Helpful Residency Terms

Independent Student

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: 

  • The student is 24 years of age or older by the first day of classes of the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution;
  • The student is married;
  • The student has children who receive more than half of their support from the student;
  • The student has other dependents who live with and receive more than half of their support from the student;
  • The student is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or is currently serving on active duty in the United States Armed Forces for purposes other than training;
  • Both of the student’s parents are deceased or the student is or was (until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court;
  • The student is working on a master’s or doctoral degree during the term for which residency status is sought at a Florida institution; or
  • The student is classified as an independent by the financial aid office at the institution.

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).

 

Dependent Student

All other students who do not meet the above definition of an independent student shall be classified as dependent students for the determination of residency for tuition purposes.
 

Claimant

The claimant is the person demonstrating evidence of establishing and maintaining a permanent legal residence in Florida for a minimum of 12 months. For an independent student, the claimant will be the student. For a dependent student, the claimant will be an individual on whom the student is basing evidence of residency. This person may be a parent, legal guardian or spouse.
 

Legal Guardian

A legal guardian is appointed by the Florida courts. If the claimant is the court-appointed legal guardian, the student must submit a copy of the court decree naming the claimant as the student’s guardian. A person other than a parent who claims the student as a dependent for income tax purposes is not considered the student’s legal guardian.