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Residency

We will be glad to assist you in your residency process. Whether you are a new or returning student to San Diego City College we are here to guide you through the process.  Click here to join our virtual lobby. Residency can be a complex process and we are here to clarify any questions you may have, therefore please take the time to review the following information:

Residency Rules and Regulations

Residency is determined when a student applies for admission to the college. The following paragraphs summarize the rules and regulations related to student residency for tuition purposes. Details are found in the CA Education Code, section 68000 and Title 5, sections 54000-54072. Students are cautioned that this summary of rules regarding residency determination is by no means a complete explanation of their meaning or content. For further information, contact the Admissions Office for more information, you may also reference our San Diego Community College District's Residency Policy

Residency Status

A person who is married or is age 18 or older and under no legal restriction may establish residence. Certain minors may also establish residence. A California "resident" is a person who has resided in the state for more than one year prior to the residence determination date.  A person who has established residency must show both proof of "intent" and "physical presence" which indicates a student has made California their State of permanent residence.

Restrictions apply to some visas, please contact a Residency specialist: cityres@sdccd.edu for more information.

Reclassification / Refund of Non-Resident Tuition Fees

Reclassification to resident status must be requested by the student. Documentation must be presented in person to a residency clerk in the Admissions Office during residency office hours.  Non-resident tuition fees can be refunded to a student who presents sufficient proof of residency before the end of the semester. The Accounting department will process refunds once you have been reclassified as California resident.

Note: If documentation is submitted after the semester has ended a refund of non-resident tuition fees will not be granted.

Incorrect Classification

A student incorrectly classified as a California resident is subject to reclassification as a nonresident and payment of all nonresident tuition. If incorrect classification results from false or misleading facts, a student may be excluded from classes or the college upon notification.

Proof of Intent & Physical Presence 

California law requires all public colleges to determine a student residency status.
California has a very specific definition of what makes you a resident for tuition purposes. 

Students who request to be reclassified as a CA resident have the burden to provide documentation. You will need to prove that for 1 year & 1 day before the start of the semester you have been physically present in CA and show intent to make California your permanent home. Your presence in the state alone does not make you a resident. 

We require two documents from the "intent" list and one from the "physical presence" list. 

    The following are examples of "intent" documentation:

  • California state(540) and federal(1040) tax returns with W-2 forms (required)
  • California automobile registration
  • California driver's license and/or California ID card
  • California voter registration
  • Military personnel: Active Duty orders and Military ID

    The following are examples of "physical presence" documentation:

  • Bank statements for California account
  • California license for professional practice/membership in California organization
  • Petitioner for divorce in California
  • Utility bills (i.e. San Diego Gas & Electric)
  • Proof of employment (pay stubs)
  • Rental agreement
  • DD-214 form
  • Verification of public assistance

Active Duty Military

  • Active duty military personnel must be stationed in California
  • Copy of State ID/Driver's License & Current Orders 
  • Military orders must indicate last activity in the state of California with future Projected Rotation Date (PRD)

Active Duty Military Spouses or Dependents

  • Military service member must be stationed in California
  • Military spouse or dependent must have current military ID
  • Dependents must be under the age of 19
  • Download and complete the Active Military Duty Certification form, command approval required.

Active Military Certification for Spouses and Dependents

Form can be completed by Mr. John Marshall's Office located at:
32nd Street, Naval Base Bldg 56, Room 116 
Mr. John Marshall's Office
PSD Ashore
Phone: (619) 556-6367 
Hours: (due to COVID restrictions, call to confirm hours)

Veterans (Tuition Affidavit)

  • Veteran will need DD214 member page 4
  • Discharged in-state or out of state
  • Minimum of active military service
  • Eligible dependents will need their Certificate of Eligibility & DD214 for the service member.
  • Complete the Veteran Affidavit form

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Affidavit For Eligible Veterans

California High School Graduates (AB540 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption)

  • Must be a California High School Graduate
  • Minimum of 3 years attendance in a California High School
  • Whether you are a US citizen, permanent resident, DACA, hold T or U visa status, or are a migrant without lawful immigration status (undocumented) you can apply.

AB540 California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request For Eligible California High School Graduates

Special Immigrant Visa (SIV)

Education Code section 68075.6 grants an exemption to nonresident tuition for Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled in California after entering the United States. This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States. 

This exemption applies to the following:

  • Iraqi citizens or nationals (and their spouses and children)who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government in Iraq (Pub.L. No. 110-181, § 1244).
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators (and their spouses and children) who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces (Publ.L. No. 109-163, § 1059).
  • Afghanistan nationals who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. Government or in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (Publ.L. No. 111-8, § 602).
  • Refugee students admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States Code.

Residency Appeal Process

RIGHT TO APPEAL

Students who have been classified as nonresidents have the right to a review of their classification (Title 5 Section 54010 (a)). Any student, following a final decision of residence classification by the Admissions Office, may make a written appeal to the Vice President of Student Services within 30 calendar days of notification of final decision by the Admissions Office regarding classification.

APPEAL PROCEDURE

The appeal is to be submitted to Admissions Office which must forward it to the Vice President of Student Services within five working days of receipt. Copies of the original application for admission, the residency questionnaire, and evidence or documentation provided by the student, with a cover statement indicating upon what basis the residence classification decision was made, must be forwarded with the appeal. The Vice President of Student Services shall review all the records and have the right to request additional information from either the student or the Admissions Office. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal, the Vice President shall send a written determination to the student. The determination shall state specific facts on which the appeal decision was made and shall be final.

If you have any further questions prior to submitting a residency appeal or seek clarification you may contact our Admissions Office during residency office hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I classified as a non-resident?
Your residency classification is based on your admission application answers. You may be classified as a non-resident because of your recent activities outside California,  the date when your stay in California began or  your immigration visa was issued, out-of-state college enrollment, an unknown high school you've graduated,  your intent to take only online classes while living outside California, or some other reasons.

Is my CA driver's license / state ID card / a piece of mail with my address enough to prove that I am a CA resident?
No, a single document will not clarify your CA residency status.  You must prove both your intent and physical presence dated at least a year back, or meet the criteria for a non-resident tuition exception.
For details and timeline, see: Factors Considered to Determine Residency

I was born in California. I am a US citizen. Can I bring my birth certificate or US passport to prove my residency?
No. Being born in CA or in the US does not prove that you were staying in California recently or have not established residency in another state.

I have been living in California for over a year. Isn't that enough to get my residency status?
Your presence in the state alone does not make you a resident.  You must prove that you have been physically present in the state of CA and documented sufficient intent to make CA your state of legal residency. Also, if you still have an active out-of-state driver's license/state ID card, voter or vehicle registration, or filed state taxes through a different state, you must switch those to California before your CA residency is established.

I am a US resident. I have a green card and a Social Security number. Is this enough?
No. These are US federal documents, not specific to the state of California. To qualify for the in-state tuition rate, you must document both your physical presence and intent to establish residency specifically in the state of California at least a year before the semester begins.

I've been going to college here in CA, doesn't it make me a resident?
We cannot use college attendance records, or proof of insurance, or medical records to establish residency. Presence in California for educational purposes is not grounds for residency. 

What is the cost of classes if I cannot prove my residency?
As of Fall 2021, the non-resident tuition rate is $307 per unit plus $46 per unit enrollment fee, for a total of $353 per unit.

Can I email, fax or mail my residency documents?
Due to the current COVID-19 Closure of the campus, we are accepting forms online: Submit Forms Online . If you have not spoken with a  residency specialist you may email them cityres@sdccd.edu for assistance with your residency status.

Can someone else bring my residency documents to your office?
No. In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),  we cannot accept student's paperwork from any other person or discuss specific information of the student record with anybody else – even with a parent, spouse, sibling, or caseworker. We may only provide general information, but it may or may not apply to the student's particular situation. 

Can I use my parents' information to update my residency status?
If you are a minor under 19 years old, then yes, your residency derives from the parent with whom you currently live. Once you have reached the age of 19, you must prove your own residency.  

I am a military veteran, do I get in-state tuition rate?
If you separated from active duty you may qualify for an exemption. Submit page MEMBER-4 of your DD-214 to process the exemption and get set up for priority registration. Submit Forms Online

I am an active duty military member, can I get exempted?
If you are a full-time active duty military member and currently stationed in California, you may be exempted from non-resident fees until your orders' expiration date.   Please submit a copy of your current ID/Drivers license and your current orders to a residency specialist. Submit Form Online.

We value your opinion, and take great pride in providing the best service to our community. For your convenience please send your concerns and recommendations directly to our supervisor.

Enrollment Services-Admissions, Records & Veterans Supervisors:

Dora Meza, Acting Director of Admissions & Records: dmeza@sdccd.edu

Carolina Vargas, Acting Student Services Supervisor I: cvargas@sdccd.edu