Texas law classifies each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university as:
- A resident of Texas;
- A nonresident; or
- A foreign (international) student.
How you’re classified is important because it determines whether you pay non-resident tuition rates or in-state rates, which are lower. Being a resident of Texas also qualifies you to apply for financial aid awarded by the state.
When you apply for admission, the university uses information you provide on the ApplyTexas application to make an initial determination about residency. (The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board establishes the rules that govern Texas residency for higher education in Texas.)
If the submitted information indicates you aren’t a U.S. citizen or permanent resident but that you may qualify for residency based on Texas high school graduation, you will be eligible to submit a Residency Affidavit. It must be completed, signed, notarized and submitted to the Office of Admissions and recruitment before your residency status could be changed.
High School Graduation
This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. International students on certain visa types may be eligible to earn residency. The eligible visas can be found by clicking here.
- To establish residency through high school graduation, you must:
- Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas; and
- Live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and
- Live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at the university (or another college or university).
If you are an international student seeking residency through high school graduation, you must submit a Residency Affidavit (PDF) stating that you will apply for permanent residency when you are eligible to do so.
This option for establishing Texas residency is available to:
- Citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. (Non-citizens and non-permanent residents may also use this option if they have an application for permanent residency on file with the S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.)
- International students who possess an eligible visa
- If you are independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If your parent(s) claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.
- To establish domicile, you or your parent(s) must meet the following criteria:
- Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months; and
- Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months, as evidenced by:
- Gainful employment in Texas;
Note: Student jobs do not qualify as gainful employment.
- Sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by the person seeking to enroll or the dependent’s parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence;
- Ownership and operation of a business in Texas; or
- Marriage for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas.
- Gainful employment in Texas;
All documentation must be submitted together and will not be accepted separately. If status is being reclassified as an instate resident we must have proof of domicile, proof of residence in Texas for the previous 12 months and the Residency Questionnaire.
Proof of residence in Texas
- Lease Agreement for previous 12 months
- If no lease, notarized letter from landlord or owner of the residence where you have been living for the past 12 months.
- Voter registration card showing residence and when card was issued.
- Utility bills for 12 consecutive months
- Credit report with address listed
Proof of Employment
- Letter from employer on company letterhead
- Check stubs for 12 consecutive months
Questions about other acceptable documents please email firstname.lastname@example.org.