To qualify for in-state tuition at any Florida university, one must demonstrate residency in the state of Florida. Residency requirements are the same at all state schools under Florida Statute 1009.21. The following are residency requirements for tuition purposes in the state of Florida.
1. Physical residence in Florida
To receive in-state tuition, one must prove that he or she has resided in Florida for at least 12 consecutive months leading up to that person’s enrollment in college. If the person seeking in-state tuition is a dependent child, his or her parents must have lived in Florida for at least a year.
If a dependent child lives with a relative other than his or her parents, that child can qualify for Florida residency if the relative has lived in Florida for 12 consecutive months and the child has been in the care of that relative for 5 or more years.
Children of divorced or separated parents can claim Florida residency if either parent is a Florida resident. It does not matter if the parent who claims the child as a dependent on his or her taxes lives in Florida or not.
In-state tuition will not be granted if the purpose of one’s residency in Florida is to attend school. This means that a student who moves to Florida in order to enroll in a state university will usually not qualify for in-state tuition no matter how long he or she attends the school.
2. Required documentation
Proving that one has lived in Florida for 12 months requires at least two specific forms of documentation. Anyone seeking in-state tuition is required to submit at least one form of documentation from Group 1 and one form from Group 2. The following are all the acceptable documents listed in Florida Statute 1009.21:
*A Florida voter’s registration card.
*A Florida driver’s license.
*A State of Florida identification card.
*A Florida vehicle registration.
*Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual’s parent(s).
*Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.
*Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months.
*Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period.
*A declaration of domicile in Florida.
*A Florida professional or occupational license.
*A document evidencing family ties in Florida.
*Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
*Any other documentation that supports the student’s request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
Individuals who do not initially qualify for in-state tuition may be able to establish Florida residency at some point. To be reclassified as a Florida resident, an individual must show that he, she, or his or her parents relocated to Florida to make a permanent residence rather than to make temporary residence so the individual can attend school.