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The following Frequently-Asked Questions and answers are provided as an aid to assist students and prospective students determine whether they qualify as Illinois residents for tuition purposes. These questions and their answers do not replace or supersede the University's Residency Status Regulations or the determination of tuition residency by the University's residency counselors.
Please also note that the University's requirements to establish residency may be different from those of other Illinois institutions of higher education or of other federal or state agencies.
1. I am not an Illinois resident. How can I become a resident for tuition purposes?
If you are a dependent: Your family must live in or move to Illinois. The in-state tuition rate would begin at the start of the next term.
If you are not a dependent: You must live in Illinois for one full year for non-educational purposes. This means you may not attend school for the year you are establishing residency.
2. What do I, an independent student, have to do to be considered an Illinois resident for tuition purposes?The University of Illinois requires that you be a bona fide resident of Illinois for one calendar year prior to the term for which you are applying for resident status. Bona fide residency involves being gainfully employed and actually living in the state for one year, and taking other specific actions which link you to the state of Illinois. It also requires that you reside in Illinois primarily for reasons that are not related to receiving an education. It's important that actions be completed before the beginning of the term in which you are attempting to establish residency.
3. During the one-year period when I am establishing residency, can I be enrolled at the University
Generally not. A non-resident enrolled at the University is presumed to reside in the state for educational purposes unless they are able to provide significant evidence to the contrary.
4. What do I, a dependent student, have to do to become an Illinois resident for tuition purposes?
A dependent student's place of residency is assumed to be that of his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Proof of parent's/parents' or legal guardian's/guardians' residency may be required.
5. What if my parents are divorced
As long as one parent is a bona fide resident of Illinois, you will receive resident status and pay in-state tuition. This is true even if the parent living outside of Illinois is actually your main source of financial support.
6. If my parents move to Illinois, when can I become a resident?
Whether a dependent or not, you become a resident at the beginning of the next term following your parents move to Illinois. Your parents must actually become domiciled, make their home, in the state of Illinois and may be asked to verify their residence. Your parents dont need to be bona fide residents for a year.
7. What if my parents move outside of Illinois?
Once you are admitted as a resident student, your in-state residency continues and you qualify for in-state tuition provided you maintain continuous enrollment for the fall and spring terms each year and actually live in Illinois. Returning to your parents' home outside of Illinois for the summer only would not jeopardize your in-state tuition.
8. What if my parent(s) own property in Illinois, but do not live in Illinois?
You are not eligible for in-state tuition.
9. What if my grandparents, aunt, uncle, sibling, etc. are Illinois residents?
Illinois residency may only be claimed through a parent, spouse or legal guardian.
10. How important is registering to vote and getting a driver's license/or an Illinois identification card?
These actions signify intent to reside in Illinois for other than educational purposes. If eligible, you would be expected to hold the voter's registration and the driver's license or identification card for at least one calendar year prior to the term for which you are seeking resident status.
11. What is meant by gainful employment
Gainful employment means that you earn income and file and pay taxes in Illinois on income sufficient to meet one-half of tuition, fees and normal living expenses for a one-year period. Educational loans, loans from parents or support from a relative in Illinois do not constitute self-sufficiency or gainful employment, for example.
Employment during the summer terms alone or University employment connected to your student status, e.g. teaching or graduate assistantships, do not contribute to either the gainful employment or the one-year financial independence requirements.
12. Do I have to file Illinois income taxes? Can my parents claim me in another state while I'm establishing residency?
To obtain residency separate from your parents you must show financial independence. That includes NOT being claimed by your parents on their federal income tax return. Also, you must file an Illinois income tax return.
13. What if I don't receive an answer about my residency until after the last date to drop a course and receive a refund?
You must make a decision whether you will enroll with the risk of being a nonresident student. A verbal recommendation from a staff member of the University is not grounds for determination of residency. The only determination which is official is the finding by the appropriate campus admissions or registrar's office (see contact links below), and then, if necessary, the finding through the formal appeals process.
14. I am an international person who has applied for permanent resident status in the United States. When may I qualify for in-state tuition?
As long as you hold a temporary visa, you do not qualify for in-state tuition. However, when you receive federal notification that your status for permanent residency has been approved, you may start the period of establishment of residency for in-state tuition. Notification that your application has been received is not sufficient.
15. I will be enrolling with an F-1 visa. May I qualify for in-state tuition?
You are not eligible for in-state tuition.
16. What about the H-1 visa?
The holder of an H-1B or H-1C visa may be eligible for residency for tuition purposes. A dependent of someone holding an H-1B or H-1C visa, and who holds an H-4 visa, may also be eligible.
17. What if I am on a non-immigrant visa, but I marry a person who is a resident of Illinois?
As long as you are on a non-immigrant visa, you cannot establish in-state residency or qualify for in-state tuition.
18. My Citizenship status is one of the following: Asylee, Paroled, Refugee or Other.
If you can answer 'Yes' to the following four questions, you may be eligible for in-state tuition. You will need to submit the Residency Affidavit.
1) Did you reside with your parent(s) while attending a public or private high school in Illinois?
2) Did you (or will you) graduate from a public or private high school in Illinois?
3) Did you (or will you) attend school in Illinois for at least 3 years as of the date you graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma?
4) If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, will you provide the University of Illinois with an affidavit stating that you will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at your earliest opportunity?
19. I have lived in Illinois all my life, but left the state to attend undergraduate school. I wish to return to Illinois for graduate school. Will I be a resident?
Residents of Illinois may temporarily leave the state and retain residency. However, you may be asked to show proof that Illinois is still your domicile. That could include showing that you voted in Illinois and filed taxes in Illinois. If your parents still live in Illinois, you will be considered a resident.
20. I do not currently live in Illinois, but my parent(s) have maintained residency in Illinois while in the U.S. military?
If your parent's/parents' residency has been maintained in Illinois by being the home of record while serving in the military, you may qualify for in-state tuition. Families will need to provide the DD214 or official military orders. Please send documents to the campus office shown below.
21. My spouse lives in Illinois, is employed in Illinois, files taxes, and has taken other actions which verify intent to reside in Illinois. Am I a resident?
A person can gain residency through his or her spouse if that spouse is a bona fide resident of Illinois. The spouse may be asked to show proof of bona fide residency in Illinois for one calendar year.
22. I am a partner in an Illinois civil union. How does that affect my residency?
The University of Illinois treats parties to a legally documented civil union the same as it would a spouse for tuition residency policy purposes.
23. My spouse is a graduate assistant. Am I a resident?
Not necessarily. Employment as a graduate student alone does not automatically entitle the graduate assistant or his/her spouse to resident benefits.
24. What paperwork do I have to file to request a change in my residency classification?
The change process begins with filing a Petition for Determination of Residency Status. It must be received by the appropriate campus office (see the contact links below and on the Regulations page) by the filing deadline - September 30 for the fall term, February 15 for the spring term, and June 20 for the summer term. The Petition can be obtained at the campus office (see below) or downloaded from this web site. You should attach copies of documents to verify the information contained in the Petition, and you may be asked to provide other information.
25. What if I disagree with the residency finding made based on my Petition for Determination of Residency Status?
If you wish to appeal the finding based on your Petition, you must submit a written request for appeal to the appropriate campus office (see the contact links below and on the Regulations page). It must be received within 20 days from the date of the Petition finding. Late requests will not be reviewed. You may be asked to submit additional documentation. The appeal will be reviewed by the University office charged with that responsibility, and the resulting determination is final.
26. I am a resident of Wisconsin (Missouri, etc.). Does the University of Illinois offer in-state tuition or tuition reciprocity to residents of Wisconsin (Missouri, etc.)?
No, the University of Illinois does not offer in-state tuition to residents of states other than Illinois.
27. Who should I contact if I have further questions?
Please contact a residency counselor located on the appropriate University campus:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (217) 333-6565 email@example.com
University of Illinois at Chicago (312) 996-4350 firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Illinois at Springfield (217) 206-4847 email@example.com
Last Updated 04/15/2013: tmg