To be considered independent for the tuition purposes, the following criteria will be considered:
- The student is 24 years of age prior to the start of the term for which residency is sought;
- The student is married;
- The student has dependent children who receive more than half of their support from the student;
- The student provides a minimum of 51% of his/her own support;
- The students is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces or is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training;
- The student is classified as “independent” by the UNF financial aid office.
Independent students must document the source of their financial support, clearly demonstrating that a parent or legal guardian no longer claims them as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. (Please note: requests for Residency Reclassification may require documentation beyond that listed here.)
The student must provide evidence to substantiate a claim to in-state residency by completing the Residency Declaration or the Residency Reclassification Application and Declaration with:
- Legal ties to the state of Florida – A minimum of two documents dated/issued at least 12 months before the first day of the semester for which Florida residency is sought must be submitted. No single document is conclusive.
- Florida Driver's License
- Florida vehicle registration
- Florida vehicle title
- Florida voter's registration
- Declaration of domicile
- Proof of purchase of a permanent home in Florida
- Florida occupational/professional license
- Florida incorporation or other evidence of legal residence
In addition, the student must also produce evidence of ...
- No legal ties to another state and
- An established, bona fide domicile in Florida (rather than maintaining a temporary residence incident to enrollment at the university). Continued legal ties with another state contradict establishment of Florida domicile.
- Proof of physical presence – Independent students must demonstrate that they have maintained a residence in the state of Florida for the domicile year (previous 12 months) associated with the term of entry to UNF or the request for reclassification.
- Physical presence can be documented by:
- Continuous enrollment at the university for the past three terms,
Or for periods of non-enrollment --
- Leases, rent receipts and utility bills in the student’s name
- Proof of employment
- Financial independence – Independent students must also prove that they are financially self-supporting.
When the initial request or the request for residency reclassification is evaluated, university staff will estimate the student’s expenses for the domicile year. These estimates are based on cost of attendance figures used for financial aid eligibility. The estimate is specific to the student and it is dependent on number of hours enrolled, place of residence (on-campus or off-campus) and other circumstances.
The student must conclusively document that they have provided at least 51% of these expenses. Financial independence can be substantiated with:
- A copy of the parents' most recent tax return indicating that the student was not claimed as a dependent, and
- Proof of income greater than or equal to 51% of the estimated expenses.
Income can include:
- Earned wages for the past 12 months, documented with federal income tax returns, W-2’s and pay stubs. (Earned wages must be declared for consideration; tips and other earnings not reported to the IRS cannot be considered.)
- Scholarships received in the past 12 months. (A copy of the award letter is required).
Monetary gifts, personal loans or financial support in the form of room, board or other expenses from the student’s parents, other relatives, a significant other or friends demonstrates that the student lacks independence and is financially dependent upon others. In such cases, the student is NOT considered independent.