What classifies me as "independent" or "dependent?" In order for students to be classified as independent, they must not be claimed on their parents'/legal guardians' Federal Tax Returns and must be able to submit proof that they are financially independent. In order for students to be classified as dependents, they must be financially dependent on their parents'/legal guardians', claimed on their parents'/legal guardians' Federal Tax Returns, and provide proof. Note: A married student applying for residency status should apply as a financially independent student.
How do I prove financial independence/dependence? In order for students to prove they are financially independent, they must provide proof of income that amounts to 51% of their total expenses. This income must come from their OWN employment, Financial Aid, loans, scholarships, grants, etc. If the students are receiving Financial Aid, loans, etc., it cannot be under their parents' name/account. The students must be the primary account holders. Parents are allowed to be secondary account holders/co-signers. When filing as dependents, the students will be submitting all of their parent's information with their Residency Questionnaire and none of their own information.
Can I use trust funds to supplement my financial independence? Yes, students may use trust funds to supplement their financial independence, however, the trust funds are only valid if it was established before the students' 10th grade. Students will be asked to provide documentation of when the trust was established.
Do I have to work in order to obtain residency? If so, how much? If students attend school during their first year in Washington and take more than 6 credits per quarter, yes: they will have to work. In this case, the students must work for, at least, 30 hours a week for the entire time they are attending school for more than 6 credits. The students are only required to work when they take more than 6 credits per quarter.
Essentially, students have 3 options:
Not attend school for the first year, obtain all of their legal ties, and be physically present for 12 consecutive months.
Attend school during their first year, but, only take 6 credits or less each quarter, obtain all of their legal ties, and be physically present for 12 consecutive months.
Attend school during their first year, take more than 6 credits, obtain all of their legal ties, be physically present for 12 consecutive, and work at least 30 hours a week for however long they are taking more than 6 credits.
Keep in mind, if the student is not 25 years of age, they must ALWAYS prove that they are financially independent. Please see question 1.
What are "legal ties?" and how long do I have to have them? Legal ties consist of a driver's license, vehicle registration, voter's registration, bank account, and lease/home purchase agreement.
Do I need to have all of the legal ties switched over? Yes, all of the legal ties must be switched over if they were established in another state.
How long do I have to have the legal ties? Yes, you must establish all legal ties within the first 30 days of arrival.
If I do not own/ use a vehicle, do I need a vehicle registration? No, students do not need a vehicle registration if they do not use or own a vehicle.
If I have never registered to vote, do I need to register in WA? No, students do not need to register if they have never registered in any other state.
What is the "Graduate/Professional Waiver?" The Graduate/Professional Waiver is a waiver that gives a graduate/professional students in-state tuition. Although the students receive in-state tuition, they are not considered residents of Washington State. Students who are approved for the waiver are not eligible for state-funded aid (scholarships, grants, etc.).
How do I obtain the "Graduate/Professional Waiver?" In order to be approved for the waiver, students must be Graduate/Professional students and fulfill all the requirements for Bona fide Residency except for employment. There is no other application for the waiver. The residency specialist will determine if the students are eligible based on the information from their Residence Questionnaire.
Do I have to continue to apply/re-apply for the Waiver/Residency after receiving it? If so, how often? If approved for the Waiver, students must re-apply for another waiver the following year (usually in the following summer or autumn quarters). If approved for residency, students do not need to re-apply UNLESS they are not enrolled for more than 2 quarters. If the students do not attend school for more than 2 quarters, they may have to re-apply for residency.
How can students qualify for the "Military Exemption?" In order to be eligible for the Military Exemption, students must be active duty or dependents on an active duty member of the qualifying branches of military. They need to submit the Military Exemption form, a copy of their military I.D., and a copy of the orders stationing them in Washington. Please see the Military page.
What branches of the military qualify for the exemption? The qualifying branches of the military that qualify for the exemption are: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard.
Can a student still get residency if they are not a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or qualifying Visa holder? If so, how? Yes, students who are not U.S. citizens are able to get residency through an application known as the HB 1079 form. In order to qualify for this, students must have been present in Washington for 3 full years (not 3 school years) before they graduated and not return to their home country during the summer breaks. Please see the Affidavit of Residency page.
When is the deadline for submitting the application? The deadline for the initial application is 30 days after each quarter starts.
Is there a different process for American Indian students? If so, what? American Indian students who belong to a qualifying tribe are able to apply for Bona fide Residency with the American Indian application. Please see the page.
What if a student only left the state of Washington for school? If students leave Washington for school, it is OK for them to return as a resident if they: 1) Are able to provide proof that they were consistently enrolled in school for the entire time that they were absent from Washington, 2) Are able to provide proof that they were paying out-of-state tuition, and 3) Did not sever any of their legal ties (obtain another license, vehicle registration, etc.). Please see WA residents absent from state page.
Are there special arrangements for Medical students? If so, what are they? Our policy for reviewing residency for applicants to the School of Medicine is as follows: If the individual has met Washington State residency criteria for 6 full months prior to the application to the School of Medicine, and there is sufficient documentation to suggest that the individual will continue to meet residency criteria up to the time they enroll at the University of Washington, we can consider the individual to be a resident for admission purposes to the School of Medicine. Please see the page.
What happens if you do not review my application before the tuition date? If the students' application is not reviewed by the time tuition is due, it is the students' responsibility to pay the tuition. If they are approved after the tuition date, they will be reimbursed the difference of the in and out-of-state tuition.