Office of the RegistrarOffice of the RegistrarDepartment of Enrollment ManagementUniversity of Cincinnati

Office of the Registrar

Ohio Residency Frequently Asked Questions


In its assessment of a student's eligibility for classification as an Ohio resident for tuition purposes, University of Cincinnati is obliged to apply the residency eligibility criteria established by Ohio Revised Code 3333.31 and Ohio Administrative Code 3333-1-10

University of Cincinnati is not empowered to alter or waive these state regulations, and must enforce their provisions for all students under all personal and/or financial circumstances. 

Students who are classified as residents for tuition purposes receive the benefit of a state-supported education, funded largely by the taxpayers of Ohio. Therefore, the residency guidelines are meant to exclude from resident classification those people who are in the state of Ohio primarily for the purpose of receiving the benefit of a state-supported education.

The term "Ohio resident" for tuition purposes may differ from other definitions of Ohio residency.  A person who has an Ohio driver's license/vehicle registration or who is an Ohio resident for tax, voting, or welfare purposes may have established legal residence in the state but may not necessarily be considered a resident for tuition purposes.

The following information is provided to assist you in determining if you qualify for Ohio residency for tuition purposes.


What are the requirements for establishing Ohio residency for tuition purposes?

A student must demonstrate and possibly document that s/he meets all of the criteria in one of the following sections.

A dependent student, at least one of whose parent or legal guardian has been a resident of the State of Ohio for all other legal purposes for twelve (12) consecutive months or more preceding the enrollment of the student in an institution of higher education. Verification of dependency is done with federal taxes listing the student as such.  

An independent person who has been a resident of Ohio for twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding his or her enrollment,and who is not receiving, directly or indirectly, support from persons or entities who are not residents of Ohio for all other legal purposes.

A dependent child of a parent or the spouse of a person who, as of the first day of a term of enrollment, has accepted full-time, self-sustaining employment in Ohio and established domicile in the State of Ohio for reasons other than gaining the benefit of favorable tuition rates (Immediate Residency Application required).

An independent person who is living in Ohio and is gainfully employed on a full-time or part-time and self-sustaining basis, and is pursuing a part-time program of instruction but has not yet resided in the state for twelve (12) months may be considered a resident of Ohio for these purposes (Conditional Residency Application required).

Active Duty Status personnel in the United States military service who enter and currently remain upon active duty status while a resident of Ohio, for all other legal purposes and his/her other dependents shall be considered residents of Ohio for these purposes as long as Ohio remains the state of such person's domicile.

Veterans of the United States military service, their spouses and dependents, may qualify for immediate classification as Ohio residents if the veteran has established domicile in Ohio as of the first day of the term of enrollment (Ohio G.I. Promise application required.) 

What documentation must I submit to apply for residency?

Residency application instructions vary depending on how you are applying for residency.  Instructions for completing different residency applications and the required documentation are noted on the application forms.  Documentation may include a driver's license, vehicle registration, proof of voter registration, most recent state income tax form, and a lease or property deed.  This is not an exhaustive list. The Registrar’s Office may require additional documentation prior to making a determination regarding your Ohio Residency for-tuition-purposes eligibility.

Can I qualify for "immediate residency" through someone other than my parent or spouse?

No.  A student cannot qualify for "immediate residency" through other relatives, fiancĂ©e, in-laws etc.  A student may only be reviewed for "immediate residency" through their dependency upon a parent or spouse who is living and working full-time in Ohio.

Does marrying an Ohio resident automatically make me a resident?

Marriage to an Ohio resident does not automatically make you an Ohio resident for tuition purposes. The spouse must qualify as an Ohio resident for all legal purposes. If your spouse is employed full-time in Ohio, you would be eligible to apply for immediate residency.

If my parents move out of Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana, how is my residency affected?

The state residency guidelines have two "grandfather clauses" to address this.

If your parents are Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana residents and move out of the state while you are an enrolled resident, dependent student at UC, you will continue to be classified as a resident through the completion of one degree program, provided that you maintain continuous enrollment (does not include summer term) and make normal progress toward your degree. If you apply for a second degree program (i.e. graduate), your residency will be reviewed and you will have to meet the residency criteria on your own.

Similarly, if you are a dependent student applying for admission to UC and your resident parents move out of the state, you will be considered a resident as long as you enroll within twelve (12) months of the date your parents moved out of state.

If I am moving to Ohio to attend the University of Cincinnati and will be receiving a fellowship or assistantship, does my spouse or dependent qualify for Ohio residency?

No. To be eligible for Immediate Residency, a student must be dependent upon a spouse or parent who is employed full-time in Ohio. That employment cannot be tied to their status as a UC student. Therefore, a fellowship or assistantship is not considered full-time employment. 

My parents are divorced, but one of them lives in Ohio.  Does that make me a resident?

As long as a dependent student has one parent who has been an Ohio resident for at least the twelve (12) months immediately preceding enrollment, s/he will be considered a resident for tuition purposes whether or not the student actually resides in Ohio; documentation required. 

If I am paying taxes to Ohio, doesn't that make me a resident?

Not necessarily. If you are trying to establish residency in Ohio, paying taxes in Ohio is an indicator of your intent to become an Ohio resident. However, you must meet all the residency criteria to be eligible for residency for tuition purposes.


Will I automatically become a resident for tuition purposes once I have lived in Ohio for a year?

No.  Any student who has been classified as a non-resident must apply for reclassification as a resident.  Even if you are a conditional resident, you must apply if you want to be reviewed for regular residency once you have been in Ohio for 12 months.


Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for residency-for-tuition-purposes?

Permanent resident aliens, political refugees, and political asylees are eligible to be reviewed for in-state residency when all other residency requirements are met.  Students who hold the following visas may also be reviewed for in-state residency: "A," "E," "G," "H," "I,"  "L," "N," "O," "P," "R," "S," "T," "TD," "TN," "U," and "V."

International students who hold "B," "C," "D," "F," "J," "M" or "Q" visas are not eligible for establishing in-state residency. 

What types of income sources are not eligible for helping me establish in-state residency?

The following are examples of income sources, that if received within the 12-month period preceding the term residency reclassification is desired, would make a student ineligible for Ohio residency:

  • Receiving health insurance coverage through a policy holder who is not an Ohio resident;

  • Support from individuals who are not Ohio residents;
  • PLUS loan money accepted by the student whose parents are not residents of Ohio;
  • Loans from individuals or entities that are not Ohio residents;
  • Savings and/or financial portfolios that have not been in an account in your name and managed solely by you for a least a year preceding your enrollment at University of Cincinnati;
  • Financial aid that required you to be a resident of another state in order to receive it;
  • Credit card debt; and
  • Out-of-State parent, guardian or any out-of-state entity ownership or co-ownership of the student's Ohio residence. 

Note: this is not an exhaustive list.

After reading the residency guidelines, I think I should have been considered a resident months ago.  Can I apply for a prior term and get a refund if I can show I was a resident then?

No.  The state guidelines prohibit retroactive residency decisions. You must apply by the deadline for the term in question in order to be reviewed for residency for that term.  

Questions? Please email us!