Residency for Tuition Purposes - Overview

UC Santa Barbara classifies students as residents or nonresidents for tuition purposes.

Important facts to know about residency:

  • The definition of residency varies between offices, such as for the admission office or the financial aid office. Residency information from these offices are not used to determine residency for tuition purposes. Additionally, their California resident classification does not mean a student will be classified as a resident for tuition purposes.
  • The term California resident for tuition purposes is different from other definitions of California residence. Two examples are:
  • A person who is a California resident for tax or voting purposes is not necessarily a resident for tuition purposes at the University of California.
    • A person who is considered a resident at another California postsecondary institution, such as the California State University (CSU) or California Community Colleges (CCC), is not necessarily a resident for tuition purposes at the University of California.
    • The process of obtaining California residency for University of California tuition purposes is extremely difficult for undergraduates under age 24 who do not have a parent living in California. This includes transfer students enrolled at community colleges and other post-secondary colleges/universities in California.

Rules Governing Residence: Regents Policy 3105 controls determinations for California residence for tuition purposes as implemented by the University’s Residence Policy and Guidelines. Under these policies and guidelines, adult citizens or certain classes of aliens* can establish residence for tuition purposes. There are also particular rules that apply to the residence classification of minors. 

*As defined by USCIS, the term "alien" is defined as any person not a citizen or national of the United States. Any person defined as such should refer to the Immigration page for more information. 








This website summarizes UC Residence Policy and Guidelines and may not address all questions or cover all circumstances. Content on this website is merely for advising purposes and does not guarantee any residency determination. Although each campus may adopt different administrative procedures, University regulations regarding residency for tuition purposes are exactly the same for all UC campuses. Changes may be made in the residence requirements between the publication of this statement and the relevant residence determination date.

Beyond the Residency Staff in the Office of the Registrar, no other University personnel are authorized to supply information regarding residence requirements for tuition.