Residency Classifications

Washington State

A resident student is one who is a U.S. citizen or an eligible immigrant with visa classifications A, E, G, I, or K. To qualify as a resident, the student must:

  1. Be financially independent from parents and have established residence in the state of Washington primarily for purposes other than education for a period of one (1) year immediately prior to commencement of the quarter for which they plan to register, or
  2. Be a dependent student, with one or both parents maintaining a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington for at least one (1) year prior to the commencement of the quarter for which they plan to register.

Residency in the state of Washington is evidenced not only by physical presence in the state, but must also be evidenced by having a sufficient number of permanent Washington documents for the twelve (12) months prior to enrolling, in order to demonstrate the intent to remain in Washington permanently.
Acceptable evidence of Washington residency can include:

  • Valid Washington driver's license
  • Voter registration
  • Washington vehicle registration (not title)
  • Purchase of primary residence, in which student resides
  • Lease agreement, or monthly rent receipts
  • Permanent full-time employment
  • Bank accounts (checking and/or savings)

Special regulations apply to some Washington higher education employees, Washington National Guard members and their dependents domiciled in Washington, and to military personnel and their dependents stationed in the state of Washington.


Active Duty Military

Active duty military stationed in the state of Washington and their spouses and dependents qualify as residents for tuition purposes. At the time spouses or dependent family members apply for admission, documentation such as a copy of the military ID card or other appropriate documents, must be presented.

Washington National Guard

Washington National Guard members, their spouses and dependents, qualify for resident tuition as long as they are domiciled in Washington.

  • Resided in Washington State for the three (3) years immediately prior to receiving a high school diploma, and completed the full senior year at a Washington high school, OR
  • Completed the equivalent of a high school diploma and resided in Washington State for the three (3) years immediately before receiving the equivalent of the diploma, AND
  • Continuously resided in the State since earning the high school diploma or its equivalent AND
  • Certify that they will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States as soon as they are eligible to apply.


Students under this category are not eligible to pay resident tuition or any other tuition waiver, regardless of the length of residence in Washington. Students with visa classifications B, C, D, F, H, J, L, M or TN/TD will pay the "non-citizen" tuition rate.

Exception: Dreamers - Individuals eligible under HB1079


Changing Residency Status

Students wishing to change their residency classification must submit a Residency Reclassification Questionnaire and supply required documentation. Any change in classification must be based upon sufficient written evidence maintained in the files of the Admissions Office. If approved, the reclassification takes effect the quarter such evidence is filed, provided the application for change in classification is submitted within thirty (30) days following the first day of the quarter for which the application is made. If the questionnaire is submitted after thirty (30) days, the reclassification takes effect the next quarter.

The evidence provided must qualify the student as a resident prior to the first day of the quarter. The burden of proof is on the applicant.