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Exceptions to One-Year Colorado Domicile Requirement

The following information is considered general guidance and should not be taken as legal advice. Please refer to the Colorado State Statute to view the actual requirements. 

Tuition classification is governed by C.R.S. 23-7-101, et. seq. (1973), as amended, and in published policies of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE).

Colorado Employment & Relocation

Granting in-state student status to a child who moves to Colorado during the child’s senior year of high school as the result of the child’s parent or legal guardian taking a job in the state that requires relocating to Colorado. 

  • Child’s parent or legal guardian moved their family to CO for the purpose of accepting a job in the state during the child’s senior year of high school.
  • Child moved with their parent or legal guardian to CO during the child’s senior yr of high school and they graduated from a CO public high school.
  • Must be a legal resident of the US.

§23-7-111 Colorado Residency Statutes

Four-Year Rule

If your parents (or court-appointed legal guardians) maintain Colorado domicile for four years and subsequently establish domicile elsewhere, you will remain eligible for resident tuition if:

  • Your parents leave Colorado after your junior year of high school and you enroll at a Colorado public college or university within three years and six months after your parents leave Colorado.
  • You maintain continuous Colorado domicile. This provision will generally be met if you continue to reside in Colorado after your parents leave or if you reside outside the state only temporarily (for example, to attend college or for military service) while maintaining Colorado domiciliary connections such as voter registration and income tax filing.

Colorado High School Graduate

A student, other than a nonimmigrant alien, must be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes if:

  • Attended a public or private high school in Colorado for at least one year immediately preceding the date graduated from a Colorado high School or was physically present in Colorado for at least one year immediately preceding the date the student successfully complete a high school equivalency examination, AND
  • The student has been physically present in Colorado for at least twelve consecutive months prior to enrolling in an institution. 

Economic Development Incentive

The Economic Development Incentive provides exception to the one-year domicile requirement for employees (not spouses) and employee’s children (unmarried child under 22 years of age on the first day of the term) of companies who move to Colorado pursuant to an incentive from the Office of Economic Development or a local government economic incentive program. The employee must have been employed by the employer prior to the relocation. See the Tuition Classification Officer for the necessary documentation if you believe you qualify.

New Faculty at Colorado State-Supported College (dependent only)

This application is for children of new faculty at Colorado state-supported colleges and universities who otherwise would not qualify for in-state tuition as one-year Colorado residents.

The student may receive in-state tuition if the student moved to Colorado in the 12 months preceding enrollment because the student's parent or legal guardian moved to Colorado to take a paid faculty position at a state-supported institution of higher education.

The faculty member and the faculty member's spouse do not qualify for this exception.

Refer to section C.R.S 23-7-109(1)b.

U.S. Olympic Athlete

Colorado State law HB17-1081 went into effect on Aug. 9, 2017. This law allows state-supported institutions of higher education to charge in-state tuition to elite athletes residing anywhere in Colorado and training in an elite-level program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and the governing body of an Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American or Parapan American sport.

Verification of participation in a qualifying elite training program is required from the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the national governing bodies of Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American or Parapan American sport field teams on or before the first day of class each semester.

Native American

Legislation was signed into law (effective June 28, 2021) stating that "American Indian students who are registered members of a federally recognized American Indian tribe with historical ties to Colorado" will be eligible for in-state tuition at Colorado public universities and colleges. 

For more information about Colorado Senate Bill SB21-029, and the list of the 48 federally recognized indigenous tribes to Colorado, please visit our eligibility page.

Peace Corps Volunteer

Under the Colorado Tuition Classification for Peace Corps Volunteers Act  (effective Fall 2023), a student who would not otherwise qualify for in-state tuition and who was certified by the director of the Peace Corps as having served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps Volunteer, is eligible to be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes.

You'll be required to provide the following:

  • A copy of your 'Certification of Service for Employment Purposes'.

You must first obtain this certification through the Peace Corps RPCV Portal.