Residency for Tuition Purposes
A Florida “resident for tuition purposes” is a person who has, or a dependent person whose parent or legal guardian has, established and maintained legal residency in Florida for at least twelve (12) consecutive months preceding the first day of classes of the term for which Florida residency is sought. Statute allows a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident, and eligible aliens as defined in Florida Residency Guidelines Appendix C to be classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes. Final residency determination is based on Florida state guidelines.
A student's residency classification is determined at the time of admission to EFSC, in accordance with F.S. 1009.21. A minimum of two pieces of acceptable documentation must be submitted with a completed Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purposes. The declaration and all documentary evidence must be submitted by the last day to drop classes and have fees adjusted for the term in which the student is seeking in-state tuition.
The Guidelines on Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes document can be found here.
Students may petition to reclassify their status after having their legal domicile in the state of Florida for 12 months. The student must submit the Florida Residency Declaration for Tuition Purpose form along with current documentation that supports permanent legal residency in this state for 12 consecutive months.
A student may become eligible for reclassification by presenting a minimum of three clear and convincing documents as evidence, one of which must be from Section A /First Tier Documents, to the Campus Admissions and Records Office by the Last Day to Drop and have fees adjusted for the term in which reclassification is requested. For documentation to be “clear and convincing” it must be credible, trustworthy, and sufficient to persuade the College that the student or, if that student is a dependent, his or her parent, or legal guardian, has established legal residency in Florida that is not solely for the purpose of pursuing an education and has relinquished residency in any other state for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to classification. The Collegewide Residency Committee will render the final decision.
Physical Presence vs. Legal Residence
It is important to understand that living or attending school in Florida is not tantamount to establishing a legal residence for tuition purposes. Maintaining a legal residence in Florida requires substantial physical presence as a condition. Eligibility depends on the extent to which the Florida resident maintains Florida legal ties and does not retain or establish ties with another state.
Qualifications by Exception
Students may be eligible for a waiver of out-of-state tuition if they qualify for one of the following exceptions. Documentation appropriate to the particular exception will be required. Other exceptions exist; these are the most common.
- A qualified beneficiary under the terms of the Florida PrePaid College Program (Required: Copy of Florida Prepaid Recipient card.)
- Married to a person who has maintained legal residence in Florida for at least the past 12 consecutive months. Student has established legal residence and intends to make Florida his/her permanent home. (Required: copy of marriage certificate and/or other documents required to establish residency.)
- Previously enrolled at a Florida state postsecondary institution and classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes. Student transferred to Eastern Florida State College within 12 months of the previous enrollment. (Required: Evidence of previous enrollment as a Florida resident)
- Previously enrolled at a Florida state postsecondary institution and classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes. Student abandoned their Florida domicile less than 12 months ago and is now re-establishing Florida legal residence.
- Active duty members of the Armed Services of the United States residing in this state and their spouses and dependent children, and active drilling members of the Florida National Guard. (Required: Copy of military orders indicating Florida assignment or DD2058 and most recent LES showing home of record.)
- Full-time instructional and administrative personnel employed by the state public schools and institutions of higher education and their spouses and dependent children.
(Required: Employment Verification)
- Students from Latin America and the Caribbean who receive scholarships from the federal or state government. Any student classified pursuant to this paragraph shall attend, on a full-time basis, a Florida institution of higher education.
(Required: proof of scholarship and Latin America or Caribbean residency.)
- Full-time employees of state agencies or political subdivisions of the state when the student fees are paid by the state agency or political subdivision for the purpose of job-related law enforcement or corrections training.
(Required: Employment verification/payment agreement.)
Determination of Independent or Dependent Status
Independent or dependent status determines whether the student has to submit his/her own documentation of residency (as an independent) or his/her parent's or legal guardian's documentation of residency (as a dependent).
A student who meets any one of the following criteria shall be classified as an independent student for the determination of residency for tuition purposes:
- The student is 24 years of age or older by the first day of classes of the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution.
- The student is married.
- The student has children who receive more than half of their support from the student;
- The student has other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student.
- The student is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or is currently serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces or National Guard or Reserves for purposes other than training.
- At any time since the student turned age 13, where both of the student's parents are deceased, or the student is or was (until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court or in foster care.
- The student can provide documentation that he/she provides at least 50% of his/her own support for the cost of attendance as defined by the EFSC Financial Aid Office.
- The student is determined an unaccompanied homeless youth by the school district homeless liaison, or by a staff member of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.
All other students who do not meet the above definition of an independent student shall be classified as dependent students for the determination of residency for tuition purposes.
If an applicant qualifies for a statutory residency exception or qualification, then appropriate documentation must be submitted to evidence entitlement to that exception or qualification. Such evidence is generally specific to the type of residency exception or qualification being claimed by the applicant.
If an applicant does not qualify for a statutory residency exception or qualification they will have to submit documentation that they (or a parent or legal guardian, if a dependent) have been a Florida resident for at least 12 months prior to the first day of classes for which the student is enrolling. At least two of the following documents must be submitted, with dates that evidence the 12-month qualifying period. At least one of the documents must be from Section A/ First Tier. As some evidence is more persuasive than others, more than two may be requested. No single piece of documentation will be considered conclusive. Additionally, there must be an absence of information that contradicts the applicant's claim of residency.
Section A/First Tier Documents
(At least one of the two documents submitted must be from this list)
- Florida driver license or Florida identification card. An ID card can be used only if there is no evidence of ties to another state; i.e., the claimant cannot possess a valid driver license from another state.
- Florida vehicle registration
- Florida voter registration card
- Proof of permanent home in Florida occupied as primary residence for 12 consecutive months prior to the student’s enrollment. (Required: document such as a deed or other evidence of title to property used as primary residence, a homeowner’s policy, a title insurance policy, evidence of a property tax payment on the primary residence, multiple leases reflecting a Florida address, or a lease of multiple years’ duration.)
- Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida. (Required: document from the county tax collector demonstrating the application of a homestead exemption to the claimant’s primary residence.)
- Official transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years (2 or more years), if the Florida high school diploma or GED® was earned within the last 12 months.
- Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period. (Required: paystubs or W-2 form for past 12 consecutive months and verification from employers, and/or an IRS 1099 with verification of employment for the past 12 consecutive months from an employer.)
Section B/Second Tier Documents
(May be used in conjunction with one document from Section A/First Tier)
- Declaration of domicile in Florida in accordance with F.S. 222.17.
- Florida professional or occupational license.
- Florida incorporation.
- Document evidencing family ties in Florida.
- Proof of membership in Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
- Any other documentation that supports your request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
Examples of Unacceptable Residency Documents
|Birth Certificate||Shopping/Rental Club card|
|Social Security||Library Card|
|Insurance Card||Florida Concealed Weapons Permit|