Georgia 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. Please also consult the Student Residency description offered by the Board of Regents.
Since the University of Georgia is a state-supported institution, students must show documented proof of Georgia 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 change of residency petitions for currently enrolled and non-resident UGA students.
In reviewing petitions for in-state residency, UGA considers each student's situation as unique and we do understand that there are situations—such as parents living in separate states or a family in the military—that may alter the review process.
In order to prove Georgia residency, we look at three primary determinants:
1. Students must first prove that they have established a primary or permanent Georgia home at least 12 months immediately preceding the beginning of classes for the semester in which they were admitted.
- 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 should also 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.
- Accepted documents include: a Georgia drivers 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.
Special Situations Involving Residency Classification
There is also a good deal of confusion as to how UGA interprets different circumstances concerning residency. The following descriptions should help in understanding what the Office of Admissions considers when determining residency for tuition purposes.
If a student is listed as a dependent on their parent of 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. 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 12 months prior to the start of the term, and that the student 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 UGA students 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.
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 12-month period prior to enrollment, that the student is a dependent, and that a majority of the student's financial support is contributed by the parent living in Georgia.
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, provided 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 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 12-month period prior to the start of the term.
When applying to UGA, please email us a copy of your Immigration Visa (Visa status) and Passport Picture page to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please consult the U.S. Department of Education for Federal Student Aid website for more information on non-U.S. citizens.
For Residency purposes the non-intent to immigrate visa student will be considered a "Non-Resident" as the student is not a Green Card holder or U.S. Citizen (if the student has a Green Card, then the student can file for the Petition for Classification as In-State for Tuition Purposes as only Green Card holders and U.S. Citizens can file for the Petition).
If the student is on a non-intent to immigrate visa he/she can file for an Out-of-State Tuition Differential Waiver offered by the Registrar's Office.
Please make sure to send us your most up to date immigration status records (meaning if you have filed for an I-485, then we will need a copy of that), by sending us a legible copy of your immigration documents to email@example.com
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.
The Georgia Student Finance Commission and the HOPE Program make residency decisions and qualifications concerning the state-sponsored HOPE Scholarship program. Any questions regarding the HOPE scholarship should be directed towards those programs specifically.
You can contact our Residency Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 542-2112
As stated before, all petitions for in-state residency are considered in their entirety, so every file must be reviewed based on 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.