For tuition purposes, California law (EC §68000 & Code of Regulations Title 5, §54000-54072) requires that every student who applies for admission or enrolls in courses at any public college provides evidence and information that proves their residency in California. If you are 18 years old or younger, go to the information “for those 18 years old and younger” below.
To qualify as a California resident, you must have:
- Been physically present in the state of California, and
- Taken steps to make California your sole place of residence for one year and one day prior to the first day of classes of the semester or term you want to attend.
This is also known as Physical Presence and Proof of Intent, and you are required to show proof of these. All documentation must be given to Admissions & Records in person before you start your first class.
Here are examples of the documentation that confirm Physical Presence. These documents must be valid, readable, dated within the past year, and have your name and California address clearly listed.
One document is required to meet evidence of Physical Presence:
- Active checking or savings statements for a California bank account
- Utility bills, such as electric, internet, or cable bill
- Proof of employment, such as a pay stub
- Rental agreement or mortgage statements
- Divorce petition in California
- Verification of public assistance in California
- DD-214 military discharge form
- Active resident membership in a California professional, social, or service organization
- If you are a California nonresident who graduated from a California high school, find out if you qualify for AB 540 Tuition Exemption Request for Eligible High School Graduates
- If you hold a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), you are granted an immediate nonresident tuition fee-waiver for one year from the date you arrived in California after entering the U.S. – please contact Admissions & Records for more information
Proof of Intent
Examples of Proof of Intent documentation are the following. These must also be valid, readable, have your name and California address listed, and dated at least one year and a day before your first day of classes for the semester you want to attend.
Two documents are needed to meet evidence of Proof of Intent:
- California state (540) and federal (1040) tax returns with W-2 forms (bring in all tax documents)
- California driver’s license and/or California ID card
- California automobile registration
- California voter registration
- Active duty orders and military ID for military personnel
Be advised: LASC will make the final determination of residency, and we reserve the right to ask for additional documentation that may be needed to assist us in determining your residency. The more evidence you can show towards your intent to remain in California, the easier it is to receive California residency. We recommend you start building your list of these documents as soon as you possibly can after arriving in California.