Residency and Reciprocity Frequently Asked Questions

A dependent is defined as a student who has been claimed by a parent or legal guardian on their Federal Income Tax Return for the most recent tax year.

Please note: These requirements may be different than those for Financial Aid.

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 each application page. Documentation may include a driver's license, vehicle registration, proof of voter registration, most recent state income tax form, unaltered bank statements from checking and savings accounts established in your name at the start of your 12–month review period, 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.

Once you submit your application, it is your responsibility to monitor your email account in case there are requests for further documentation.

Each request shall be decided individually on the basis of all facts submitted by the petitioner. Accordingly, it is not possible to list a specific combination of factors or set of circumstances which, if met, would ensure reclassification for tuition purposes. 

Please be aware that as part of this process you MAY be asked to provide numerous pieces of documentation that you may consider to be of personal nature. These may include, but are not limited to: Federal/State tax forms, pay check stubs, deed/lease/mortgage, marriage/birth certificates, W2’s and numerous other forms that may need to be notarized. Failure to provide the requested forms will result in the rejection of your application.

A student is not required to establish a specific number of factors or a specific combination of factors for Ohio domicile. Further, providing some or all of the documentation suggested or requested by the University will not necessarily result in being classified as a resident.

No. A student cannot qualify for "immediate residency" through other relatives, fiancée, 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.

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.

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 (summer term enrollment is not required) and make normal progress toward your degree. If you apply for a second degree program (i.e. you graduate from the first program), your residency will be reviewed, and you will have to meet the residency criteria on your own.
  • Similarly, if you are a dependent student who applied for admission to UC and your Ohio–resident parents subsequently move out of the state, you will be considered a resident as long as you enroll within 12 months of the date your parents moved out of Ohio.

The residency guidelines allow students to be considered residents if they have a legal guardian who is an Ohio resident. However, setting up a legal guardianship with an Ohio resident in order to qualify for residency is not permitted. The student must submit a copy of all relevant court documentation verifying legal guardianship. In general, the expectation will be that the legal guardianship has been in effect for at least 12 months, 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.

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.

The expectation is that students who are in the process of establishing their residency are physically living in the State of Ohio for the 12 consecutive months prior to the semester for which they are requesting reclassification. Leaving the state for the summer—or for any length of time longer than a three–week period—can jeopardize your claim to Ohio residency.

Students who leave Ohio for co-op or study abroad during their residency–review period for any period longer than three weeks must continue to maintain their residence in Ohio while out of the state. Proof that their residence in Ohio was maintained will be required which will include—but is not limited to—copies of canceled checks for the rent payment, copies of leases, or documents proving the purchase of a home in Ohio.

If documentation cannot be provided, the absence from Ohio will disqualify you from residency reclassification.

If a dependent student has one parent who has been an Ohio resident for at least the 12 months immediately preceding enrollment, they will be considered a resident for tuition purposes whether or not the student actually resides in Ohio. Documentation is required.

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.

No. 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.

No, living rent–free is viewed as receiving financial support, which is not permissible under state guidelines. Rental agreements between the owner of the property and the tenant need to be financially binding and rent needs to be commensurate with market value.

No. Any student who has been classified as a nonresident 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.

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.

Any state’s 529 plan is only applicable to a student’s financial independence only if it can be documented that all funds associated with the plan were transferred legally into the student’s sole possession and sole control more than 24 months prior to the student using the funds. In addition, there should be no evidence of large deposits into the account within the past 24 months. In other words, the student should have sole control of the fund and should not be receiving any financial assistance from an out-of-state family member within the past two years. Students will need to provide documentation indicating date of establishment and transaction activities showing funds used toward paying for their tuition.

Yes. Loans and/or gifts in excess of nominal amounts from parents or other individuals—regardless of the terms—are considered financial assistance and as such will be a disqualifying factor.

Employment income earned as cash is only eligible for residency if it is subject to Ohio taxation. The burden of proof is on the student to provide proof that the income has been subject to Ohio taxation. Otherwise it is not eligible income.

Yes. Students are responsible for reporting and being financially capable of paying for the upkeep, gas, and car insurance of a car they own or have use during their residency review period.

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 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.

The cumulative time a person has lived in Ohio is not relevant. If the person has been away from Ohio for more than the 12 months immediately preceding enrollment, they will not maintain their residency status for the tuition subsidy. However, a student may qualify if they graduated from an Ohio high school. (See Residency Classification C-7.)

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.

Fee payment deadlines cannot be extended while a student’s residency application is being reviewed. Students may opt to pay by using the university’s tuition payment plan. Information on payment plans can be found on the Bursar's webpage.