Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

student walking through campus in the fall

Division of Research and Graduate Studies

Residency for Tuition Purposes

Residency for tuition purposes determines whether you will pay in-state or out-of-state tuition fees, not if you are a resident of California.​​ State requirements to establish residency for tuition purposes are not the same as other types of residency. Just because you are or have been a resident of California does not mean you qualify to receive the in-state tuition rate. Requirements for residency at a California State University also differ from those at the University of California and the California Community Colleges. Fresno State will determine your residency status during admission review, or upon request for a residency reclassification.

For more information about California residency requirements and determination, visit the CSU residency website.

A student seeking to pay in-state tuition at a California State University campus as a post-baccalaureate/graduate student must have an eligible immigration status to establish residency, meet physical presence by the Residence Determination Date, and demonstrate intent to indefinitely remain in the State of California for more than one year immediately preceding the Residence Determination Date.

Generally speaking, to be eligible for classification as a California resident for tuition purposes, the student must provide verification that these requirements are satisfied:

1. Physical Presence: The student or parent/guardian must be physically present in California for more than one year immediately preceding the Residence Determination Date in which enrollment is contemplated. For example, if a student plans to attend the CSU for the Fall 2021 academic term, and the Residence Determination Date for that term is September 20, 2021, the student must establish physical presence in California no later than September 19, 2020.

2. Intent: California law stipulates the burden of proof rests with the student, and merely living in California for a year does not support a claim for residency for tuition purposes. The student must demonstrate intent to remain indefinitely in the state for more than one year immediately preceding the Residence Determination Date (RDD) and sever all residential ties with the former state or country of residence. 

There must be sufficient documentation to demonstrate that intent was established more than one year (a minimum of one year and one day) before the Residence Determination Date. Documents must include the student's name, the student's California address, and a date at least one year and one day prior or on the RDD for the term. 

For more information about residency requirements and supporting documentation, visit the CSU residency website

A Residence Determination Date is set for each academic term and is part of the residency determination process. The legal capacity, physical presence, & residential intent requirements must be established at least one year and one day before the residence determination date of the term the request is submitted. The Residence Determination Date for each term is listed below:

Term Determination Date
Fall September 20th
Spring January 25th
Summer June 1st

Under California law, Fresno State must determine the residency status for tuition purposes of all applicants and students. Our Graduate Admissions Office determines your residency status based on your answers to questions on the admissions application. 

If additional information is required in order to determine your residency status, you may need to submit a CSU Residence Questionnaire (PDF) and copies of official/legal documents as evidence of residency status. Students will have until the last day of instruction in the first term of attendance to submit the residency questionnaire and supporting documentation. Forms submitted after the last day of instruction will be considered for residency reclassification in the immediate subsequent term.

Note: Processing time may take 3-10 business days.

For more information about initial determination of residency requirements, visit the CSU residency website

A student classified as a nonresident for a prior term may seek reclassification in any subsequent term. The student must show proof to satisfy the requirements of physical presence and intent to remain indefinitely in the state. 

If you believe you have met the requirements for in-state tuition, complete the CSU Residency Questionnaire (PDF) and submit the form with the required supporting documentation to the Graduate Admissions Office. 

Note: Processing time may take 3-10 business days

Effective Fall 2020: Students enrolled in a graduate or post‐baccalaureate program, regardless of age, are not required to submit proof of financial independence in order to meet residency requirements. 

For more information regarding reclassification requirements, visit the CSU residency website

Students not classified as California residents for tuition purposes may qualify for an exception or an exemption from payment of nonresident tuition. Exemption from paying nonresident tuition continues for as long as the student is continuously enrolled at the same institution. For a complete list of residency exceptions, exemptions, and eligibility requirements, visit the CSU residency website to learn more. 

AB 540/2000 and SB 68/1141 

Certain nonresident students (including U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented individuals) who have attended, graduated, or achieved the equivalent from a California school may be exempted from paying nonresident tuition. Such students must remain classified as "nonresidents" for residence classification and financial aid eligibility purposes. Students seeking exemption from nonresident tuition must satisfy attendance requirements and graduation/transfer requirements. Students must also complete and submit the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request form, along with supporting documents (i.e., transcripts, proof of attendance) to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Summary of Requirements

Requirements Description

Attendance (3 years required)


Attendance at a California elementary and/or secondary school

Attendance at a California adult school

Attendance at a California community college


Attainment of an associate degree at a California community college

Fulfillment of the minimum CSU transfer requirements at a California community college

Registration Registration at a California public institution of higher education (i.e., CCC, CSU or UC)
Affidavit Submission of the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request and Affidavit

Military Servicemembers, Veterans, and Dependents

Several state and federal laws provide exemptions from paying nonresident tuition for current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents. While these fee exemptions ensure students do not pay more than California residents, they do not establish California residency or establish eligibility for state benefits that require residency. To meet this exemption, the student must reside in California. However, they are not required to meet physical presence by the Residence Determination Date, intent, or financial independence residency requirements. The student is responsible for submitting supporting documents by the last day of the term.

Requirements may include:

  • Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty)
  • Military orders, a letter from the unit commander or personnel staff, or other military service personnel documents showing the date of assignment to California, and
  • A copy of the servicemember's orders indicating his/her assignment to California is a Permanent Change of Station (PCS).
  • A statement that the student is a dependent of the servicemember and was claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. The student has received transferred benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill®, resides in California, and is the dependent of an active duty servicemember of the U.S. Armed Forces who may be stationed anywhere.

Students classified as nonresidents may appeal the campus decision to the CSU Chancellor’s Office. The appeal must be submitted online at the CSU Chancellor's Office website within 30 calendar days of notification of the final campus decision.

Students may only appeal the campus decision if: 1) the decision was based on a significant error of fact, significant procedural error, or an incorrect application of law; and/or 2) new information (which was not previously known or available to the student) became available after the date of the campus decision and, based on the new information, the nonresident classification is incorrect.

Students must explain why the appeal meets one or more of the above criteria and provide supporting documentation. Appeals that do not include supporting documentation will be denied. 


looking down at two students standing outside the library

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption

Eligible California High School Graduates seeking exemption for nonresident tuition (AB 540)

Download Exemption
Students walking on campus near the library

California State University (CSU) Residency Questionnaire

Submit the residency questionnaire if it has been requested at your Student Center or if you are seeking reclassification.

Download Questionnaire

Submit your residency documentation here:



Contact Graduate Admissions at or 559.278.4073 to speak with an admission advisor about your residency tuition status, steps for reclassification, and more.