Tuition and Fees

Financially Independent

You are an independent student if you are no longer financially dependent upon your parents or legal guardians. Residency is determined by several factors.

  1. Physical presence - You may be eligible for classification as a resident if you can provide clear and convincing evidence of physical presence in Washington with the intent to establish a domicile (residency) for purposes other than educational for 12 full months preceding the official start date of the quarter of enrollment.
  2. Intent to establish a domicile - The documents listed below may be required to provide clear and convincing evidence for establishing domicile primarily for other than education.
  3. Financial independence - You must also provide evidence of sufficient income (earnings) to pay the majority (51%) of annual estimated expenses as published by the Spokane Falls Community College Financial Aid office for the current and previous calendar years.
    Note: Married students under the age of 25 must provide a copy of federal income tax return.

What documents will I need to provide?

  • Completed Residence Questionnaire
  • Immigration documents (if you are not a U.S. Citizen)
  • Rental/lease agreement (first and signature page only), or home purchase agreement
  • Verification of current employment and year-to-date earnings
  • Washington State driver’s license or Washington State identification card.
    Note: Residents of the state are required to replace their previous state’s driver’s licenses within 30 days of becoming a resident.
  • Washington State vehicle registration(s)
  • Washington voter registration or Certificate of Voter Registration
  • First and signature page of federal income tax returns for the most recent tax year. You may also provide W-2 forms, financial aid award letters, irrevocable trust funds with documentation that you are withdrawing funds from the trust, and/or paycheck stubs showing year-to-date income. You must demonstrate financial independence for the previous and current calendar year.
  • A copy of your parent's most recent federal income tax return, demonstrating that you are not named as a dependent, may also be required if you were claimed as a dependent the prior tax year.

WAC 250-18-030: Presumption of Move to Washington for Educational Purposes

A nonresident student who enrolls for more than six hours per quarter shall be presumed to be in the state of Washington for primarily educational purposes. Such period of enrollment shall not be counted toward the establishment of a bona fide domicile of one year in this state unless such student proves that he or she has, in fact, established a bona fide domicile in this state primarily for purposes other than educational. Therefore, the 12-month count will begin when ALL duties required of Washington residents have been completed.

Note: Presumption does not apply to students who have been transferred to the state for employment, moved to Washington with parents, or who have moved with their spouse.

Residency documents may be mailed to the Residency Office at MS3011, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224. Completed questionnaires and all supporting documentation must be received by the 30th calendar day of the quarter for which application is made. Documentation received after the 30th calendar day will be considered for the following quarter. You will be contacted by the residency office once your documents have been reviewed and a decision rendered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to work in order to obtain residency?

If you attend school during your first year in Washington and enroll in more than 6 credits per quarter, yes, you will have to verify that you work. In this case, you must work for approximately 30 hours a week for the entire time you are attending school for more than 6 credits or document that you are able to meet 51% of your annual expenses, including tuition, books, food and housing and personal expenses through employment at a non-student job for the current and previous calendar year.

Can I use trust funds to supplement my financial independence?

Yes, you may use trust funds to supplement you financial independence; however, the trust funds are only valid if it was established before you entered the 10th grade. You will be asked to provide documentation of when the trust was established.

What if a student only left the state of Washington for school?

If you only left the state of Washington for the purposes of attending school, you may still be considered a resident for tuition purposes if you:

  • Complete a Residence Questionnaire
  • Provide proof that you were consistently enrolled in school for the entire time that you were absent from Washington
  • Provide proof that you were paying out-of-state tuition
  • Verify that you did not sever any of your legal ties (obtain another license, vehicle registration, etc.)

I just moved to Washington to get married. My spouse has lived in Washington for over a year. Am I a considered a resident?

No. As an independent student, you must physically reside in Washington for at least twelve months and provide proof that you have established legal ties to Washington before residency is granted. Legal ties include, obtaining a Washington state drivers' license, registering a vehicle, or registering to vote in Washington.

How do I qualify for the Non-Resident Tuition Waiver?

The non-resident tuition waiver is applied by the Residency Office. To qualify for the non-resident tuition waiver, an independent student must meet the following conditions:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a permanent resident card (green card)
  • Paid non-resident tuition for one quarter
  • Provide documentation that verifies all necessary steps have been taken to establish Washington domicile (residency).

Contact the Residency Office for more information: sfcc.admissions@sfcc.spokane.edu

I am an American Indian moving to Washington from Idaho. When will I pay in-state tuition?

American Indian students who meet the following two conditions are eligible to pay resident tuition at colleges and universities in Washington State:

  • For a period of one year immediately prior to enrollment, the students must have been domiciled in one or a combination of the following states: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington.
  • Students must be a member of one of the federally recognized Indian tribes, as determined under Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations (25CFR), whose traditional and customary tribal boundaries included portions of the state of Washington, or whose tribe was granted reserved lands within the state of Washington.

Financially Dependent

You are a dependent student if you are under the age of 25, unmarried, and one or both of your parents or court-appointed guardians have physically resided in Washington State for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of your application to Spokane Falls Community College. As a dependent, you must be identified on your parents or guardians most recent federal income tax returns.

Note: If parents are separated, students can be claimed as a dependent by either parent, as long one parent has established domicile in Washington for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of application.

What do you need to provide?

You must complete section 1 and 2 of the Residence Questionnaire. A parent or legal guardian must complete section 3. In addition to the completed questionnaire, your parents or legal guardian must provide the following documentation demonstrating ties with Washington for a minimum of one year:

Residency documents may be mailed to the Residency Office in Building 17, MS3011, 3410 W. Fort George Wright Dr., Spokane, WA 99224. Completed questionnaires and all supporting documentation must be received by the 30th calendar day of the quarter for which application is made. Documentation received after the 30th calendar day will be considered for the following quarter. You will be contacted by the residency office once your documents have been reviewed and a decision has been made.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Status is "undetermined" and I’m being charged non-resident tuition. Why?

Students whose status is "undetermined" may have missed providing information or documentation required to determine a resident classification for tuition purposes. Students whose status is undetermined will pay tuition at the non-resident rate until missing information is provided.

Note: Former Running Start students are classified as "undetermined" until they have completed a new admission application. Contact the Admission Office at (509) 533-3500.

My parents moved away from Washington while I remained in Washington to complete high school. Do I qualify to pay in-state tuition?

You may be eligible to pay in-state tuition if you continued high school in Washington, remained after graduation and entered a Washington college or university within 6 months of graduation. You will be required to complete a Residence Questionnaire and supporting documents which verify that your parents established residency for at least 12 months prior to leaving the state.

I am graduating from an out-of-state high school; however, one of my parents is a Washington state resident. Can I gain residency?

If you are living and attending an out-of-state high school or other college/university and you are claimed as a dependent on your parents/legal guardian's taxes, it may be possible to gain residency through a parent or legal guardian that has been and still resides in the state of Washington. The parent/legal guardian must have been living in the state of Washington 12 months prior to the term you are seeking residency and must hold all state of Washington residency documents. You would fill out section one and two of the questionnaire, and your parent/legal guardian who is domiciled in the state of Washington would fill out section three of the questionnaire and submit copies of the required documentation.

Is legal guardianship the same as power of attorney?

No. Guardianship is awarded through an official court proceeding. To become a guardian either the party intending to be the guardian or a local official responsible for the child's welfare will petition the court to appoint the guardian. Guardianship is awarded to minors (under the age of 18) and remains under court supervision until the child reaches 18.

How do I qualify for the Non-resident tuition waiver?

The non-resident tuition waiver is applied by the Admissions Office. To qualify for the waiver, a dependent student must meet the following conditions:

  • Parents must be a U.S. citizen or have a permanent resident card (green card)
  • Paid non-resident tuition for one quarter
  • Provide documentation that verifies parent(s) have taken all necessary steps to establish Washington domicile (residency)

Contact the Admissions Office for more information: sfcc.admissions@sfcc.spokane.edu


Eligible Non-Citizen

Permanent U.S. Residents (green card) - Issued 12 months prior to the first day of the quarter

You may apply for Washington State residency if you meet the following conditions:

  • You have received final approval for Permanent Resident immigrant status
  • Your application for adjustment to Permanent Resident status was filed at least 12 months prior to the first day of the quarter for which they are requesting to be classified as Washington residents
  • You meet the requirements as an Independent student (with the exception of registering to vote); or
  • A parent meets the requirements, if you are a dependent student

Refugee or Asylum Status

You may apply for Washington State residency if you have received final approval for refugee or asylum status and you have established Washington as your permanent domicile/residence.

Qualifying Visas - Issued 12 months prior to the first day of the quarter

You may apply for Washington State residency for tuition and fee purposes if you have a valid A, E, G, H1, H4, I, L2, L2, and you or your parent meet the residency requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Status is "undetermined" and I’m being charged non-resident tuition. Why?

Students whose status is "undetermined" may have missed providing information or documentation required to determine a resident classification for tuition purposes. Students whose status is undetermined will pay tuition at the non-resident rate until missing information is provided.

Note: Former Running Start students are classified as "undetermined" until they have completed a new admission application. Contact the Admission Office at (509) 533-3500.

I have a newly issued permanent resident card. Can I qualify for Washington state residency?

Yes, if your application for adjustment to Permanent Resident status was filed at least 12 months prior to the beginning of the quarter for which you are requesting to be classified a Washington resident, and you have established legal ties to Washington (with the exception of registering to vote).


Eligible Undocumented

House Bill 1079

A Washington law determines whether students can be considered residents of Washington eligible to pay in-state resident tuition rates at public institutions (RCW 28B.15.012). This law was revised in 2003 to allow certain students attending public colleges and universities to be eligible for resident student tuition rates. In 2014, House Bill 6523 – the Real Hope Act was passed. The state's financial aid law was amended so that these students are eligible to be considered for need-based state aid (State Need Grant) if they are attending either public or participating private colleges in Washington (RCW28B.92.101). For information on eligibility and the application process for State Need Grant, please visit www.readysetgrad.org/wasfa.

To qualify for resident tuition status and/or State Need Grant eligibility, students must complete an affidavit/declaration/certification if they have met the following conditions:

  • Resided in Washington State for three (3) years immediately prior to receiving a high school diploma, and completed the full senior year at a Washington high school; or
  • Completed the equivalent of a high school diploma and resided in Washington State for the three (3) years immediately before receiving the equivalent diploma (GED); and
  • Continuously resided in Washington State since earning the high school diploma or its equivalent (GED)

If you are eligible, please print and complete the HB1079 affidavit/declaration/certification: Washington Higher Education Affidavit/Declaration/Certification form

Please submit the original of the completed and signed affidavit to the residency office. E-mailed or faxed forms, or forms without an original signature, are not accepted.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

Effective July 2015, you may qualify to pay resident tuition if you have DACA status. You will be asked to provide a copy of your work authorization card, a INS notice of action receipt and proof that you have established domicile in Washington for at least 12 continuous months prior to the first day of the quarter. Please contact the admissions office for more information.

You may learn more about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and helpful resources and services to support undocumented students and DACA applicants at the US Center for Immigration Services (USCIS)'s DACA page.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to be undocumented?

An undocumented person is a non-citizen who entered the U.S. without legal immigration status, or who stayed after the period he/she was authorized to be here.

If I am undocumented, can I apply for financial aid?

As an undocumented student, you are not eligible for federal financial aid (FAFSA). However, in 2014 the state’s financial aid law was amended so that undocumented students may be considered for need-based state aid (State Need Grant). For information on eligibility and the application process for State Need Grant, please visit www.readysetgrad.org/wasfa.

Where can I find out about scholarships for undocumented students?

There are several places where you can find scholarship lists that do not require you to be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, and that do not ask for a social security number. The following websites include scholarship lists: www.maldef.org, www.salef.org, www.fastweb.com.


Active Duty Military Members

Stationed in Washington & Washington National Guard

You may be eligible to pay resident tuition as an active duty member of the military or Washington National guard or as a member’s spouse or dependent.

What documents do I provide?

  • Your military orders or your spouse's orders.
  • Your military ID (front only)

Documents may be mailed to: Admissions, 3410 W Fort George Wright Drive, Spokane WA 99224

Note: Former active duty reservists - See veteran requirements

Washington Members Stationed Elsewhere

Members of the military whose home of record is Washington State, and who are serving active duty in another state or overseas may be eligible to pay resident tuition. Please provide the following:

  • Complete a Residency Questionnaire
  • Documentation of active duty military member's home of record (L.E.S. – Leave and Earnings Statement)
  • A copy of your current military orders
  • A copy of your military ID card (front only)
  • Submit documentation that you are maintaining your Washington legal ties while being stationed elsewhere. Provide at least three of the following:
    1. Driver's license
    2. Voter's registration
    3. Vehicle registration
    4. Bank account
    5. Property ownership
    6. Storage of property in Washington

Deadline

Documents may be mailed to the Admissions Office. Completed questionnaires and all supporting documentation must be received by the 30th calendar day of the quarter for which application is made. Documentation received after the 30th calendar day will be considered for the following quarter. You will be contacted by the residency office once your documents have been reviewed and a decision rendered.


Veterans

Effective July 24 2015, a student who has separated from the uniformed* services with any period of honorable service with at least 90 days of active duty of service, and who enters an institution of higher education in Washington within three years of separation, is eligible to pay resident tuition in Washington.

The spouse or dependent of an individual who has separated from the uniformed services with any period of honorable service with at least 90 days of active duty of service, and who enters an institution of higher education in Washington within three years of separation, is eligible to pay resident tuition in Washington.

Qualifying students will provide a copy of their DD FORM 214, member four COPY and letter of certification to the admissions office.

Notice: Students must eligible for Federal VA Education Benefits in addition to having an an honorable discharge and attending with three years of separation.

Veterans' Office Contact Information

Email: veteransoffice@sfcc.spokane.edu
Phone: (509) 533-3504


* United States Army, United State Marine Corps, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Coast Guard, United States Public Health Services Commissioned Corps, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps.