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States Rules & Regulations


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.

Physical Presence

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.


Students can establish domicile in Colorado only when they (or their qualified person, if applicable) are residing in Colorado with the present intention to reside permanently in the state. Evidence of Colorado domicile includes actions that in the circumstances would normally be expected of, or that would be characteristic of, any permanent resident. Qualified persons are expected to take appropriate action on all factors relevant in their circumstances.

Pursuant to Colorado law, the Tuition Classification Officer considers a variety of evidence, and any additional relevant information, when evaluating requests for in-state tuition. No single factor or combination of these factors may be considered conclusive evidence of domicile.

The following may be considered as evidence of Colorado domicile:

  • Physical Presence in the state of Colorado. 
    • 365 days are required (with few exceptions for short leaves of absence).
  • Payment of Colorado state income tax
  • Colorado driver's license.
    • If you have a driver's license from another state, you must apply for a Colorado driver's license. If you do not drive, you may obtain a Colorado identification card. Please visit the Department of Motor Vehicle’s website for information about identification requirements.
  • Colorado vehicle registration.
    • Please visit the Department of Motor Vehicle's website for information vehicle registration requirements.
  • Voter registration in Colorado.
    • You may register to vote with your county clerk or when you obtain your Colorado driver's license as soon as you move into the State.
  • Permanent employment or acceptance of future permanent employment in Colorado.
  • Ownership of residential real property in Colorado that is your primary residence.
    • Ownership of vacation or income property is not an indication of domicile.
  • Graduation from a Colorado high school.
  • Continued residence in Colorado during the summer or during other periods when not enrolled as a student or during periods between academic sessions.
  • Other factors particular to your situation may be considered also, and should be documented.

The following may be considered as evidence indicating domicile outside Colorado:

  • Failure to pay Colorado state income tax.
    • Filing a nonresident Colorado tax return is persuasive evidence of domicile outside Colorado.
  • Failure to comply with any law imposing a mandatory duty on a permanent resident of Colorado.
    • Examples include failure to register a motor vehicle and failure to change your driver's license to Colorado within the statutory periods, as well as failure to file a Colorado state income tax return.
  • Return to your former state of residence for a substantial period of time during the summer or during other periods when not enrolled as a student or between academic sessions.
  • Maintenance of a home in another state.
  • Prolonged absence from Colorado, except for military or government service or for temporary absences required by an employer.
  • Any other factor particular to your situation that indicates non-Colorado domicile.
    • Examples include applying for a loan or receiving college financial aid from another state where domicile in that state is a condition for receiving funds, and voting or registering to vote in another state.

More information regarding domicile can be found on the Colorado Department of Higher Education's website