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The Admissions Office is responsible for determining residence status of students for purposes of tuition. The Office is guided by the Texas Education Code, the Rules and Regulations for Determining Residence Status of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and University regulations. Under the state statutes and regulations, a student or prospective student is classified as a resident of Texas, non-resident, or a foreign student. A resident is an individual who is either a U.S. citizen, national or Permanent Resident Alien or an alien who has been permitted by Congress to adopt the U.S. as his or her domicile while in the United States and who has otherwise met the state requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes. A non-resident is a citizen, national or permanent resident of the U.S., or an alien who has been permitted by Congress to adopt the U.S. as his or her domicile while in this country and who has not met the State's requirement for establishing residency for tuition purposes. While these state requirements for establishing residency are complex and should be referred to in each particular circumstance, they generally require a minimum of 12 months residence in Texas prior to enrollment. A foreign student is an alien who is not a permanent resident of the U.S. or has not been permitted by Congress to adopt the U.S. as their domicile. An individual classified as a non-resident or foreign student may qualify, under certain exceptions specified in these rules, for resident tuition rates and other charges while continuing to be classified as a non-resident or a foreign student. Complete information on residency, reclassification, tuition exceptions, and waivers is available in the Admissions Office.
MINORS AND DEPENDENTS
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Residency of a Minor or Dependent is based on one of the following circumstances:
Custody by Court Order
- The residence of the parent who has custody at the time of enrollment (upon divorce of parents);
- The residence of the parent who has claimed the dependent for federal income tax purposes both at the time of enrollment and for the tax year preceding enrollment; or
- The residence of the parent with whom the dependent has resided for the 12 months prior to enrollment.
If the custody of the minor has been granted by court order (e.g., divorce decree, child custody action, guardianship, or adoption proceedings) to some person other than the parent, the residence of that person shall control; provided, however, that such grant of custody was not ordered during or within a year prior to the minor's enrollment in a public institution of higher education and was granted under circumstances indicating that such guardianship was not for the purpose of obtaining status as a resident student.
If the minor is not residing with either parent and there is no court-appointed guardian, the residence of the parent with whom the minor last resided shall be presumed to control. If, however, the minor resided with and has been dependent upon a grandparent for more than a year prior to enrollment in an institution of higher education, the residence of that natural guardian will be regarded as the minor's residence. The residence of a person other than a parent or a natural or legal guardian who may furnish funds for payment of tuition, fees, or living expenses will in no way affect the residence classification of a minor.
RESIDENCE OF INDEPENDENT INDIVIDUALS 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER
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Establishment of Residence
Independent individuals 18 years of age or over who move into the state and who are gainfully employed within the state for a period of 12 months prior to enrolling in a public institution of higher education are entitled to classification as residents. An individual who is self-employed or employed as a homemaker within the home may be considered gainfully employed for tuition purposes. If such 12 months residence, however, can be shown not to have been for the purpose of establishing legal residence in the state but to have been for some other purpose, the individuals are not entitled to be classified as residents. Students enrolling in an institution of higher education prior to having resided in the state for 12 months immediately preceding time of enrollment will be classified as non-residents for tuition purposes.
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Persons classified as non-residents upon first enrollment in a public institution of higher education are presumed to be non-residents for the period during which they continue as students. If such non-resident students withdraw from school and reside in the state while gainfully employed for a period of 12 months, upon re-entry into an institution of higher education, they will be entitled to be reclassified as residents for tuition purposes if other evidence indicates they have established a domicile in the state of Texas.
Reclassification as a Resident
The presumption of "non-resident" is not a conclusive presumption, however, and other facts may be considered to determine if the presumption has been overcome. Materials to this determination are business or personal facts or actions unequivocally indicative of a fixed intention to reside permanently in the state. Such facts may include, but are not limited to, the length of residence and employment prior to enrolling in the institution, the nature of such employment while a student, presence in Texas as a part of a household transferred to the state by an employer, purchase of a homestead, or dependency upon a parent or guardian who has resided in Texas for at least 12 months immediately preceding the student's enrollment. All of these facts are weighed in the light of the fact that a student's residence while in school is primarily for the purpose of education and not to establish residence, and that decisions of an individual as to residence are generally made after the completion of an education and not before.
Students classified as non-residents shall be considered to retain that status until they make written application for reclassification. This is done by filling out the residence questionnaire which is available in the Admissions Office. Students are notified in writing concerning the reclassification decision.
All students are expected to pay the tuition assessed on or before the payment date for each semester as established by the University. All residence questionnaires and forms verifying non-resident tuition exemption status must be submitted to the Admissions Office prior to the official census date of the term for which the change is sought. To prevent any delay in enrollment, students are encouraged to submit all forms at least two weeks prior to registration. Consult the Class Schedule for specific information concerning the submission of non-resident tuition exemption forms.
Loss of Residence
Residents who move out of state will be classified as non-residents immediately upon leaving the state, unless their move is temporary (generally less than 5 years) and residence has not been established elsewhere. Conclusive evidence must be provided by the individuals supporting their present intent to return to the state. Among other things, a certificate from the employer that the move outside the state is temporary and that a definite future date has been determined for return to Texas may qualify as proof of the temporary nature of the time spent out of the state. Internship programs as part of the academic curriculum that require the student to return to school may qualify as proof of the temporary nature of the time spent out of state.
Re-Establishment of Residence
Persons who resided in Texas for at least 5 years prior to moving from the state and who have returned to the state for residence purposes before having resided out of the state for a year will be classified as residents.
Reclassification as a Non-Resident
Persons who have been classified as residents of Texas shall be reclassified as non-resident students whenever they shall report, or there is found to exist, circumstances indicating a change in legal residence to another state. If students who have been classified as residents of Texas are found to have been erroneously classified, those students shall be reclassified as non-residents and shall be required to pay the difference between the resident and non-resident fees for those semesters in which they were so erroneously classified.
If students have been erroneously classified as non-resident students and subsequently prove to the satisfaction of the director of admissions that they should have been classified as resident students, they shall be reclassified as residents of Texas and may be entitled to a refund of the difference between the resident and non-resident fees for the semesters in which they were so erroneously classified. Normally, the refunds must be requested and substantiated during the current term.
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The following visa holders are eligible to establish a domicile in the United States and have the same privilege of qualifying for resident status for tuition purposes as do citizens of the United States: A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, K; or OP-1, I-551, or I-688 visas which have not expired.
Only a permanent resident may file with the federal immigration authorities a declaration of intention to become a citizen. Generally, individuals who enter the state under a visa which does not allow the establishment of a domicile and who obtain permanent resident status while in Texas must wait a minimum of 12 months from the date of issue to request resident status for tuition purposes. However, in cases where a protracted amount of time (more than 12 months) lapses between the date of application for permanent residence and the granting of permanent residence status, the institution may consider the lapsed time a part of the individual's required 12 months in the state if the individual has otherwise met the requirements for establishing residency.
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Contact the Admissions Office for complete information on non-resident tuition waivers.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND DIVERSIFICATION EMPLOYEES
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An individual eligible to establish a domicile in Texas, who has come from outside Texas and registered in an educational institution before having resided in Texas for a 12-month period immediately preceding the date of registration and his dependents are entitled to pay the tuition fee and other fees required of Texas residents if the individual has located in Texas as an employee of a business or organization within 5 years of the date that such business or organization became established in this state as part of the program of state economic development and diversification authorized by the constitution and laws of this state and if the individual files with the Texas institution of higher education at which he registers a letter of intent to establish residency in Texas. Eligible companies are identified by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
MILITARY PERSONNEL, VETERANS, AND COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
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Persons in military service and commissioned Public Health Service Officers are presumed to maintain during their entire period of active service the same legal residence that was in effect at the time of entering the service. Persons stationed in a state for military or Public Health Service are presumed not to establish a legal residence in the state because their presence is not voluntary but under military or Public Health Service orders.
Eligibility for Waiver of Non-Resident Tuition
To be entitled to pay resident tuition, military and Public Health Service personnel shall submit, prior to the time of each enrollment, a statement from their commanding officer or personnel officer certifying that they are then assigned to duty in Texas and that same will be in effect at the time of such enrollment in a public institution of higher education.
Change of Domicile
It is possible for members of the military service of Public Health Service to abandon the domicile of original entry into the service and to select another, but there must be clear and unequivocal proof of such intent. Evidence which will be considered in determining this requisite intent includes, but is not limited to, a substantial investment in a residence and claiming it as a homestead, registration to vote and voting in local election, registration of an automobile in Texas and payment of personal property taxes thereon, obtaining a Texas driver's license, maintaining checking accounts, savings accounts, and safety deposit boxes in Texas banks, existence of wills or other legal documents indicating residence in Texas, change of permanent address with the military or Public Health Service and designation of Texas as the place of legal residence for income tax purposes on military or Public Health Service personnel records, business transactions or activities not normally engaged in by military or Public Health Service personnel, and membership in professional or other state organizations. Purchase of property during terminal years of military or Public Health Service preceding retirement and a terminal duty assignment in Texas in which an individual has engaged in personal, business, and/or professional activities indicative of their intent to remain in the state will be given more consideration than most other evidence presented.
Students Enrolled in ROTC Programs
A non-resident student who is a member of an ROTC unit will be required to pay non-resident tuition rates until such time as the student has signed a contract which cannot be terminated by the student and which obligates the student to serve a period of active military duty.
NATO Forces Stationed in Texas: Nonresident aliens stationed in Texas in keeping with the agreement between the parties to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) regarding the status of their forces, their spouses, and dependent children are eligible to pay the same tuition rate as Texas residents.
TEACHERS, PROFESSORS, AND THEIR DEPENDENTS
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Teachers and professors employed at least half-time on a regular monthly salary basis (not as hourly employees) by any Texas public institution of higher education may pay the same tuition as a resident of Texas for themselves, their spouses, and their dependent children, regardless of the length of residence in the state if the effective date of employment is on or prior to the official census date of the relevant term(s). To be entitled to pay the resident tuition, such employees must submit to the Admissions Office, prior to the time of each enrollment, a statement certifying employment from the director of human resources of the institution of higher education by which he or she is employed.
TEACHING OR RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
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Teaching or research assistants employed at least half-time in a degree program-related position, with an effective date of employment on or before the official census date of the relevant term(s), may apply to pay the same tuition while attending the employing institution as a resident of Texas for themselves, their spouses, and their dependent children, regardless of the length of residence in the state. The institution which employs the students shall determine whether or not the students' jobs relate to their degree programs. Employment must be for the duration of the period of enrollment for which the waiver is requested. Eligible students must submit to the Admissions Office, prior to registration, a verification form from the employing department certifying such employment.
SCHOLARSHIP STIPEND RECIPIENTS
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A student awarded a competitive scholarship/stipend in the amount of $1,000 or more for the academic year, the summer session, or both by an official scholarship committee or committees is eligible to pay resident tuition.
ACADEMIC COMMON MARKET
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UTEP participates in the Academic Common Market, a cooperative tuition-reduction agreement among fourteen Southern Regional Education Board states. If the public institutions in your home state do not offer a degree program in your chosen field of study, it may be possible to arrange a waiver of non-resident tuition to attend UTEP (or any other cooperating public institution of higher education in an Academic Common Market state) for that program. Likewise, Texas residents may be eligible for resident-rate tuition for member-state schools for degree programs not available in Texas public institutions. A listing of member states and eligible degree programs are available in the Admissions Office.
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A citizen of Mexico is eligible to pay tuition equal to that charged Texas residents provided the student demonstrates a financial need after the resources of the student and the student's family have been considered. A PASE application form must be submitted each year for this waiver.
NEW MEXICO RESIDENTS
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Residents of the following New Mexico counties that are adjacent to Texas are eligible to pay resident tuition: Doņa Ana, Otero, Eddy, Lea, Roosevelt, Curry, Quay, and Union. New Mexico students interested in applying for this resident tuition rate must contact the Admissions Office prior to registration each semester to fill out the appropriate waiver form.
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Oath of Residency
When completing the oath of residency portion of the application for admission, the student is responsible for registering under the proper residence classification and for providing documentation as required by the public institution of higher education. If there is any question as to right to classification as a resident of Texas, it is the student's obligation, prior to or at the time of enrollment, to raise the question for official determination by the director of admissions. Students classified as Texas residents must affirm the correctness of that classification as a part of the admissions procedure. If the student's classification as a resident becomes inappropriate for any reason, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Admissions Office. Failure to notify the institution constitutes a violation of the oath of residency and will result in disciplinary action.
Student Compliance with Institutional Rules and Regulations
Each institution has been authorized by statute to assess and collect from non-resident students failing to comply with the provisions of the tuition statute and with these interpretations concerning non-resident fees a penalty not to exceed $10 a semester. In addition, if students have obtained residence classification by virtue of deliberate concealment of facts or misrepresentation of fact, they may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, in accordance with the rules and regulations of The University of Texas at El Paso.