Florida Law

Section 1009.21, Florida Statutes, Determination of resident status for tuition purposes, was amended during the 2009 legislation session. The rules and guidelines are in the process of being revised to reflect the new changes. View a copy of the amended section of law (see lines 278-457).


General Guidelines

Florida state statute Section 1009.21 defines the requirements for in-state status. Generally a person is considered a Florida resident for the purpose of paying taxes, voting or other legal purposes after residing in the state for a designated length of time.  


As provided by Section 1009.21(2)(a)2, F.S., it is imperative that the required 12 month qualifying period be for the purpose of maintaining a bonafide domicile rather than for the purpose of maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education.


The student who comes to Florida to enroll full-time in a Florida higher education institution as an out-of-state resident and continuously enrolls in a Florida institution will not normally meet the Florida residency requirement for in-state tuition regardless of the length of time enrolled.


However, state statute specifies additional requirements for a student to be classified as an in-state resident for tuition purposes. Most importantly: Living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence for tuition purposes.  


Things you need to know about residency for tuition purposes:


Living in Florida for a year or longer DOES NOT automatically qualify you as a Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes (in-state tuition).


Under Florida law, there is a difference between being a “Florida Resident” and being a “Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes”.


To be considered a Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes, you must prove through official and/or legal documents that you have established permanent residence in Florida and are not merely living in Florida temporarily or incidental to attending college.


To qualify as a Florida Resident for Tuition Purposes, you must submit documentation that you have been a Florida resident with physical and legal presence for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of classes of the semester of enrollment.  Information provided from at least two documents must be submitted with dates that evidence the 12 month qualifying period.


Proof of residency must be clear and convincing; therefore, additional documentation may be required to satisfy this qualification.  Additionally, there must be an absence of information that contradicts your claim of residency. All documentation must be submitted to The Graduate School.

Please see the following information on how to apply for Florida residency:


Initial Classification – New & Returning Students  

Immigration & International Student Residency Information
Reclassification – Current Students 


Documentation Helpful Tips

Exception Categories
Helpful Terms
8 Things You Should Know About Residency Determination for Tuition Purposes