Residency

Initial Classification

Your initial tuition classification is made at the time of application to the University and is based on the information provided on the application for admission. Failure to answer all questions could lead to an initial classification as non-resident. After your status is determined, it remains unchanged in the absence of satisfactory evidence to the contrary.

If you feel your initial tuition classification is incorrect and your initial semester has not begun, you may update your residency information with the Admissions Office (Undergraduate students) or the Graduate School (Graduate students):

New Undergraduate Students
New Graduate Students

Qualified Individuals to Petition

  • Parent

    If you are younger than 22 years old and depend on your parents for financial support, you are an unemancipated minor.  Unemancipated minors must qualify for resident tuition through their parents or court-appointed legal guardians.

    As an unemancipated minor, you qualify for resident tuition if either of your parents, regardless of custody, has been domiciled in Colorado for the one year prior to the first day of the term, even if you reside elsewhere. 

  • Student

    You are a qualified individual and eligible to establish domicile separate from your parents if, at the beginning of the 12-month domicile year, you were:

    • 22 years of age or older;
    • Married;
    • Emancipated;
    • A graduate student
  • Emancipation

    You are an emancipated minor if:

    • you are less than 22 years old and;
    • your parents have entirely surrendered the right to your care, custody, and earnings and;
    • they are no longer under any duty to support you and;
    • they have made no provision for your support.

    You must be emancipated before you can establish a domicile separate from the domicile of you parents. This means that your parents cannot provide financial support of any nature for any ordinary or necessary expense.  Parental support includes but is not limited to:

    • gifts; 
    • loans (including PLUS loans) that you depend on for financial support; 
    • Trust funds or other assets established by your parents before the one-year domicile period are regarded as evidence of nonemancipation if the funds or assets were intended, or could reasonably have been expected, to provide support for the period you claim to be emancipated.

    Loans co-signed by parents may be considered evidence of parental support. Minors must provide documentation of any such loan agreements. 

    You may be covered under your parents’ health and automobile insurance if coverage does not require that you be a dependent and if you pay all costs, such as additional premiums and deductibles, associated with your coverage.

    Your parents may claim you as a dependent for tax purposes if emancipation commences after the beginning of that year.  For example, you would be judged emancipated as of August if your parents cease support at that time, even though they claim you as a dependent for that year.  They cannot claim you as a dependent for following years.

    If you are an emancipated minor granted resident status, you are subject to reclassification as non-resident if your parents resume support.

    If you wish to claim emancipated status, you must prove that you are completely self-supporting and financially independent from your parents.  The Tuition Classification Petition provides space for you to show all expenses and how those expenses have been met.  The burden is placed solely upon you to prove emancipation to the satisfaction of the Tuition Classification Officer.

  • Legal Guardians

    You may qualify for resident tuition through the domicile of a Colorado guardian only if your guardian has legal custody as defined by Colorado Revised Statutes §19-1-103(73). 

    • The court appointing the guardianship must certify that the primary purpose of the appointment is not to qualify the student for resident tuition;
    • The court must also certify that your parents do not provide substantial financial support; 
    • The guardianship must be in effect for at least one year; 
    • Parental signed Power of Attorney does not qualify as legal guardianship

Changes in Tuition Classification

If you feel you meet the requirements for in-state tuition, you must file a petition requesting a change in tuition classification. The procedure requires submission of a Petition for Tuition Classification with appropriate documentation to support the claim of Colorado residency. The burden of proof rests upon you, as the petitioner, to submit a timely petition with the required documentation. Petitions may be picked up at the Office of the Registrar, Carter Hall 3002 or they are available for download here.

Please note: If you are requesting to be a part of the WUE program, you are indicating you are not a Colorado resident and will not establish Colorado residency during your time of attendance at University of Northern Colorado (UNC).  If you plan on establishing your residency in Colorado and would like to petition for in-state benefits at UNC during your time of attendance, it is recommended you do not claim another state as your state of residence.  WUE students who change their residence to Colorado lose their WUE eligibility the following semester, but do not become eligible for in-state tuition rates until one year after establishing Colorado domicile. Because students under 23 are deemed to have the domicile of their parents, the WUE student seeking to change domicile to Colorado must show either: a change of the parents’ residence; or a change in the student’s residence after emancipation from the parents.

Additional WICHE Information

You will remain a non-resident until you have received notification from the Tuition Classification Officer indicating a residency change has been approved. If you are petitioning for in-state tuition, you remain responsible for paying your account based upon your current tuition classification. You are strongly urged to petition early during the submission period in order to receive a response from the Tuition Classification Officer prior to any applicable tuition and fees deadlines.

For additional information about the requirements for establishing in-state residency, please contact:

Kenneth Clavir
Office of the Registrar, Carter Hall Room 3002
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639
Telephone: 970-351-4315
Fax: 970-351-1870
Email: kenneth.clavir@unco.edu