Ohio Residency Frequently Asked Questions

Preface

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 finanical 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.

Questions

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

 

What documentation do I need to submit to apply for residency?

 

If my parents or spouse move to Ohio, when am I eligible to become a resident?

 

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

 

Does marrying an Ohio resident automatically make me a resident?

 

If my legal guardian is an Ohio resident, will I be considered a resident for tuition purposes?

 

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

 

I am currently considered a resident of Ohio. How is my residency affected if I leave Ohio?

 

Except for the past couple of years, I lived in Ohio my entire life. Shouldn't I (and/or my children and spouse) still be considered a resident?

 

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

 

I am currently considered a non-resident and my parents, who are not residents of Ohio, claimed me as a tax dependent on their federal income tax return. Am I eligible for Ohio residency?

 

How does being in the military affect my (or my children or spouse's) residency?

 

If I am currently working full-time in Ohio, am I eligible for residency?

 

What is conditional residency?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I own property or a business in Ohio, but live in another state. Does that make my dependents or me Ohio residents for tuition purposes?

 

In submitting an Application for Change in Residency, what are some examples of acceptable income documentation?

 

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

 

How important is it that I obtain an Ohio driver's license, vehicle registration or register to vote in Ohio?

 

I am currently trying to establish residency. How does leaving Ohio for the summer affect my residency application?

 

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?

 

I live out of state, but within 50 miles of UC and heard that I would be eligible for in-state tuition. Is this true?

 

Our daughter will be a freshman at UC this fall and we live outside the State of Ohio. What does she need to do to apply for residency after a year?

Answers

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

In general, a student must demonstrate and possibly document that s/he meets all of the criteria in one of the following sections. (Documentation and/or application may be required)

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 immediately preceding the enrollment of the student in an institution of higher education.

An independent person who has been a resident of Ohio for all other legal purposes for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding his or her enrollment in an institution of higher education and who is not receiving, and has not directly or indirectly received in the preceding twelve (12) months, financial 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 and is gainfully employed on a full-time or part-time and self-sustaining basis in Ohio and who is pursuing a part-time program of instruction at an institution of higher education and has not resided in the state for twelve (12) months shall be considered a resident of Ohio for these purposes (Conditional Residency Application required).

A person who enters and currently remains upon active duty status in the United States military service while a resident of Ohio for all other legal purposes and his other dependents shall be considered residents of Ohio for these purposes as long as Ohio remains the state of such person's domicile.

A person on active duty status in the United States military service who is stationed and resides in Ohio and his or her dependents shall be considered residents of Ohio for these purposes.

A person who is transferred by his employer beyond the territorial limits of the fifty states of the United States and the District of Columbia while a resident of Ohio for all other legal purposes and his or her dependents shall be considered residents of Ohio for these purposes as long as Ohio remains the state of such person's domicile and as long as such person has fulfilled his or her tax liability to the State of Ohio for at least the tax year preceding enrollment.

A person who has been employed as a migrant worker in the State of Ohio and his or her dependents shall be considered a resident for these purposes provided such a person has worked in Ohio at least four months during each of the three years preceding the proposes enrollment.

 

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.  The Registrar’s Office may require additional documentation prior to making a determination regarding your Ohio Residency for-tuition-purposes eligibility.

 

If my parents or spouse move to Ohio, when am I eligible to become a resident?

You may be eligible for "immediate residency" if you are a dependent of a parent or spouse of a person who is working full-time in Ohio and has established domicile in Ohio as of the beginning of the term for reasons other than gaining the benefit of a state-supported education. The Board of Regents defines dependent as one who has never emancipated themselves from their parents. This connotes a continued, unbroken dependency and should not be construed so as to allow immediate residency for a person who has left his or her parents and then returned to gain the benefits of in-state residency.  Submission of the Immediate Residency Application, accompanied by supporting documentation, is required.

 

Can 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. If your spouse is employed full-time in Ohio, you would be eligible to apply for immediate residency.

 

 

If my legal guardian is an Ohio resident will I be considered a resident for tuition purposes?

The residency guidelines allow students to be considered residents if they have a legal guardian who is an Ohio resident. Setting up a legal guardianship with an Ohio resident in order to qualify for residency, however, is not permitted. The burden of proof is upon the student to show that a legal guardianship was not arranged in order for the student to gain residency. In general, the expectation will be that the legal guardianship has been in effect for at least twelve (12) months prior to enrollment, and that the student has been financially dependent upon the legal guardian during that time. The student's relationship and involvement with his or her parents will also be a consideration. The University does not recognize guardianship if the student has reached the age of majority which is eighteen (18) years of age.

 

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

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

If your parents are Ohio 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 Ohio 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 Ohio.


I am currently considered a resident of Ohio. How is my residency affected if I leave Ohio?

The Ohio Board of Regents guidelines allows Ohio residents twelve (12) months out of the state before they "lose" their residency for tuition purposes. If you leave the state for more than twelve (12) months, your residency will likely be questioned.  If you can clearly demonstrate that your reason for leaving the state is solely for educational purposes (i.e. attending an out-of-state school), and that you have maintained all other ties to Ohio (i.e. subjecting income to Ohio taxation, maintaining an Ohio driver's license and voter registration, etc.) you may still be considered a resident. However, if you leave for reasons other than educational ones, for example, to accept employment in another state, you would lose your residency after twelve (12) months. It is important to consider future residency implications when planning a move or extended stay outside Ohio.

 

Except for the past couple of years, I lived in Ohio my entire life. Shouldn't I (and/or my children and spouse) still be considered a resident?

In determining a person's eligibility for residency, the state guidelines are primarily concerned only with the 12-month period immediately preceding the term for which the student is applying for residency. The cumulative time a person lived in Ohio is not relevant if the person has been away from Ohio for more that the twelve (12) months immediately preceding enrollment.

 

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. The student should submit documentation supporting the following:

The student should submit documentation supporting the following:

  • A copy of the lease, deed or rental agreement of the Ohio parent indicating twelve (12) months of residency immediately preceding enrollment.
  • A copy of the Ohio personal income tax return filed in the past twelve (12) months by the Ohio parent.
  • A copy of the federal income tax return filed in the past twelve (12) months by the parent who claimed the student as a tax dependent. This does not have to be the Ohio parent.

I am currently considered a non-resident and my parents, who are not residents of Ohio, claimed me as a tax dependent on their federal income tax return. Am I eligible for Ohio residency?

If you are a dependent of your parents, your residency is determined by their residency status. When a student is applying for residency as an independent student, they cannot be claimed as a tax dependent by anyone outside the state of Ohio.

 

How does being in the military affect my (or my children or spouse's) residency?

For individuals who are on full-time, active duty status with the military, the state has two exceptions in the residency guidelines:

If you are an Ohio resident on full-time, active duty status with the military, you and your dependents are considered residents as long as Ohio has remained your state of domicile and you have fulfilled your tax obligation to the state while on active duty.

If you are not an Ohio resident but are stationed in Ohio on a full-time, active duty status and are domiciled in the state, you and your dependents will be considered residents for tuition purposes.

 

If I am currently working full-time in Ohio, am I eligible for residency?

If you are employed on a full-time or part-time and self-sustaining basis and reside in the state, you may be eligible for "conditional residency."

 

What is conditional residency?

Conditional residency allows an independent person who is living in Ohio and is employed in Ohio on a full-time or part-time and self-sustaining basis to enroll as an in-state student on a part-time basis, even if they have not resided in the state for 12 months.  Conditional residents must be able to demonstrate that they are self-supporting solely on their current employment income.  In determining whether or not a student qualifies for conditional residency, financial aid, savings, or other sources of income (i.e. VA benefits, social security) cannot be considered as income contributing to a student's self-supporting status.

Conditional residents may not register for more than eleven (11) hours if they are undergraduate students or nine (9) hours for graduate students, or they be will be billed as a non-resident for all hours.  To be reviewed for possible conditional residency eligibility, complete the Conditional Residency Application and submit the completed form and all required documents to the Office of the Registrar.

 

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.

If you have a question regarding a specific visa or non-immigrant status, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 513-556-9900.  

 

I own property or a business in Ohio, but live in another state. Does that make my dependents or me Ohio residents for tuition purposes?

The state guidelines do not grant residency to individuals or their dependents solely on the basis that they own property or a business in Ohio.

 

In submitting an Application for Change in Residency, what are some examples of acceptable income documentation?

The following are examples of some of the income documents you may submit with your application: W-2 forms, pay stubs, financial aid award letters, bank statements established in your name, and statements showing receipt of government benefits.

 

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:

  • 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. (i.e. Indiana Contract for Space grant);
  • 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.

 

How important is it that I obtain an Ohio driver's license, vehicle registration or register to vote in Ohio?

Obtaining an Ohio driver's license, vehicle registration and registering to vote in Ohio demonstrate your intent to make Ohio your state of residence.  Since the Ohio Board of Regents guidelines are meant to exclude from residency those who are in Ohio for educational purposes only, transferring these items of registration at the beginning of the 12-month period while establishing residency is a way to show that you intend to become an Ohio resident.

 

I am currently trying to establish residency.  How does leaving Ohio for the summer affect my residency application?

The expectation is that students who are in the process of establishing their residency are physically living in the State of Ohio for the twelve (12) consecutive months prior to the term for which they are requesting reclassification.  Leaving the state for the summer or for any length of time longer than a 3-week period seriously jeopardizes your claim to Ohio residency.  This does not pertain to students in a co-op degree program whose work assignment is out of the state.  Income from co-op placements must be subjected to Ohio taxation.

 

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.  The submission deadline for the application and all supporting documentation is three (3) weeks prior to the start of the term for which you are requesting reclassification.

 

I live out of state, but within 50 miles of UC and heard that I would be eligible for in-state tuition. Is this true?

No.  There is no provision for in-state tuition based on living within fifty (50) miles of campus.  You may, however, be eligible to participate in either our Kentucky or Indiana reciprocity / metropolitan rate programs.  Review the appropriate eligibility requirements on this site.

 

Our daughter will be a freshman at UC this fall and we live outside the State of Ohio.  What does she need to do to apply for residency after a year?

The only students who are eligible to apply for a change in residency after a year are those students who are independent and entirely self-supporting for the twelve (12) months they live in Ohio.  By self-supporting we mean that the student must demonstrate and document that their sources of funding (i.e. earnings, financial aid, savings, etc) were sufficient to meet all expenses including but not limited to tuition, rent, food, books, etc.  They must have taken the necessary steps early in the 12 months to establish legal residence by obtaining an Ohio driver's license (Ohio state ID if non-driver), vehicle registration, subjection of any income to Ohio taxation.