Providing Residency Information

I've lived in Colorado my whole life. Do I have to answer these residency questions?

Absolutely. Our initial determination of your residency for tuition purposes is based entirely on the information you provide in your admission application and to additional information requests.

If you don't provide enough information for us to make a determination, the Office of Admissions will have to either:

  • Make a determination based only on the information you provided (which can result in a nonresident classification).
  • Refer your application to the Tuition Classification Office, at which time staff will try to get more information from you through your application status page or email.

The quickest and easiest way to make sure you're classified correctly is to complete every residency question in your application and on your status page.

Proving Domicile (Students Aged 22 & Younger)

Does CU Boulder participate in WUE (Western Undergraduate Exchange)?

No, it does not. All non-emancipated undergraduate students who attend CU from Western states are assumed to be nonresidents unless they have a parent living in Colorado who meets Colorado residency requirements.

My parents don't live in Colorado. Can I still qualify for in-state tuition?

Probably not. Unless you qualify for a domicile exception or you're an adult student or emancipated student, your residency for tuition classification purposes is determined by your parents' domicile (legal, permanent residence).

In some cases, the Tuition Classification Office may request more information or ask you to submit a petition to verify your parents' qualifications for residency.

I attended three years of Colorado high school and graduated in the last year. Will I qualify for in-state tuition?

You'll likely qualify for in-state tuition, as long as:

  • You're a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent or undocumented resident
  • You attended three years of Colorado high school
  • You graduated or will graduate from a Colorado high school
  • You were accepted to CU Boulder within one year of graduating high school​

Additional verification may be needed. Address specific questions to

I hold a nonimmigrant visa. Can I still establish Colorado domicile?

Probably not. If you have an F-1, F-2, H-3, M-1, M-2 or J-1 visa, you'll have restricted ability to establish residence in Colorado for tuition purposes.

A J-1 visa holder or their J-2 dependent may qualify for in-state tuition if the J-1 holder isn't a student or trainee, but all other domicile requirements also apply.

If you hold a visa in another category (e.g., H-1B, L, K, V, E, O, P), email for specific requirements and qualifications.

How do my parents prove they've made Colorado their true, fixed and permanent home?

See the Establishing Legal Ties section of our residency guidelines for details.

I'm estranged from my parents, so I don't have access to their information and it's not relevant anyway. Can't I establish residency for myself?

The only way for a student who is 22 years old or younger to petition for residency themselves is by proving they're fully emancipated. If you're emancipated, you don't receive any financial support from your parents, family, friends or other such sources, including from funds they established for you previously.

If you think you qualify as an emancipated student, review our emancipation residency information carefully, then complete a TC 101 training session to access the petition.

Proving Domicile (Students Aged 23 & Older)

Do I just have to prove that I've lived in Colorado for one or more years to qualify for in-state tuition?

No. You do not become a resident for tuition purposes simply by living in Colorado, attending college, obtaining a Colorado driver's license or renting an apartment.

According to Colorado residency statutes, you must:

  1. Be qualified to establish residency. If you've moved to Colorado primarily to attend the University of Colorado, then you're here for educational purposes and may not be eligible to establish residency.

  2. Take action to create legal ties to Colorado in the grace periods allowed. If you intend to make Colorado your true, fixed and permanent home, then you must prove that you've taken the necessary steps to do so.

How do I prove I've made Colorado my true, fixed and permanent home?

As outlined in the state statutes, you must have taken action to create legal ties to Colorado in the grace periods allowed, such as:

  • Securing permanent housing in Colorado. A lease or deed must show that you have lived in Colorado for one full year prior to the first day of the term for which you wish to prove residency. Actions like returning to a former home during school breaks or seeking employment out of state are inconsistent with that of a Colorado resident.

  • Obtaining a Colorado driver’s license or state-issued ID within 120 days of moving to the state.

  • Registering to vote in Colorado if you plan to vote anywhere.

  • Registering your vehicle(s) in Colorado within 180 days of moving to the state.

  • Filing and paying Colorado income taxes as a part-year or full-year resident depending upon when you moved to the state.

  • Securing employment in Colorado to provide additional evidence of residency.
  • Severing your ties to your former state.

I don't qualify for residency in any other state, so doesn't that prove I'm a Colorado resident?

Since Colorado law governs Colorado residency status, the fact that you might not qualify for resident status in any other state does not guarantee resident status in Colorado.

Moreover, if you're classified as a nonresident at the time of matriculation and you seek to establish Colorado domicile while registered at CU, we must presume that you're seeking Colorado domicile solely for tuition purposes. You can rebut this presumption and be deemed a Colorado resident only by a showing of clear and convincing evidence of your eligibility for resident status.