How Long Does It Take to Establish Residency?

According to, students who want to apply to universities as residents of a particular state need to have at least one parent who has been a resident of that state for at least one full year before the student matriculated college. Most states require a period of at least one full year of residency before a residency claim, but there are slight variations; for example, Alaska requires 24 months.

For independent students, they or their spouses are required to have been state residents for at least a year before the first day of classes. Some states, such as Arizona and California, require two years of residency and financial self-sufficiency for independent students. Other states place a minimum age limit on the independent students in order for them to qualify as in-state students, while other states require a full calendar year of residency rather than just a year before the first day of classes. The state board for higher education usually handles applications for residency consideration, but in other cases, the decision might be left to the college. A tuition classification officer usually makes the decision as to whether a student qualifies, and the decision made by the college is final with no option for appeal outside of the college. However, the decision is only binding to that particular college.