Residency and Tuition Classification FAQ
This page provides answers to common questions students might have about residency and tuition classifications at Aims. Click on the links below to view the questions and answers for other student enrollment and records-related topics.
The requirements for establishing tuition classification are defined by a statute of the State of Colorado Title 23, Article 7 101 to 107 C.R.S. 1973 as amended, Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) regulations, and CCHE/ State Attorney General Guidelines.
By law, an in-state student, or the student’s parents, must be domiciled in Colorado for 12 or more continuous months by the first day of classes.
Domicile is the legal term used to describe the place where a person has chosen to make a fixed and permanent home. Domicile includes physical presence and demonstrated intent to make Colorado your home, and must be established for 12 months prior to the first day of classes.
Intent can be demonstrated in many of the following ways:
- Employment in Colorado, other than that normally provided on a temporary basis to students by an institution of higher education or other temporary employment;
- Ownership of residential real property in Colorado;
- Graduation from a high school located in Colorado;
- Continued residence in the state of Colorado during periods when not enrolled as a student or during periods between academic sessions;
- Acceptance of future employment in the state of Colorado;
- Vehicle registration in Colorado;
- Any other factor peculiar to the individual which tends to establish the necessary intent to make Colorado a permanent home;
- Voter registration in Colorado.
For more information about domicile, please check out this page.
According to tuition law, there are three possible situations:
- Individuals at least 22 years of age are eligible to establish domicile in Colorado. Physical presence and intent must be established for 12 months prior to the first day of classes. Thus, an individual will meet the requirements of the law no sooner than their 23rd birthday.
- Individuals younger than 23 whose parents or legal guardians have established domicile for 12 months prior to the first day of classes could be considered in-state for tuition purposes.
- Students emancipated prior to the age of 22 are eligible to establish domicile.
For more information about domicile, please check out this page.
Emancipation is the parental surrender of claim to the right to care and custody of a minor. According to the tuition law, emancipation occurs at age 22 or upon marriage or if:
- The parents or legal guardians submit an affidavit surrendering any claim or right to the care, custody and earnings of the minor, as well as the duty to support the minor, together with the student's proof that the student can independently meet all living expenses, including the cost of education; and
- Failure of parents or legal guardians to provide financial support together with the student's proof that the student can independently meet all living expenses, including the cost of education.
The 12-month waiting period for establishing domicile begins only after the date of emancipation has been established by appropriate documentation.
Gifts from parents whom students depend on for financial support are considered evidence of non-emancipation according to the statute. Therefore, loans from family, use of family cars, jointly owned property or living with family members may prohibit the student from being considered emancipated.
A legal guardian is defined as someone appointed by the court with personal and financial responsibility for a minor. The tuition law also requires the court document reflecting the guardian appointment to state that the appointment is not for tuition classification purposes and to certify that parents do not contribute to the minor’s support.
No. Individuals must establish their own domicile as prescribed by the tuition law.
Physical presence refers to the place where a person establishes domicile. A person can have only one legal domicile, which can be considered as physical presence for tuition classification purposes. An individual can establish proof of physical presence by providing rent receipts, lease agreements, home ownership papers or statements from landlords.
The tuition law lists several factors that can be used to determine that intent has been established. No one factor by itself is sufficient to measure intent. Each college must make that determination based on the information provided by the individual. It is the responsibility of the individual to provide as much information and documentation as appropriate to document intent. Several factors which will be considered are:
- Payment of Colorado state income tax as a Colorado resident
- Permanent, full-time, off-campus employment
- Withholding of Colorado state taxes from wages
- Obtaining a Colorado Motor Vehicle Operator’s License or a valid Colorado ID for identification purposes in a timely manner upon moving to Colorado or becoming eligible for one
- Obtaining Colorado license plates in a timely manner upon owning a motor vehicle
- Registering to vote in Colorado
- Ownership of residential property in Colorado
- Any factors which are specific to the individual which demonstrate established intent to make Colorado one’s permanent home
Intent, together with physical presence, establishes domicile. Intent, however, is more difficult to establish and prove. The more forms of intent that an individual can provide, the easier it is to determine if the individual has established intent. There is no one set of criteria that is applied to an individual. It is the responsibility of the individual to document special circumstances.
Yes. Military personnel and their family members permanently stationed in Colorado, as defined by military regulations, can qualify for in-state tuition classification. These individuals should contact the Education Officer at the installation where they are assigned for further information. Military personnel who wish to become permanent Colorado residents may establish their in-state status by proving intent according to tuition law.
An un-emancipated student can be considered in-state if one of the student’s parents has established domicile in Colorado.
An unemancipated student who is not domiciled in Colorado, but who has a parent who is domiciled in Colorado, is called a parent-qualified student and qualifies for in-state tuition classification.
Yes, but the mere fact that you are a student, part time or full time, is not sufficient evidence to consider you an In-State student. You must still demonstrate your physical presence and intent before you can be considered In-State. Please note that W.U.E. students are unable to establish domicile in Colorado while classified under W.U.E.
Yes, but you must maintain the Colorado connections you have established, such as claiming any income as Colorado income for tax purposes. Any interruption or change in these connections could reverse the original classification and cause you to have to reestablish your domicile upon returning to Colorado. You should check with the institutional tuition classification officer before you leave the state.
Yes, a minor who remains in Colorado may be considered in-state for tuition purposes if parents can provide evidence of Colorado domicile for the immediately preceding four years. If the parents or legal guardians leave the state after a minor’s junior year of high school, the minor may still be considered in-state if he or she enrolls in a Colorado postsecondary institution within 42 months of the parents’ move, or maintains a Colorado domicile and complies with the other provisions of the statute.
Non-U.S. citizens are legally capable of establishing domicile when the U.S. Immigration Service has granted them the status of lawful permanent resident. The date used to establish domicile is the date the application for permanent visa was accepted. This date should be documented with a photocopy of the immigrant card. In addition, some non-immigrant visa classifications are capable of establishing in-state status, but the group does not include student visas. Please contact the Admissions office for more information concerning your immigration status.
Any student who is denied in-state tuition classification may file a petition with the Tuition Classification Officer by emailing Records@aims.edu. If still in disagreement, an appeal may be filed with the Registrar. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Registrar no later than two weeks (10 class days) after the denial decision has been sent to the student. The Registrar will provide the student with instructions regarding the appeals process. The decision of the Registrar is the final college determination. There can be no retroactive changes in classification.
Unfortunately not. The state of Colorado requires that all residency changes take place prior to the first day of the term beginning. After that time, residency statuses will remain the same. If you have questions about this process, please contact Records@aims.edu.
Yes. The following is a comprehensive list of all exceptions to the one-year domicile period requirement:
- If you graduated from a Colorado High School for three or more years (or obtained a Colorado GED) and are attending Aims within 12 months of high school graduation (or final GED award date).
- If you are active duty United States military.
- If you are an honorably discharged veteran of the United States military (all branches minus the Colorado National Guard) and intend to make Colorado your permanent home.
- If you are a member of the Colorado National Guard.
- If you are a veteran or dependent of a veteran intending to use your GI Bill® benefits at Aims.
- If you are a member of the Canadian Military.
- If you are a member of an American Indian Tribe located in Colorado.
- If you were relocated to Colorado by your current employer.
- If you were relocated to Colorado under Economic Development.
- If you are a new faculty member located in Colorado.
- If you are a current contestant for the US Olympics.