Emancipation & Nonemancipation

What is Emancipation?

Emancipation requires you to demonstrate financial and residential independence. This means that you cannot receive financial support from your parents, extended family or other similar sources, including from funds your parents or others may have previously established in your name. Parents and family may provide reasonable incidental gifts consistent with emancipation, so long as such gifts are not inconsistent with the concept of financial independence.

You are an emancipated minor if you are less than 22 years old and have been financially and residentially independent for at least one year. This means your parents, grandparents, family, friends, etc. have entirely surrendered the right to your care, custody, and earnings, are no longer under a duty to support you, and have made no provision for your support. You must have income necessary to pay all of your ordinary or necessary expenses, including tuition.

Financial support from sources outside your personal income, including gifts and loans (including PLUS loans), and trust funds or other assets established by your family are regarded as evidence of non-emancipation if the funds or assets were intended, or could reasonably have been expected, to provide support for the period you claim to be emancipated. If you are an emancipated minor granted in-state tuition status, you are subject to reclassification as a non-resident if support is resumed.

Evidence of Emancipation

The following may be considered as evidence of emancipation, although none of these items, other than marriage, may be considered as conclusive evidence of emancipation:

  • Entry into the military service by the minor
  • Evidence that the minor is independently able to meet his or her own financial obligations, including the cost of his or her education
  • A minor’s marriage
  • Any other factor peculiar to the individual that tends to establish that he or she is independent.

Evidence of Nonemancipation

If you are less than 22 years old and depend on anyone for financial support, you are an  unemancipated minor. Nonemancipated minors must qualify for in-state tuition through their parents or court-appointed legal guardians. As a nonemancipated minor, you qualify for in-state tuition if either of your parents, regardless of custody, has been domiciled in Colorado for the one year prior to the first day of class, even if you reside elsewhere. The parent-child or guardian-child relationship must also have been in effect for one year.

  • A parent’s claiming of a minor as a dependent for the purpose of income taxation
  • A student’s receipt of and reliance on gifts, loans, or proceeds from an inter vivos trust regardless of the date of receipt thereof and whether such funds are proffered by the parents, another relative, or a friend of the minor
  • The minor’s continued residence in the home of his or her parents (temporary visits excepted)

Any other factor peculiar to the individual that tends to establish that he or she lacks independence.

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