Residency For In State Tuition

The following general descriptions are by no means all-inclusive, nor do they supersede existing regulations concerning in-state residency. This should only be used as an explanatory guide for Georgia residency. Detailed official guidelines are listed in both the UGA Bulletin and in the codes of the University System of Georgia.

Three Primary
Residency Items
  1. Students must first prove that they have established a primary domicile or permanent Georgia home at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the beginning of classes for the term to be considered for residency. Typically, the residency status of a dependent student is tied to the status of the parent(s), or in the case of divorce, the tax-dependent or majority support parent, so the parent(s) must show proof of domicile.
  2. Invariably, students and/or parent(s) of dependent students also should provide documentation showing payment of Georgia state income tax, as this shows a tie to the state that proves financial support for the Georgia educational system. Mere property ownership in Georgia, by itself, is usually insufficient.
  3. The Office of Admissions also suggests that students include copies of any other documents showing their intent to be a Georgia resident, such as a Georgia driver’s license, car or voter registration, home ownership, full-time employment records, etc. Attending college in Georgia is not proof of intention to be a Georgia resident.

Since the University of Georgia is a state-supported institution, students must show documented proof of residency and the duration of their residency in order to qualify for in-state tuition. Following admission to UGA, students who are classified as non-residents prior to their enrollment may apply for in-state residency by completing the Petition for Classification as an In-State Student.  The Registrar’s Office reviews petitions for change of residency for currently enrolled non-resident students. In reviewing petitions, the UGA Office of Admissions looks at three primary items of proof.

In reviewing petitions for in-state residency, UGA considers each student’s situation as unique, and so there are no universal formulas. In general, though, the three items mentioned previously are key. UGA does understand that there are situations—such as parents living in separate states or a family in the military—that may alter the review process.

Special Situations Involving
Residency Classification

At times there is also a good deal of confusion as to how UGA looks at different situations surrounding residency. The following descriptions should help in understanding what the Office of Admissions considers when reviewing certain situations.

Dependent versus Independent Students

If a student is listed as a dependent on their parent or legal guardian’s previous year’s tax returns or receives more than 50% of their financial support from a parent or guardian, they are considered a dependent student and UGA considers the student to be a resident, for tuition purposes, of the parent or guardian’s state of residence. (A legal guardian must provide court and/or financial documentation of support for the student.)

Independent students who wish to establish in-state tuition residency must document that their parent(s) have not claimed them as a tax dependent for the twelve months prior to the start of the term, and that the students have provided 100% of their financial support as shown in federal and state tax returns.  No student shall gain or acquire in-state classification while attending any post-secondary educational institution in this state without clear evidence of having established domicile in Georgia for purposes other than attending a post-secondary educational institution in this state.

Current students at UGA may have their residency status changed to in-state, but they must show detailed evidence that they are an actual resident of Georgia, and they would have lived in Georgia even if they had not been in college. Current students should work with the Registrar’s Office if they have more questions regarding this situation.

Separated Family Situations

If a student lives outside Georgia, but a parent is a Georgia resident, it is sometimes possible for the student to be considered a Georgia resident for tuition purposes. The student and the parent must document that the parent has lived in Georgia for the twelve-month period prior to enrollment, that the student is his or her dependent, and a majority of the student’s financial support is contributed by the parent living in Georgia.

Military Personnel and U.S. Citizens Living Abroad

Dependents of active duty military personnel who claim Georgia residency must provide UGA with documentation, such as Georgia tax records or a Leave and Earnings statement.

Dependents of active military personnel who are residents of other states but are stationed in Georgia can receive a waiver of the out-of-state tuition difference, providing the parent(s) submit documentation to the Registrar’s Office showing the military posting. The waiver continues only as long as the requirements are met.

Dependents of U.S. citizens living abroad who consider themselves residents of Georgia must provide documentation showing Georgia as their last state of residency, as well as Georgia tax records and proof of a prior domicile in Georgia to which they may return.

Non-U.S. Citizens

Non-U.S. citizens are only eligible for in-state residency if they are lawful permanent residents as documented by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service or have been granted a visa in an eligible category. F-1 student visas are not eligible. These students must still provide documentation of in-state residency for the twelve-month period prior to the start of the term.

Waivers of Out-of-State Tuition

Students may be eligible for a waiver of the out-of-state tuition difference if they are in one of the following categories: full-time employees of the University System and their spouse and dependent children; full-time teachers in a Georgia public school and their dependent children; active-duty military personnel and their dependents while stationed in Georgia. These students should contact the Registrar’s Office for more details about the required documentation needed, and do not need to complete the Petition for Residency.

State of Georgia HOPE Scholarship Situations

Residency decisions and qualifications surrounding the state-sponsored HOPE Scholarship program are made by the Georgia Student Finance Commission and the HOPE Program, and so any questions regarding the HOPE scholarship should be directed towards these programs specifically.

Final Note

As stated before, all petitions for in-state residency are considered in their entirety, so every file must be reviewed based upon its own merit. In addition, this page is meant as a general guide about Georgia residency for tuition purposes, but does not supersede any existing policies for in-state residency found in the UGA Bulletin and in the codes of the University System of Georgia.


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