicile. Generally, physical presence (as shown by rent receipts, leases or statements from landlords, home ownership, etc.) plus one connection with the state will not be sufficient to establish domicile. Several connections are necessary, and the more connections that are made, the more assurance a person has of qualifying for residency. Any connections maintained with any other state during the 12-month period for establishing domicile may be viewed as negative intent to make Colorado one’s permanent home.
Objective evidence of physical connections with the state of Colorado includes:
-- Driver's license, as governed by the Colorado Motor Vehicle Operator's Licensing Law.
-- Automobile registration and license plates, as governed by the Colorado Motor Vehicle Registration
-- Voter registration and voting in the most recent (Colorado) election.
-- Colorado employment and payment of Colorado income tax. Permanent, full-time, off-campus employment and payment of Colorado State income taxes are considered highly persuasive evidence of intent to make Colorado one's permanent home. Student employment or temporary work is not considered as persuasive. It is the actual official acceptance of employment that forms the connection with the state. Income earned in another state by a resident of Colorado is taxable in Colorado.
-- Ownership of residential real property in the state, provided petitioner resides in the home.
Petitioners should provide documentation of the contract date, as well as of the closing date.
-- Graduation from a Colorado high school and/or continued presence in Colorado during periods when not enrolled in college, or during periods between academic sessions.
-- Any other factor(s) peculiar to the individual that show intent to make Colorado one's permanent home (for example, obtaining licensure or certification to practice a profession in Colorado). Bank accounts, seeking dental or medical care, marrying or divorcing in the state are matters of convenience because one happens to be present in the state and are therefore not the kinds of connections with the state that show intent to make Colorado one's permanent home. Leases and rent receipts prove physical presence but do not otherwise qualify as connections with the state.
Note: It is the student’s responsibility to be fully informed of the laws of Colorado that govern any of the
“connections” made in establishing domicile, including vehicle ownership and operation, voter registration, payment of income tax, property ownership, etc. Noncompliance with these laws establishes a negative presumption of intent to make Colorado one’s permanent home and will be weighed against any affirmative evidence of a Colorado domicile.
Evidence indicating domicile outside Colorado includes:
-- Failure to pay Colorado state income tax (if your income is sufficient to be taxed). Income earned in another state by a resident of Colorado is taxable in Colorado. Filing a nonresident Colorado tax return is persuasive evidence of domicile outside Colorado.
-- Failure to comply with any law imposing a mandatory duty on a permanent resident of Colorado.
Examples include failure to register a motor vehicle and failure to change your driver's license to
Colorado within the statutory periods.
-- Return to your former state of residence for a substantial period of time during the summer or during other periods when not enrolled as a student or between academic sessions.
-- Maintenance of a home in another state.
-- Prolonged absence from Colorado, except for military or civilian government service or for temporary absences required by an employer.
-- Any other factor particular to your situation that indicates non-Colorado domicile. Examples include applying for a loan or receiving college financial aid from another state where domicile in that state is a condition for receiving funds, and voting or registering to vote in another state.
The Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine Professional programs have more specific requirements that may affect one’s residency status and one’s status as an “accountable” or “sponsored” student. The “accountable” or “sponsored” student status would remain the same throughout one’s career as a School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine student. Please talk to your Admissions director (School of Medicine or School of Dental Medicine) for current information about “accountability” and whether it applies to you.
The information provided here summarizes the basic components of residency classification. Please read the following material carefully and thoroughly. Questions regarding specific circumstances should be addressed to the Tuition Classification Officer at CUAnschutzTCO.Registrar@ucdenver.edu
Accountable students at the Anschutz Medical Campus -- are persons who, as of the date of their selection for admission (please see Establishing Domicile section, above) into an Anschutz Medical Campus professional health care program (currently students in the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine), will not be receiving funding from the state of Colorado or a cooperative state for any portion of the costs incurred in participating in designated Anschutz Medical Campus professional health care programs. Prior to matriculation, accountable students must agree to the terms of an accountable student contract (including payment of in-state tuition plus associated accountable student fee) for the duration of their professional degree training.
The Accountable Student Program for Students in Health Sciences Professions was enacted in 2006 by the state legislature. The Health Sciences Center, now known as Anschutz Medical Campus, implemented this program for the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine effective with the 2006-07 academic year. The Accountable Student Program enables the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine to designate students as either “sponsored” or “accountable”. Accountable students are those students who will not be receiving funding from the State of Colorado or a cooperative state for any portion of the costs incurred while attending the School of Medicine or School of Dental Medicine. In addition to tuition, accountable students would be assessed an accountable student fee, determined by the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado.
, once designated and having signed the accountable student contract, are bound by the terms of their contract for all years of their studies, including their agreement to pay the accountable student fee regardless of residency status. They may, however, petition for Colorado residency status in order to qualify for other forms of financial assistance available to eligible students who are Colorado residents. Establishing residency status also will allow accountable students the benefit of in-state tuition rates in other degree programs should they choose to enroll in a second degree program (e.g., Master of Public Health, or Master of Business Administration). Petitioning for in-state residency status normally is undertaken after a student has been in Colorado for a year and before his/her second year of studies. Petition forms are available online at the Anschutz Medical Campus student services web page or from the Registrar’s Office, Education II North Building, Office of Campus Student Services area. Questions should be addressed to the Tuition Classification Officer: CUAnschutzTCO.Registrar@ucdenver.edu
A person must be legally emancipated before he or she is “qualified” to establish a domicile separate from the domicile of his or her parents. Emancipation for tuition purposes takes place automatically when a person turns 22 years of age, or marries, or commences a post-baccalaureate degree-granting program. The clock then starts for establishing domicile (physical presence and intent) and the student must wait 12 months to become eligible for in-state tuition.
A person who is unmarried and under 22 years of age at the beginning of the one-year waiting period and who wishes to claim "emancipated minor" status must prove that he or she is completely self-supporting and financially independent of his or her parents or legal guardian(s).
The following constitutes evidence of emancipation; however, no one criterion, taken alone, can be considered conclusive evidence of emancipation.
-- Affidavit from parents or legal guardian(s) (found on the back page of the petition form) stating relinquishment of any claim or right to the care, custody, and earnings of the minor, as well as of the duty to support the minor, with documentation of the fact that the minor has not been claimed as a tax deduction on income tax returns. (If a minor claims emancipation as of August 1 of a given year, and the parents have supported the minor from January 1 to August 1, the minor may be claimed for that given year, since the parents provided more than half of the support of the minor for that year.) Emancipation under these circumstances is the act of the parent and not of the child. If there is a duty to support the minor, as, for instance, a court order in a divorce decree, there is no emancipation.
-- Lack of any financial support provided by the parents (including trust funds), coupled with proof that the minor can independently meet all of his or her own expenses, including the cost of education.
-- Entry into military service.
Unemancipated minors may qualify for in-state tuition only when their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are domiciled in Colorado. An unemancipated child of divorced or separated parents can be immediately classified as in-state if either parent has been domiciled in Colorado the requisite period of time, regardless of which parent was granted custody or duty to support the minor by court decree. The parent in this instance is always the one to complete the petition for in-state classification, based on the parent's domicile and connections with the state.
Students whose parents maintain a Colorado domicile for four years and then establish domicile elsewhere, will remain eligible for in-state tuition if:
The parents leave Colorado after the student completes his or her junior year of high school and if the student enrolls at a Colorado public college or university within three years and six months after the parents leave Colorado. The student need not remain in Colorado when the parents leave or be emancipated from the parents.
- The student maintains continuous Colorado domicile. The student need not be emancipated. This provision generally will be met if the student continues to reside in Colorado after the parents leave or if the student resides outside the state only temporarily (for example, to attend college or for military service) while maintaining Colorado domiciliary connections such as voter registration and income tax filing.
Active-duty members of the armed forces of the United States and Canada on permanent duty stationed in Colorado and their dependents (as defined by military regulations) are eligible for the in-state tuition rate, regardless of domicile or length of residence in Colorado. The military member must have reported to a duty station in Colorado, as certified by their military command, by the first day of class of the applicable academic term. To obtain this in-state tuition rate, the student must submit a Certification of Military Status Form signed by their Base Education Officer verifying their active military status and permanent duty assignment in Colorado, along with a copy (both front and back sides) of the military identification card. Dependents must present verification of the active military person on permanent duty, along with a copy of the military dependent identification card. This certification must be signed and submitted to the Registrar’s office no earlier than 90 days prior to the first day of classes and no later than 10 working days from the first day of the term. The certification must be completed and submitted each semester.
After qualifying as an in-state student, a member of the armed forces of the United States on active duty, or the member’s dependent, shall not lose his or her eligibility for in-state tuition status if the member retires or separates from the military. Dependent means a spouse of a member of the armed services who was the member’s spouse at the time that the member was stationed in Colorado and at the time the spouse is requesting in-state tuition classification and any child under twenty-three years of age born to or legally adopted by the member of the armed forces who enrolls in a public institution of higher education within twelve years after the member was stationed in Colorado.
Military dependents continuously enrolled in a Colorado college continue to qualify for in-state tuition if the military member is transferred outside Colorado or retires and remains in Colorado.
Members of the Colorado National Guard who maintain their sole legal residence in Colorado and their dependents also qualify for in-state tuition regardless of length of residence.
Military Members Domiciled in Colorado
To retain domicile during an absence from Colorado due to military orders, military members must maintain Colorado as their state of legal residence for tax purposes, and voters must maintain Colorado voter registration.
Military members may retain legal residency in their original state, or they may establish a new legal residence in a state in which they reside due to military orders. They may not establish domicile in Colorado while residing elsewhere or while being physically present in the State only on a temporary basis.
Persons domiciled in Colorado for one year who enter active duty military service, and who return permanently to Colorado within six months of discharge, and their dependents, qualify for in-state tuition regardless of changes of domicile while on active duty.
Honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces moving permanently to Colorado qualify for in-state tuition.
Dependents of veterans are eligible for in-state tuition classification if the dependent has completed two years of high school in Colorado. Veteran dependents continuously enrolled in a Colorado college continue to qualify for in-state tuition regardless of changes in the veteran’s domicile.
Section 702 Veterans Choice Act
This applies to a Veteran who lives in the state and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
This also applies to:
A spouse or child of a veteran (as described above) using transferred benefits who lives in the state and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
A spouse or child (as described above) using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state and enrolls in the school within three years of the Service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
Military dependents continuously enrolled in a Colorado college continue to qualify for in-state tuition if the military educational benefits are exhausted.
Civilians who accept overseas employment, governmental or otherwise, or temporary employment in another state, or who are temporarily absent from Colorado for other reasons, must continue to file Colorado state income tax returns as residents for each and every year of their absence from the state. They must claim and pay taxes on all of their earnings, wherever earned, and will receive a credit for taxes withheld by or paid to another state. Failure to do so is sufficient evidence to determine that the individual has relinquished his or her Colorado domicile for tuition purposes.8
Persons who are lawful permanent residents or who are admitted as refugees are eligible to establish domicile for tuition purposes. Nonimmigrant aliens who are residing in Colorado for purposes other than education may qualify for in-state status after one year of Colorado residence. The nonimmigrant categories subject to this provision are determined by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. Nonimmigrants in the following categories cannot qualify for in-state tuition: F-1, F-2, H-3, H-4 (if the visa holder is the spouse or child of an H-3), J-1 and J-2 (if the J-1 visa holder is a student or trainee), M-1, and M-2.
A student who does not have lawful immigration status may be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes if: (1) the student attended high school in Colorado for at least three years immediately preceding the date the student graduates from a Colorado high school or earns a GED; (2) the student is admitted to a Colorado institution of higher education or attends any institution of higher education under a Colorado reciprocity agreement within 12 months of graduation or earning a GED; and (3) the student submits an affidavit through the COF application process stating that the student does not have lawful immigration status but has applied for lawful presence or will apply as soon as the student is eligible.
Additionally, a student who does not have lawful immigration status and has graduated from a Colorado high school or earned a GED prior to September 1, 2013, but was not admitted to a Colorado institution within 12 months of graduating or earning a GED, may nonetheless be qualified as an in-state student if the student has been continuously physically present in Colorado for at least 18 months prior to enrolling in a Colorado institution.
Petition forms for requesting in-state residency status are available online at the Anschutz Medical Campus student services web page or from the Registrar’s Office, Education II North Building, Office of Campus Student Services area. The petition should be filed one or two months before the start of the term for which one wishes to qualify. The deadline for submitting petitions to Registrar Office’s Tuition Classification Officer for a given term is no later than 3:00 p.m. the last day of the drop/add period for that term.
The first day of the semester is the date that is used to determine whether or not a person has been domiciled in Colorado for the requisite twelve months in order to qualify for residency status. At all times in the classification procedure, it is the student's responsibility to present all requested information and to meet the appropriate deadlines. Only photocopies of requested documents should be submitted with the petition because all information submitted becomes part of the student's file and cannot be returned to the student. Failure to provide all requested information and documents will invalidate a request or petition for in-state status. The student is notified of the University's decision by email to his/her University email address; and students whose petitions have been denied will also be notified by regular mail.
Any student who is denied in-state tuition classification by the Tuition Classification Officer may appeal that decision to the Residency Appeals Committee. The Residency Appeals Committee is composed of a representative from each University of Colorado campus. A student wishing to appeal a decision should contact the Registrar's Office for instructions. The decision of the Residency Appeals Committee is final. A student must submit his/her residency appeal, in writing, to the Registrar’s Office within 14 days of receiving the Tuition Classification Officer’s decision. There will be no retroactive changes in classification.
Petitions may be submitted either by email or regular mail:
Because Colorado residency status is governed solely by Colorado regulations, lack of eligibility for in-state status in another state does not guarantee in-state status in Colorado. The tuition classification statute places the burden of proof on the student -- not the University -- to provide clear and convincing evidence of eligibility.
Information submitted to qualify for in-state classification is subject to independent verification. Individuals submitting false information or falsified supporting documents are subject to both criminal charges and university disciplinary proceedings.
Tuition classification is governed by state law and by judicial decisions that apply to all public institutions of higher education in Colorado. The University of Colorado does not have discretion to make exceptions to the rules as established by state law.
There are many different kinds of residency. A person can be a resident for voting purposes or motor vehicle law purposes and still not be a resident for tuition purposes because each kind of residency is governed by a separate state statute.
Marriage to a resident does not automatically qualify a student for in-state tuition. Colorado has passed a state Equal Rights Amendment to the Colorado Constitution -- which means that each person is treated equally. Each person must qualify based on their own legal connections with the state.