2.7 Residency Requirements

Determination of residency status for tuition purposes is made by Northeastern Junior College as prescribed by the Colorado State Stature.

Tuition Determination

General Guidelines

Colorado State Tuition Classification is determined by domicile for students who are twenty-three years of age or older, or their biological parents or court appointed legal guardian if they are under the age of twenty-three. Domicile is established by demonstrating two factors, physical presence and intent to create domicile. 

Physical presence is established by having a fixed and permanent home established in Colorado twelve consecutive months prior to the beginning of the semester that the student plans to enroll. 

Intent is established by creating legal ties in Colorado and severing ties to other states. 

Intent must also be established twelve continuous months prior to the beginning of the semester.  Examples of legal ties are motor vehicle registration, driver’s license, voter registration, employment, and Colorado state income taxes.  Physical presence alone does not confer residency.

Students who are under twenty-three (23) years of age are not considered emancipated and their residency is based upon their parents or legal guardian.  Legal guardianship can only be established through court order and petitioners must prove that the change in guardianship is not for in-state tuition purposes.  Either biological parent can be used for tuition classification purposes.  Likewise, students can petition for in-state tuition in order to prove that they are emancipated.  Students must prove that their parent or legal guardian has severed all forms of support, care, and custody in order to be considered emancipated, which includes demonstrating that he/she has income sufficient to be self-supporting in addition to domicile and intent.  Evidence of non-emancipation are driving a parent-owned vehicle, having a parent co-signed loan, carrying the student on automobile insurance or medical insurance, or living in a parent-owned home.   Since the Residency Examiner must determine that no student under the age of twenty-three (23) is emancipated per statute, the student and parent are required to provide clear and convincing evidence of emancipation.  The general public erroneously believes that persons are automatically emancipated at age eighteen. 

There are provisions in the law to treat some categories of students as residents for tuition purposes.  They include married students under twenty-three (23) years of age, military personnel, prisoners and other inmates, non-immigrant aliens, Olympic athletes, and persons whose parents moved away from Colorado and the student remained to graduate from a Colorado high school.

Initial Classification Procedures

The initial tuition classification decision is made by Admissions and Records staff based upon the residency information provided on the application for admission.  Persons with incomplete residency information and persons, who are required to provide parent’s information and do not, may be classified as non-residents.  The Colorado Community College Registrars have used both the “rule of three” as a guideline for determining residency and others have used the “rule of two.”  The rule of three requires domicile plus three intent documents on the application for admissions, whereas, the rule of two requires domicile plus two intent documents.  In order to attain consensus, the Community College Registrars were asked to submit a vote on behalf of their respective colleges.   The “rule of two” prevailed.  This means that students or their parents, depending upon age and/or emancipation, must indicate physical presence and at least two intent documents on the application for admissions in order to be classified as a resident.  The Community Colleges of Colorado Registrars have an “application correction form” that students may file if the information on the original application is incomplete or needs to be corrected.  If a correction is noted, documentation is required.

Petition Procedures

Changes to tuition classification require a petition for “in-state” tuition classification with documentation to support the claim of resident status.  The petition form is available in the Admissions and Records Office.  If the petition submitted is incomplete, the Residency Examiner sends a letter to the student requesting necessary documentation with a deadline to respond.   If the documentation is not provided, colleges deny the petition for in-state tuition.  Paying State of Colorado income tax is considered highly persuasive evidence of intent to remain permanently in Colorado.  However, no one factor should enable or prohibit a student from attaining in-state tuition.  Colorado State Law requires that motor vehicle registration and driver’s license or identification be changed to Colorado within thirty days of relocation, so these are persuading intent factors also.  The Residency Examiner determines if there is sufficient evidence to support a claim of domicile, intent, and/or emancipation.  An approval or denial letter is sent to the student with the rationale for denial.  The petition form and response letters are not consistent in the system at this time.  The deadline to submit a petition for “in-state” tuition classification is the 10th day of the term for which the student is petitioning.

Appeal Procedures

Appeals can be made to the residency petition decision.   Students may file a formal appeal with the Appeals Committee, Director of Admissions and Records, and/or Registrar at each college.  In addition, some colleges have a Tuition Classification Hearing Board.  This appeal decision is final.

The Director of Admissions and Records will be glad to answer questions about residence.  Opinions of other persons are neither official nor binding.