May 29, 2024  
2020-2021 General Catalog 

Utah Residency Policies

Residency Status

An applicant’s residency status is determined at the time of admission based on the state of address, schools attended, driver’s license, and activities for the prior three years. The residency application and information are available online at Residency is determined by Utah law, and the following rules apply:

  • Students who are classified as non-residents of the state of Utah are required to pay non-resident tuition.

  • Students who believe they can qualify for resident status should file a petition with the Admissions Office. The deadline for filing the petition is within 30 days prior to and 21 days following the first day of class of the semester for which residency is requested. Petition forms are available online at or in the Admissions Office. Each petition will be considered in accordance with Utah law HB 53.8 and R512 (

  • To guide students, the meaning of the word “resident” shall be determined by reference to the general law of the subject of domicile, except, that the following rules shall apply:

    1. A United States Citizen or person with permanent residency who has come to Utah and established residency for the purpose of attending an institution of higher education shall, prior to registration as a resident student:

      • Maintain continuous domicile in Utah for 12 or more months immediately preceding the term for which residency for tuition purposes is desired. Absences totaling less than 30 days (excluding weekends) will not disrupt this requirement. Verification of physical presence is required;

      • Demonstrate by additional objective evidence, including Utah voter registration, Utah driver’s license, Utah vehicle registration, employment in Utah, payment of Utah resident income taxes, declaration of financial independence, and the establishment of a domicile in Utah, and has abandoned domicile elsewhere;

      • Declaration of Financial Independence: In addition to submitting objective evidence of domicile, a student who is under 24 years of age who is seeking resident student status following 12 months of continuous residence in Utah must submit a declaration of financial independence, which must include, at a minimum, evidence that the person is not claimed as a dependent on the federal or state tax returns of any person who is not a resident of Utah. Institutional residency officers may require such documentation at the time of initial application for resident student status, and at any time thereafter to verify a student’s continued eligibility for resident student tuition. (R512.4.5)

    2. Aliens who have been granted immigrant or permanent resident status in the United States are classified for purposes of resident status according to the same criteria applicable to citizens.

    3. Any American Indian not otherwise qualified as a resident, who is enrolled on the tribal rolls of a tribe whose reservation or trust lands lie partly or wholly within Utah or whose border is at any point contiguous with the border of Utah, and any American Indian who is a member of a federally recognized or known Utah tribe and who has graduated from a high school in Utah is entitled to resident student status.

    4. A prospective student whose credentials indicate out-of-state status is classified as a non-resident.

      • A change in residence status is not an automatic procedure.

      • Consult with the staff in the Admissions Office for more information.

The following information has been provided to assist students in understanding the residency law for tuition purposes. The Admissions Office determines residency status for tuition purposes. Students are classified either resident or non-resident at the time the admission application is received. If there are questions regarding residency status, individuals are classified as non-residents.

The University honors the residency status determined by other Utah colleges or universities unless the classification was obtained under false pretense. Applicants who are denied Utah residency for tuition purposes may file an appeal to be reviewed by the Residency Appeals Committee. Applicants are notified of the decision of the Appeals Committee in writing. Appeals must be filed within 21 days of the beginning of the term for which residency is desired.

Individuals may also obtain residency status from the following:

  • Married to a Utah resident. Applicants are required to submit a marriage certificate, objective evidence listed above, and documentation that their spouse is a Utah resident.

  • Permanent full-time employment in Utah for at least four (4) months prior to applying to attend a Utah college or university.

  • Spouses or dependents of an individual who establishes his/her domicile in Utah to work on a full-time, permanent basis. Applicants must submit documentation of Utah resident status as outlined above for the applicant and spouse/parent/guardian.

  • Clients of a Social or Rehabilitation Service Agency in Utah which is paying for tuition. Individuals must provide Utah documentation of domiciliary intent.

  • Personnel of the United States Armed Forces assigned to active duty in Utah, and the immediate members of their families residing with them in this state, are entitled to resident status for tuition purposes. Upon the termination of active duty status, the military personnel and their family members are governed by the standards applicable to nonmilitary persons.

  • Member of the Utah National Guard.

  • Dependents of active duty military personnel living outside of Utah using parent’s military benefits. Approval will be for the length of time the dependent has benefits available. The dependent must reapply for reclassification under different criteria when military benefits are no longer available.

  • Military veterans leaving military service may qualify for immediate reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes. Dependents may qualify if the veteran left the military within the time allowed by Utah law.

Note: Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) recipients will not be eligible to apply for residency for tuition purposes using the time spent receiving the waiver/scholarship.

A change in residence status is not an automatic procedure. Review SUU’s web site at or consult with the Admissions Office staff for more information.

Residency FAQ

How does a student request residency status for tuition purposes?

Students may complete a residency application and submit it along with the required documentation to the Admissions Office. The application will then be reviewed for compliance with Utah Code and the Utah State Board of Higher Education Policy and Procedures.

Information on these procedures can be found online at

How long does a student have to live in Utah?

Applicants must live in Utah for 12 continuous months immediately preceding the term residency for tuition purposes is desired. Absences totaling less than 30 days (excluding weekends) will not disrupt this requirement.

If a student leaves the state of Utah, can he/she still be a resident when school starts for the next semester?

If a resident student leaves the state of Utah for a short period of time without re-establishing ties in another state, he/she may not lose their Utah eligibility for tuition purposes.

Are there other circumstances where residency can be earned?

Yes. One of the following must apply:

  • One or both of the student’s parents have permanently moved to Utah and the student is their dependent, single and under age 24;
  • The student marries a Utah resident;
  • The student or parents are in the military and stationed in Utah or have declared Utah as Home of Record;
  • The student is an American Indian enrolled on the tribal rolls of a tribe whose reservation or trust lands lie partly or wholly within Utah; or whose border is at any point contiguous with the border of Utah; or
  • The student is a military veteran leaving military service within the time specified by state law.

If the student, or his/her parents, work in Utah but live in another state, would the student be considered a resident?

The student must reside within the state, regardless of where the student or his/her parents work. Exceptions may be considered on an individual basis.

What if the student was born in Utah but his/her family moved away?

If residency is established in another state the student will no longer be a resident of Utah.

If a student’s family owns property and pays taxes in Utah, would the student be a Utah resident?

The principal residency must be in the state of Utah, regardless of whether the student or his/her parents own property or pay taxes in the state.

When can students apply for residency?

A completed residency application can be submitted 30 days prior to the first day of class and no later than 21 days following the first day of class for the term for which residency is requested.

How long does it take for a decision to be made?

A decision will be made as soon as possible after receipt of the completed application and all required documentation, usually within a few days but may be up to two (2) weeks.

Where should students turn in their residency application?

Students may submit the application and verification documents to the Admissions Office at Southern Utah University.

May students register prior to obtaining residency?

Students may register at any time they would like. If residency is granted, the student’s records will be adjusted.

Where can students obtain residency applications?

Students may obtain residency applications from the Admissions Office or online at