Residency for Tutition Purposes banner.

The California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) Office of Admissions is responsible for determining the residency status of all new and returning students based on the Application for Admission, Residency Questionnaire, and as necessary, other evidence furnished by the student.  This determination of residency is not to determine if a student is a resident or nonresident in the state of California, but rather determine whether a student pays resident/in-state or nonresident/out-of-state tuition fees. Nonresident fees are higher than resident fees (see current Tuition & Fees).

The term “California resident” for tuition purposes may differ from other definitions of California residency. A person who has a California driver’s license/vehicle registration or who is a California resident for tax, voting or welfare purposes may have established legal residence in the state but might not necessarily be considered a resident for in-state tuition purposes.  Certain requirements, established under California law, must be met.

The provisions for California residency for tuition purposes at the California State University (CSU) differ from other provisions of California residency. Additionally, the provisions for residency at the CSU differ from those at the University of California and the California Community Colleges.

The burden of proof of residency rests solely with the student.  The student must contact the campus to receive a final determination of residency status.  A student who fails to submit adequate information to establish eligibility for California resident classification will be classified as a nonresident for tuition purposes (see Determination of Residency for Tuition Purposes in the Campus Catalog).



Please note the following important information:

  • CSUF will determine your residency status after you have been accepted for admission, or upon request for a residency classification.
  • For tuition purposes, students are classified as either California resident, nonresident, or foreign. Nonresident and foreign residency statuses are subject to paying nonresident fees.
  • Residency status may be re-determined after any absence from the university.
  • Until a residency determination is made, students will remain classified as nonresidents and are responsible for on-time payment of fees. If the classification is granted, refunds of nonresident fees will be made in accordance with refund regulations.
  • Residence classification requests cannot be accepted after the last day of the term for which the classification is desired. Requests for residence classification for a previous term are not accepted.
  • Documents and records received by CSUF will become the property of the university and will not be returned to the student or forwarded to any other institution or agency.

Review Process

  • Submit the Adobe Sign form for your type of request (Initial Classification, Reclassification, California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB540), or Other Exception. Requests are only accepted via Adobe Sign submission (no email/fax/mail/etc.).
    • For the timely review of your request packet, please read the information provided here carefully and follow all instructions in the “Steps to submit” section pertaining to your type of request. Incomplete request packets require us to request from you additional documentation and this significantly delays the review process. 
  • Given the complexity of the residency review process, allow 3-4 weeks after your submission to receive a response. Each case is unique and given careful consideration.  Once a determination is reached, or if additional information is needed, you will be contacted at your CSUF student email address.
  • If you do not qualify for resident tuition, you will be notified and given the opportunity to appeal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office.
  • Resident students who become nonresidents or who no longer meet the criteria for an exception must immediately notify the Office of Admissions. Students incorrectly classified as California residents or incorrectly granted an exception from nonresident tuition by the University are subject to reclassification to nonresident status and payment of nonresident tuition in arrears. If incorrect classification results from false or concealed facts, the student is subject to discipline pursuant to Section 41301 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
Term and Deadline

Term for which you are seeking Resident Tuition

Priority Deadline to submit your Residency Packet for review


September 1


January 15


May 15

Female and male student walking and talking during orientation session.

Initial Classification Opens in new window

For applicants and newly admitted students entering or in their first semester at CSUF, who have received a system classification of Nonresident.

Male students interacting with female student at campus club expo.

Reclassification Opens in new window

For continuing students classified as Nonresident in a prior completed term and believe they now qualify to be reclassified as a Resident for Tuition Purposes.

Students attending on-campus event.

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB540) Opens in new window

Students not classified as California residents for tuition purposes may qualify for an exemption from payment of nonresident tuition.

Students attending graduation.

Other Exceptions to the General Rules Opens in new window

Students not classified as California residents for tution purposes may qualify for an exception from payment of nonresident tution. Requirements vary.

Appeals to CSU Chancellor's Office after CSUF Denial of Residence Classification

While there is no appeal process for the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (AB540), students who have been denied their request for residency Initial Classification, Reclassification, or Other Exception may appeal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office within 30 calendar days of CSUF’s FINAL residency determination notification.  If you wish to appeal CSUF’s decision to the CSU Chancellor’s Office, see Filing a Residency AppealNOTE: Only submit an appeal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office AFTER you have submitted your documents to CSUF and have received a denial letter.  You must include the denial letter with your appeal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office and your appeal will not be accepted without this document.  Please see below for additional information on the appeals process.

Students classified as nonresidents may appeal to the Chancellor's Office within 30 calendar days of the issuance of the notification of the final campus decision. The campus decision may be appealed only if at least one of the following applies:

  1. The decision was based on:
    1. a significant error of fact;
    2. a significant procedural error; or
    3. an incorrect application of law which, if corrected, would require that the student be reclassified as a resident; and/or,
  2. Significant new information, not previously known or available to the student, became available after the date of the campus decision classifying the student as a nonresident and based on the new information, the classification as a nonresident is incorrect.

Students must explain why the appeal meets one or more of the above appeal criteria and provide supporting documentation. For example, a "significant error of fact" could be demonstrated by stating that the campus incorrectly determined that a specific document, such as a driver's license, was untimely and by providing a copy of the document establishing the error. An appeal that only states "a significant error of fact," will be denied.

If you decide to appeal, you must submit an online appeal at

Appeals via email, fax and U.S. mail will not be accepted. A student with a documented disability that prohibits the student from submitting an appeal through the California State University website should contact:

The California State University
Office of the Chancellor
Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
401 Golden Shore, 6th Floor
Long Beach, California 90802-4210

Questions concerning the appeal changes and content may be referred to Dr. Ana Aguayo-Bryant, Assistant Director, Student Affairs Programs, at or (562) 951-4729.

This website contains only a brief summary of the rules governing the establishment of California residency for tuition purposes. Additional information is available in our University Catalog and on the California State University website.  A resident for tuition purposes is someone who meets the requirements set forth in the Uniform Student Residency Requirements. The laws governing residency for tuition purposes at the California State University are California Education Code Sections 68000 et seq. and 89705-89707.5, and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Subchapter 5, Article 4, Sections 41900-41916. Changes may have been made in the rate of nonresident tuition and in the statutes and regulations governing residency for tuition purposes in California between the time this information is published and the relevant residency determination date. CSUF reserves the right to update or remove this page as necessary for clarity and to reflect changes to residency law or university policies. Students are urged to review the statutes and regulations stated above. Because neither the campus nor the Chancellor’s Office staff may give legal advice, applicants are strongly urged to review the material for themselves and consult with a legal advisor.