For assistance with determining residency status call: (509) 533-3520
Criteria for Resident Status
To be classified as a resident for tuition and fee purposes, a student must either:
- be financially independent and have established a bona fide domicile in the state
of Washington for other than primarily educational purposes for one year immediately
prior to the first day of the academic quarter. -OR-
- be financially dependent and have one or both parents domiciled in the state of
Washington for a period of one year immediately prior to the first day of the academic
All other students are classified non-resident (with waiver) and are required to
pay the non-resident (with waiver) tuition and fees.
Change of Residency Status
Are you a Washington resident who has been out of Washington State for educational
You may qualify for a change of residency status. Apply for
change of status as soon as possible, as tuition and fees are due by the payment
due date. If your application is submitted during the first 30 days of the quarter
and your classification is changed from non-resident to resident, SFCC will refund
the difference between resident and non-resident fees.
If you are a Washington resident who has been out of Washington to attend an out-of-state
college or university, submit a
Residence Questionnaire together with the following:
- Verification that you resided in Washington for a minimum of one year prior
to leaving the state to attend school.
- Verification from the out-of-state college or university that you were enrolled
as a non-resident and paid non-resident tuition. If enrolled in a private school,
provide verification of enrollment.
- Proof that you maintained all ties with Washington and that you did not take steps
to establish a domicile in another state. Supporting documentation may includea
driver's license, vehicle registration, bank accounts, voter's registration, property
ownership, or personal belongings.
Independent Residency Requirements
- A person must physically reside in the state of Washington primarily for purposes
other than educational for the 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of the
quarter of application. (You may be a student during the 12 months of establishing
residency, as long as you meet all residence requirements outlined below.)
- For a student to be considered independent of parents for residency purposes,
- cannot be claimed as a dependent by parents for the current and prior calendar
- must be financially self-supporting for the current and prior calendar year.
- Note: Any student who lived at a parent's home during his or her senior year of
high school may not count that year for independent status.
- The following documents will assist in the determination of residency status:
- Verification of your financially independent status for the current calendar
year and the prior calendar year (for example, tax return for the most
recent tax year, W-2 forms, financial aid award letters, irrevocable trust funds
with documentation that you are withdrawing funds from the trust, or paycheck stubs
showing year-to-date income). You must show your plan for continuing to independently
finance your education.
- A copy of your parent's federal tax return for the most recent tax year
(top portion listing dependents claimed). This is only required if you are 24 years
of age or younger.
- Copies of rent receipts, lease agreement, letter from landlord, canceled rent
checks or home purchase agreement verifying physical residence in Washington
for the 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of the quarter of application.
- Proof of any permanent full-time or part-time employment in Washington
during the one year prior to the quarter of application.
- A copy of Washington State driver's license if you drive. license should
be acquired upon moving to this state or at least one year prior to the quarter
of application. You may not wait until the expiration date on an out-of-state license.
If you do not drive, provide a copy of your Washington State identification card.
- A copy of Washington State vehicle registration if you own or drive a vehicle
for the one year prior to the quarter of application. A copy of your title will
- A copy of Washington voter registration for the one year prior to the quarter
- Proof of having established a bank account in Washington and any other
documents you may have to show that you have established other "ties" with Washington
for the one year prior to the quarter of application (clubs, organizations, etc.)
- If you are not a U.S. citizen but hold permanent resident immigration status,
temporary resident status, or Refugee status, attach a copy of both sides of your
Resident Alien Card, Form I-94, Temporary Resident card or other verification of
your status with Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). (A person holding
immigrant status may apply for a change in residence classification one year after
application for the qualifying visa.)
Establishing residency if you are financially dependent on parents
- For a student to apply for residency as a dependent, one or both of the student's
parents or court-appointed legal guardians must have physically resided in the state
of Washington for the 12 consecutive months prior to the quarter for which the student
is applying for a change of status.
- The student must be identified as a dependent on the most recent federal income
tax return of the parents or court-appointed legal guardian.
NOTE: If parents are separated, student can be claimed as a dependent by
either parent, as long as one parent has resided in Washington for one year prior
to the quarter of application and has established a domicile.
- The student completes Section 1 and 2 of the questionnaire, parent or legal guardian
completes Section 3 and submits the following documentation showing his or her ties
with Washington for a minimum of one year:
- A copy of parent's most recent federal tax return identifying the applicant
as a dependent (top portion only listing dependents claimed).
- A copy of parent's rent receipts, lease, or home purchase agreement covering
the 12 consecutive months prior to the quarter of application.
- A copy of parent's Washington State motor vehicle registration, and
Washington driver's license.
- A copy of parent's Washington State voter registration.
- If parents or legal guardians are not U.S. citizens but hold permanent or temporary
resident status, or Refugee status, attach a copy of both sides of parent's Resident
Alien Card, Form I-94, Temporary Resident Card, or other verification of their status
with Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).