Residency for Tuition Purposes: Guidelines for Washington State and Non-Residents


Residency is determined when students apply for admissions at Washington State community colleges and public universities RCW 28B.15.012-014. To be classified as a resident for tuition purposes, students must have established a bonafide domicile in Washington for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the quarter.

Establishing a Bona Fide Domicile

To establish a Washington domicile, students must provide documentation verifying they meet residency requirements; a variety of factors are considered and include the following:

The one year eligibility starts when a student completes the last action to establish a domicile (examples listed above). Students who enroll in six credits or more during their year of eligibility are presumed to have moved to Washington for primarily education purposes; therefore, they will need to overcome this presumption. The evidence provided must qualify the student as a resident prior to the first day of the quarter. The burden of proof is on the applicant.

Non-Resident and "Out of State" Eligible for Waiver

U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and students who meet the exception to the definition of nonresident may qualify for the nonresident on waiver tuition rate.

Applications to change residency status will be accepted up to the 30th calendar day following the first day of the instruction of the quarter for which application is made. Applications made after that date in any quarter shall be considered for the following quarter. If non-resident tuition was paid and the request was approved, the difference in tuition will be refunded.

If student residency status is Undetermined, including Running Start and Transitional Studies students submit the Undetermined Residency Form

Undetermined Residency Form

If a current student residency status is Out of State submit the Residency Questionnaire Packet to admissions@tacomacc.edu. 


Military Personnel - Veterans and Active Duty

Active duty military, Washington National Guard members, and their spouses and dependents qualify as residents for tuition purposes. The student's (or sponsor's) military orders and military ID must be submitted to Enrollment Services in Bldg. 7.

Washington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit

Residency Affidavit allows eligible students to pay in-state tuition at Washington state colleges and universities. For more information visit https://wsac.wa.gov/student-residency To qualify for resident tuition status, students must complete the Washington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit  if they have met the following conditions:

  • Earn a high school diploma, GED, or diploma equivalent before your first term at the college determining residency, and
  • Maintain a primary residence in Washington for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before your first term at the college determining residency. 

If the above criteria has been met, the student may complete theWashington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit and submit document to admissions@tacomacc.edu or Enrollment Services in Bldg. 7.

Washington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that individuals who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

DACA on its own does not qualify for in-state tuition. If a student has been approved for DACA, they will need to submit official documentation to Enrollment Services in Bldg. 7.

Any Other Questions?

Call Entry Services: Admissions for additional residency information.


Or email admissions@tacomacc.edu