Current FGCU students, classified as non-Florida residents, who seek reclassification must contact the Office of the Registrar.
Residency for Tuition Purposes
Tuition and fees at each institution within the State University System of Florida are set by the Florida Legislature upon recommendation by the State Board of Governors. Enrolled students are charged tuition and fees based on their residency classification as either Florida resident or non-Florida resident. Those classified as Florida residents pay less in fees per credit hour than do those classified as non-Florida residents.
The requirements for Florida residency status are defined by Florida state statute Section 1009.21. Generally, a person is considered a resident of Florida for the purpose of paying taxes, voting or other legal purposes after residing in the state for a designated length of time. However, state statute requires additional requirements for a student to be classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes. Most importantly, living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition purposes.
Initial residency classification is determined by the Office of Admissions after applicants have been admitted to the university. All applicants are considered non-Florida residents until they provide proof otherwise. Failure to provide all relevant information and required documentation in a timely manner could result in a non-Florida resident classification for tuition purposes. An online Florida Residency Declaration For Tuition Purposes form is available to provide the necessary documentation as described below. All admitted students will be sent this online link.
Florida residency for tuition purposes status is only for those residents who reside in the state permanently with established legal domicile in Florida. Permanent Florida residency is demonstrated by the absence of ties to any other state and establishment of a bona fide domicile in Florida. The following information is summarized from the Florida statutes and from policies approved by the State Board of Governors.
To qualify as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, a student must:
Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, parolee, Cuban national, Vietnamese refugee or other refugee or asylee as designated by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; and
Have established a legal residence in this state and maintained that legal residence for 12 months preceding the first day of classes of the term in which Florida residency classification is sought. The student's residence in Florida must be as a bona fide domiciliary rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence incidental to enrollment in an institution of higher education, and should be demonstrated as indicated below (for dependent students, as defined by IRS regulations, a parent or guardian must qualify); and
Submit the following documentation (or in the case of a dependent student, the parent must submit documentation prior to the last day of the drop/add period for the term in which resident status is sought; along with a residence affidavit) to the Office of Admissions. 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 the 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.
First Tier (at least one of the two documents submitted must be from this list):
Second Tier (may be used in conjunction with one document from First Tier):
There must not be any contrary evidence establishing residence elsewhere. Documentation of dependent/independent status (copy of most recent IRS tax return). Federal income tax returns filed by resident(s) of a state other than Florida disqualify the student for in-state tuition, unless:
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:
Evidence that the student meets one of these criteria will be requested by the higher education institution.
A student who does not meet one of the criteria outlined above may be classified as an independent student only if he or she submits documentation that he or she provides fifty (50) percent or more of the cost of attendance for independent, in-state students as defined by the financial aid office at the institution (exclusive of federal, state and institutional aid or scholarships).
The Office of Admissions reserves the right to require additional documentation in order to determine the resident status of any student. If Florida residency status for the purpose of tuition is denied, the student may file an appeal to the Office of Admissions.