The rules regarding residency for tuition purposes at The University of Alabama are governed by the State of Alabama Code Subsection 16, Title 16, Chapter 64, The University of Alabama System Board Rule 202, and institutional policy.

What students need to know about Alabama residency for purposes of tuition and fees:

  1. The standard for residency makes it extremely difficult for most undergraduates who do not have a parent domiciled in Alabama to qualify for classification as a resident at The University of Alabama.
  2. Your resident or nonresident classification is determined for purposes of tuition and fees at the point of admission to The University of Alabama.
  3. Alabama residency for the purpose of tuition and fees is centered on one’s legal domicile. For this policy, a domicile is defined as the place a man or woman has voluntarily fixed the habitation of himself/herself, not for a mere special or temporary purpose, but with the intention of making a permanent home. In regards to that definition, the pursuit of an education is considered a special or temporary purpose. Furthermore, intention cannot be anecdotal or emotional in nature. Intention must be demonstrated clearly with the appropriate supporting documentation.
  4. If you are an undergraduate under the age of 24 and your parent(s) are not Alabama residents as defined by this policy, it is unlikely that you will be able to qualify as an Alabama resident for purposes of tuition and fees.
  5. The term ‘resident’ in the Residency Policy for Tuition Purposes comes from the University’s residence regulations and differs from other definitions of Alabama residency. For example, a person who is an Alabama resident for tax or voting purposes will not necessarily be a resident for purposes of tuition and fees. Financial Aid definitions of ‘resident’ may also differ. These other definitions of ‘resident’ do not confer in-state residency for purposes of tuition and fees.
  6. You do not become a resident for purposes of tuition and fees simply by living in Alabama for twelve months or more. The length of time you attend The University of Alabama or live in the state of Alabama is not the sole or primary determining factor of residency. If you are in Alabama solely or primarily for educational purposes (as demonstrated by registering for a full-time course load at UA within the last 12 months), you will not be eligible for resident classification, regardless of the length of your time in Alabama.
  7. Second or multiple properties in Alabama do not sufficiently demonstrate the standard for Residency for Tuition Purposes.
  8. You normally cannot establish Alabama residency for purposes of tuition and fees while maintaining ties to another state or country (e.g. state tax liability, driver’s license, voter’s or vehicle registration). Further, if you have moved to Alabama primarily to attend The University of Alabama, you are here for educational purposes and so are not eligible for reclassification for purposes of tuition and fees.
  9. In order to establish residency in Alabama for purposes of tuition and fees, you must have the legal ability to establish a permanent domicile in the United States, meaning that you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or hold a valid, qualifying non-immigrant visa as indicated in the International section of the policy.
  10. It is your burden to prove, clearly and convincingly, that you have satisfied all applicable requirements in the Residency Policy for Tuition and Fees.
  11. Personal circumstances not pertaining to the Residency for Tuition Purposes policy, such as academic merit and financial hardship cannot be considered in evaluating whether or not you are able to qualify for Alabama residency for purposes of tuition and fees.
  12. Only specifically authorized personnel within the Office of the University Registrar at The University of Alabama are qualified to answer questions or make a determination about residency for tuition purposes. Other University personnel are NOT authorized to supply information relative to residency requirements for tuition purposes.

More Information

FAQ

The Admissions office determines each student’s residency status when the completed application for admission is received and processed. The decision is based on the information contained in the application for admission, transcripts, and other documents required for admission. The residency status determined at this time remains in effect until the student either (1) fulfills the requirements for residency and petitions for reclassification or (2) loses residency by his or her absence from Alabama with intent to become a resident of another state. Residency status is reviewed after any absence from the university of one year [three consecutive semesters] or more.
In Alabama, nineteen (19) is the age of majority. Persons under the age of nineteen are considered minors under the law. The residency status for students under nineteen is based upon the residence of the student’s “supporting person” as that term is defined in the Non-resident Tuition Policy. In most cases a person must be 19 to begin to establish residency apart from his or her parents, legal custodian, or guardian.
A student’s residency status is not based on the length of time that he or she attends the University. Alabama law stipulates that an individual living in Alabama for the purpose of attending school is to be considered a non-resident student. Students admitted as non-residents remain as such until and unless sufficient evidence is submitted that demonstrates fulfillment of the requirements listed in the University’s Residency Policy.
A noncitizen with a visa that prohibits establishing a residence in Alabama during any portion of the durational period may not be granted resident student status. Other noncitizens may qualify for resident student status by meeting all requirements for residency outlined previously, or having been granted refugee status and meeting all other requirements for residence.
Property ownership in Alabama does not, by itself, constitute residency or entitlement to in-state tuition.
No. This would have no influence on residency status but the student may be eligible for an Alumni Heritage Scholarship offered by the University of Alabama National Alumni Association.
A non-resident student who believes he or she has satisfied the residency requirements may complete an Application for Reclassification of Residence for Tuition Purposes. A change in residency classification is never automatic. It is always the student’s responsibility to initiate the reclassification request. Applications must be submitted by the payment confirmation deadline for the term that reclassification is sought.
No. You must apply by the deadline for registration for the semester in question in order to be reviewed for residency reclassification for that semester.
Temporary absences from Alabama alone will not result in a loss of resident student status once established, unless the absence is accompanied by actions which indicate intent to establish a new residence in another state.

Determination that false or misleading information was provided by the student may result in loss of resident status and dismissal from the University.

Residency status may be redetermined after any absence from the university.

I. NON-RESIDENT TUITION POLICY

The University of Alabama defines and determines Residency for Tuition Purposes.

All students who come to the state of Alabama from another state solely or primarily for the purpose of attending school will be considered non-resident students for tuition purposes.

During the admissions process, the default residency classification is non-resident if any out-of-state information is received. This includes but is not limited to: transcripts, addresses, or other items included in the admissions application. The out of state classification will remain for the duration of the student’s educational career unless appropriate documentation is received demonstrating that the student is a resident for tuition purposes as defined in this policy.

Therefore, classification of students as non-residents shall continue unchanged through all registrations at the University unless and until satisfactory evidence is provided supporting that the student’s reason for coming to and remaining in the state of Alabama has changed to the extent that the changes meet the criteria in this policy.

For independent students, residency classification is determined based on their ability to document clearly and convincingly that they meet the criteria summarized below. The residency classification of minors and dependent students is based solely on their supporting person(s).

A resident student for the purposes of tuition is one who meets any of the following criteria:

  • Is a regular, full-time employee (not temporary, full-time) of the University of Alabama as verified by The University of Alabama Department of Human Resources prior to the last day of classes of the academic term in question, or is the spouse of such an employee;
  • Is able to verify full-time, permanent employment within the state of Alabama and shall commence said employment prior to the last day of classes of the academic term in question, or is the spouse of such an employee.  Ownership of a business in Alabama or possession of an Alabama business license does not, in and of itself, qualify as full-time employment within the state of Alabama;
  • Is a Veteran or member of the United States Armed Forces and meets at least one of the qualification criteria outlined in Section IV of this policy;
  • Demonstrates physical presence in the state of Alabama (or Lowndes/Noxubee county in Mississippi) by means of an established, domestic domicile (see Section II. Definitions) for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the first day of classes of the academic term;

II. DEFINITIONS

  • Independent Student:  An individual who is not claimed as a dependent by his or her parents or any other individual for the tax year immediately preceding the request for resident classification and is able to demonstrate financial self-sufficiency for at least the last year. Students who are minors as defined by Alabama state law are not eligible to be considered independent students for the purposes of this policy.
  • Dependent Student:  An individual is presumed to be a dependent of his or her parents if he or she (1) has been primarily involved in educational pursuits as evidenced by being enrolled as a full-time student at any point during the last year, or (2) cannot prove financial self-sufficiency for at least the last year. All students under the age of 24 are presumed to be dependent students unless proven otherwise through appropriate documentation.
  • Domestic Domicile:  That place in which a man or woman has voluntarily fixed the habitation of himself/herself, not for a mere special or temporary purpose, but with the intention of making a permanent home. In reference to this policy, the pursuit of an education is considered a special or temporary purpose. Furthermore, intention cannot be anecdotal or emotional in nature. Intention must be demonstrated clearly with the appropriate supporting documentation.
  • Minor:  An individual who, because of age, lacks the capacity to contract under Alabama law. Under current law, this means a single individual under nineteen (19) and a married individual under eighteen (18), but excludes an individual whose disabilities of non-age have been removed by a court of competent jurisdiction for a reason other than establishing a legal residence in Alabama.
  • Supporting person:  Either or both of the parents of the student (if they are living together) or if they are divorced or living separate, then either the parent providing the greater amount of financial support or responsibility of the two. Recent income tax returns and divorce decree may need to be provided. If both parents are deceased or if neither had legal custody then supporting person shall mean: court-appointed guardian or conservator of the student.
  • Veteran:  A person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable, as specified in 38 U.S.C. 101(2). Active service includes full-time duty in the National Guard or a Reserve component, other than full-time duty for training purposes.
  • Member of the Uniformed Service:  “Uniformed Services” consist of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard), the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Services.

III. NON-RESIDENT RECLASSIFICATION

To be considered a resident student for tuition purposes, one must prove by clear and convincing evidence that:

  1. A specific address or location within the State of Alabama is their primary established domestic domicile; and
  2. The specific address or location within the State of Alabama has been their domestic domicile for at least one year preceding the first day of classes of the academic term in question; and
  3. They intend to remain there indefinitely, as established by having more substantial connections to Alabama than to any other state; and
  4. They have not come to the state primarily for the purpose of education. Students who are currently enrolled in a full-time course load or who have been enrolled in a full-time course load within the last year are presumed to be in Alabama solely for the purpose of education, and therefore, will not be considered for reclassification.

If a non-resident student seeking reclassification is a minor or dependent student, then his or her supporting person(s) must meet these criteria. Though certification of an address and intent to remain in the state indefinitely are prerequisites to establishing one’s status as a resident, ultimate determination of that status shall be made by the University by its evaluation of the presence or absence of connections with the state of Alabama.


IV. VETERANS AND MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES

For purposes of admission and tuition, the University of Alabama shall consider that the term “resident student” includes any of the following:

A.  One who, at the time of registration, satisfies one of the following conditions:

1.  Military personnel on active duty, along with their spouse or dependent child(ren), who are either stationed in Alabama for reasons other than attending school or whose State of Residence on their Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) is Alabama;

2.  Has been a member of the Alabama National Guard for a period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the academic term in which the student qualifies for resident tuition, and continues to be a member of the Alabama National Guard while enrolled at the The University of Alabama;

3.  Is receiving or entitled to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI-Bill or Montgomery GI-Bill programs, or other federal law authorizing veterans’ educational benefits, and is physically present in the state of Alabama (as evidenced by documentation of one’s physical address in Alabama while enrolled) and satisfies at least one of the following conditions:

a.  Beginning with the Fall 2015 semester: A Veteran who enrolls within 3 years of receiving an honorable discharge, from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more;

b.  Beginning with the Fall 2015 semester: A spouse or dependent child using transferred benefits who enrolls within 3 years of the transferor’s honorable discharge, from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more;

c.  Beginning with the Fall 2017 semester: A spouse or dependent child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship;

d.  Beginning with the Fall 2017 semester: A spouse or dependent child using benefits transferred by a member of the uniformed service who is serving on active duty.

4.  Is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, not eligible under subsection 3 above, provided that the veteran is physically present in the state of Alabama (as evidenced by documentation of one’s physical address in Alabama while enrolled) and satisfies at least one of the following conditions:

a.  The veteran has served on active duty for a continuous period of time, not less than 2 years, and has received an honorable discharge as verified by a United States Department of Defense Form 214 within 5 years of enrolling at The University of Alabama;

b.  Has been a member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States for a period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the academic term in which the student qualifies for resident tuition and continues to be an active drilling member of their respective Reserve Unit while enrolled at The University of Alabama;

c.  The veteran has been assigned a service-connected disability by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.

B.  To be eligible for resident tuition as provided for in subsection A, and to maintain eligibility, the student shall:

1.  Have secured admission to and enrolled full-time or part-time at The University of Alabama

2.  Maintain full-time or part-time enrollment at The University of Alabama

3.  Satisfy the admission and retention standards at The University of Alabama

C.  A student who has previously met the requirements of this section shall continue to be classified as a resident student as long as the qualifying student maintains physical presence in the State of Alabama while enrolled at The University of Alabama. If an individual provided for in subsection A is released or discharged dishonorably, such release shall be grounds for revocation of in-state resident status for tuition purposes.


V. INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

International students who apply for residence reclassification must have the ability to remain indefinitely in the United States and otherwise meet the requirements of the Alabama Code and Board Rule 202.

A person must be a Permanent Resident Alien, Political Asylee, Political Refugee, or who hold an A, E, G, H, I, L, O, P, R, TC, TD or TN visa to be eligible for review as an in-state resident for tuition purposes. In addition, the criteria for residency for tuition purposes must be demonstrated sufficiently.

Students who hold a B, F, J, or M visa are not eligible to establish Alabama residency unless their supporting person meets the criteria in this policy for residency for tuition purposes. Full-time employees of a company party to an Alabama Free Trade Agreement may be eligible to establish residency based on that employment.


VI. APPLICATION PROCESS FOR RECLASSIFICATION

Students who wish to apply for reclassification of residence must submit an Application for Reclassification of Residency to The Office of The University Registrar prior to the deadlines listed below for the term in question. Applications received by the Priority Deadline for the term in question will have an initial decision rendered prior to tuition and fees coming due for the term. Students are responsible for the payment of tuition and fees according to the deadlines set by the Office of Student Receivables. These deadlines will not be extended while a student’s residency reclassification application is being reviewed. Applications submitted after the respective final deadline will be considered for the next semester. Requests for reclassification for past semesters will not be considered.

Term Priority Deadline Final Deadline
Fall July 1 First Day of Classes for Full Term
Spring November 1 First Day of Classes for Full Term
Summer April 1 First Day of Classes for Interim Term

The student bears the burden of proving that he/she is a resident student. Classification as a resident student shall be based upon the required application and the supporting documentation filed with the application and submitted to the Office of the University Registrar.

If a student who has been previously denied in-state residency reclassification has a change in his/her status (e.g., a reason for being in the state other than to attend school, or it is his/her intent to remain in the state indefinitely), then a new Application for Reclassification of Residency may be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar. Only those students whose circumstances have changed in a significant way and are able to provide sufficient additional documentation for review will be considered. Otherwise, no further reclassification requests will be considered.

Requests for reclassification of residence are independent of other student service area deadlines. Student class schedules, billing schedules, and payment deadlines can not be held or altered due to a pending appeal of a denied request. Similarly, review and decisions regarding reclassification requests are not made according to timelines and deadlines for other processes on campus including, but not limited to: billing schedules, payment deadlines, scholarship acceptance deadlines, and housing and residential life deadlines.


VII. APPEALS

If your request for reclassification of residence for tuition purposes is denied, you may request an appeal of the decision. The Residency Appellate Review Committee reviews and renders decisions on appeal requests. The expectation from the Committee is that all appeal requests include supporting documentation over and above what was submitted with the original application.

To initiate the appeal process, you must submit a written request. Any and all additional supporting documentation relevant to the request must also be included with the written request.  All appeal requests must be received by the Office of the University Registrar no later than 4:45 p.m. on the 30th calendar day following the date of the letter denying your application for reclassification.  Appeal requests may be mailed, emailed to registrar@ua.edu, or hand delivered to room 206 in the Student Services Building.  The mailing address for the Office of the University Registrar is as follows:

Residency Appellate Review Committee
Office of the University Registrar
Box 870134
Tuscaloosa, AL  35487-0134