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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 in the sidebar to view the questions and answers for other Registration and Records-related topics.

What is emancipation?

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 23 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.

Minor Emancipation Claim 


Can I receive any gifts or money from my parents if I am claiming to be emancipated?

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.


If I marry a Colorado resident or live with a relative who is a Colorado resident, am I considered an in-state student?

No. Individuals must establish their own domicile as prescribed by the tuition law.


What if my parents are divorced and only one lives in Colorado?

An un-emancipated student (22 and younger) can be considered in-state if one of the student’s parents has established domicile in Colorado.


May I leave the state for vacations or summer work while establishing my “in-state” status?

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.


Who do I talk to if I disagree with the decision made on my classification?

Any student who is denied in-state tuition classification may file a petition with the Tuition Classification Officer by emailing and putting "Appeal Request" in the subject line of the email. 

If, after the first appeal, the student and Tuition Classification Officer are 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.


Can a change in my residency status be made retroactively?

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. Exceptions can only be made if a student did not begin courses at the beginning of a term.

If you have questions about this process, please contact


Are there any exceptions to the one-year domicile requirement?

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.