California Residency

The Admissions Office is responsible for determining the residency status of Cal State LA applicants and students for CSU tuition purposes. This determination is based on information supplied in the CSU Admission application, Residence Questionnaire, Residence Questionnaire Form, and, as necessary, other evidence furnished by the student. A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish eligibility for CA resident classification will be classified as a nonresident for CSU tuition purposes. Additional information regarding CSU Residency Determination is available in the University Catalog Appendix B, and on the CSU Office of the Chancellor Residency webpage.


  1. California residency for tuition purposes eligibility criteria are established by State Law and the California Code of Regulations. California State University implements these Laws and Regulations, and cannot alter or waive the eligibility criteria for any reason.
  2. Under California law, if you have moved to California primarily to attend a California institution of higher learning, then you are not eligible for in-state tuition. You must prove through official and/or legal documents that you have moved to California permanently, and are not merely living in California temporarily while you attend Cal State LA, however long your course of study may take.
  3. Living in California for 12 months is not an automatic qualification for in-state tuition. As part of the residency determination process, lawful residence in California for at least one full year prior to a term’s residence determination date is also considered. The residency determination dates for each term are as follows:
Term - Semesters
Determination Date
September 20
Winter (if applicable)
January 5
January 25
June 1
  1. Financial hardship cannot be considered in evaluating California residency for tuition purposes eligibility.
  2. Legal ties that you maintain in another state or country (e.g., state tax liability, a driver’s license, voter’s registration, etc.) will disqualify you from residency reclassification, regardless of your reason(s) for maintaining these ties.
  3. Evidence that you are receiving financial support in any way, either directly (e.g. tuition payments, parent PLUS loans, etc.), or indirectly (e.g., parent-purchased or co-purchased residences, parent-controlled financial portfolios), will disqualify you from California residency for tuition purposes.
  4. Despite the length of time you attend California State University or live in California, you might not qualify for California residency for tuition purposes. The term "California resident" for tuition purposes may differ from other definitions of California residency. A person who has a California driver's license/vehicle registration or who is a California resident for tax, voting, or welfare purposes may have established legal residence in the state but might not necessarily be considered a resident for tuition purposes.
  5. Residency reclassification applications and all supporting documentation must be submitted by the residence request deadline for the term in which reclassification is requested.
  6. If a student does not qualify as a California resident, there are certain exceptions that may allow a student to qualify as a resident for tuition purposes. To qualify for these exceptions, the student must be legally capable of establishing residence in the United States and satisfy the exception requirements. For more information, visit the CSU Office of the Chancellor Residency Exceptions and Exemptions webpage.
  7. If your status is re-classified to resident for CSU tuition purposes, it will be effective beginning with the term for which the reclassification request is received. Reclassifications are not retroactive, and non-resident fees will not be refunded for previous enrollment terms.


As part of the residency determination process, lawful residence in California for at least one full year prior to a term’s residence determination date is also considered. The residency determination dates for each term are as follows:
Term - Semesters
Determination Date
September 20
Winter (if applicable)
January 5
January 25
June 1


Requests/forms must be submitted by the first day of classes, or no later than a week after the term's residence determination date (see above), whichever is later, for the desired re-classification term. If submitted after this date, a reclassification request will need to be resubmitted for the next available term. To view the first day of each term, please visit the Academic Calendar.

The following forms are available to applicants and students who may be eligible to have their residency status changed, and must be submitted to the Admissions Office.

  • CSU Residence Questionnaire – To correct reported residency information that may affect CSU tuition and fees status, or to request reclassification of current residency status for CSU tuition and fee purposes due to new/updated information. In addition to the form, the applicant should submit:
  1. A government-issued photo identification (or a school photo ID is acceptable for minors who do not have a government issued ID);
  2. Documentation to support US citizenship/immigration status;
  3. Social Security (SSN) Card; and
  4. Any documentation that will support your claim of California residency and/or responses to the questions on the form. The documentation should verify your physical presence in California, for at least one year immediately prior to the desired term's Residence Determination Date (see dates above). Since each individual’s situation is different and unique, we are unable to provide specific examples, or details, as to what documents are needed to prove California residency.

If the student will not be 19 years old by the desired term's Residence Determination Date, s/he is considered a minor, and the parent with whom the student resides with, or is the dependent of, must answer questions #1-12 on the form. With the form, the parent must also submit a government-issued photo identification, and documentation to demonstrate that the parent resides in California for at least one year immediately prior to the desired term's Residence Determination Date (see dates above). Proof of parent US citizenship/immigration status and SSN Card are not required for initial review, but it may be requested if the student is on a dependent visa.

  • California Nonresident Tuition Exemption for Eligible High School Graduates (AB-540) – for eligible California high school graduates requesting consideration for the non-resident tuition exemption as provided by AB-540. Please submit a copy of an official final high school transcript with this form. If completed a GED, please submit GED certificate along with official high school transcript. If you are a first-time freshman, and are still in high school, you do not need to submit a transcript with the AB-540 form, but please plan to submit a copy of your official, final high school transcript by your admission term's final transcript deadline. For more information about resources for Undocumented Students, please visit the CSU Office of the Chancellor Resources for Undocumented Students webpage.

To submit the form(s) and original supporting document(s), please drop off to the Student Affairs Building, room 101 (SA 101), or mail* to:

Cal State LA Admissions
ATTN: Residency
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032
*If mailing, please do not submit original photo IDs and SSN cards. 

Completed forms must be submitted with original signatures. They will not be accepted via fax or email.

Given the complexity of the residence review process, it may take 4-6 weeks (and possibly longer during peak periods) to complete. Please note that your situation will be carefully reviewed and given thorough consideration. Once a decision is reached, or if additional information is needed, you will be contacted via email at the address listed on GET. Thank you in advance for your patience and prompt attention to all requests.   


It does take time to process and review submitted residence forms. In the meantime, if you need payment assistance with the term’s tuition and non-resident fees, a special installment payment plan is available to defer non-resident fees until your residency status for CSU tuition purposes is determined. To learn more, or to sign up for this plan, please visit Student Loan Services and Collections Office in ADM 140; this plan is not available online via CASHNet SmartPay.

If you submitted your residence request form directly to the Admissions Office/Sandoval Student Services Center in SA 101, and received a document receipt, please bring this receipt with you when you sign up for the payment plan.

(NOTE: If it is determined that you do not qualify for a reclassification to resident status for CSU tuition purposes, the non-resident fees will become immediately due, and must be paid before you may enroll for the next term.)


Effective June 15, 2017, any student, following a final campus decision concerning the student's residence classification or reclassification, may make a written appeal to the CSU Chancellor's Office within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the notification of the final campus decision. (Prior to June 15th, students may appeal a final campus decision within 120 days of notification by the campus.)

The campus decision may be appealed only if at least one of the following applies:

  1. The decision was based on:
    1. a significant error of fact;
    2. a significant procedural error; or
    3. an incorrect application of law which, if corrected, would require that the student be reclassified as a resident; and/or,
  2. Significant new information, not previously known or available to the student, became available after the date of the campus decision classifying the student as a nonresident and based on the new information, the classification as a nonresident is incorrect.

Students must explain why the appeal meets one or more of the above appeal criteria and provide supporting documentation. For example, a “significant error of fact” could be demonstrated by stating that the campus incorrectly determined that a specific document, such as a driver’s license, was untimely and by providing a copy of the document establishing the error. An appeal that only states “a significant error of fact,” will be denied. For more information, visit the CSU Office of the Chancellor Residence Appeal webpage.

Starting August 1, 2017, CSU Residency Appeals are only accepted from the student, and must be submitted through the InfoReady Site. Appeals via email, fax, and U.S. mail will not be accepted.

Resident students who become nonresidents or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception must immediately notify the Cal State LA Admissions Office. Changes may have been made in the rate of nonresident tuition and in the statutes and regulations governing residency for tuition purposes in California between the time this information is published and the relevant residency determination date. Students are urged to review the statutes and regulations stated above.