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Definition of Residency for Tuition Purposes

“A student who has been physically present in the state for more than one year immediately preceding the residence determination date (one year and one day), and has demonstrated an intent to make California a permanent home” (EC §68017, 68052; Title 5 §54020, 54026).

If you qualify for residency, your tuition rate is lower than it is for nonresidents. This is because the state of California pays for a portion of the tuition (this is called “apportionment”). The state does not fund nonresidents, which is why those students must pay the difference. The rates are determined by strict regulations placed by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. 

How Residency is Determined

When you fill out an application online through CCCApply, a computer algorithm determines your residency based on the answers you have provided. CCCApply was designed by the Chancellor’s Office. If it flags you as a nonresident, you have the opportunity to appeal the status by filling out the Request to Be Classified as a California Resident Form. This request, along with appropriate documentation, allows MPC to modify your residency status when appropriate, while providing the required documentation for auditors.

Student Responsibility for Residency Changes

MPC encourages you to register for your classes while resolving residency concerns.  You may do this by selecting the ‘pay by cash or check’ option during the checkout process.  This will hold your place in the class and defer the payment.  If you choose to register before your residency has been resolved, you must either prove residency or drop classes before the refund deadline.  By remaining in class after the refund deadline you assume all liability for fees if in the event you are unable to prove residency.

Residency is not resolved automatically and it is your responsibility to fill out the Request to Be Classified as a California Resident Form and submit it along with the appropriate documentation to Admissions & Records.  The request and documentation must be submitted no later than the last day to drop with a “W” grade, which can be found on the Important Dates and Deadline page.  If approved, your student fees will be adjusted accordingly.  Requests received after the last day to drop with a “W” grade with extenuating circumstances will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  Residency may only be adjusted during the term in which the non-resident fees are billed.  Upon the conclusion of the term, all fees become finalized.  Residency will not be changed retroactively.


A minimum of two supporting documents are needed to establish residency. Suggested documentation (dated at least one year and one day prior to the beginning of the term):

  • CA Driver’s License
  • CA Car Registration
  • CA Voter Registration
  • Rent / ownership of CA residence
  • Income Tax Statements (both Federal (1040) and CA (540) with CA address listed)
  • California professional practice license
  • Record of active California bank account
  • Petition for divorce in California
  • Military DD214 and a copy of the Leave and Earning Statement (LES) from each year while on active duty.

Items that are not specific to CA may not be used to establish residency, such as:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security Card

Other documentation may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Citizenship Status

You may still qualify for residency if you are not a US citizen. Many visa holders may establish residency, although some may not. For example, F1/J1 students are international and may not qualify (see the International Program). B1/B2 visa holders may not attend MPC at all. If you were issued a green card, DACA, I-94, or asylum, you may qualify, with additional review. Please contact Admissions & Records for more details.

Residency Determination Assistance

Monterey Peninsula College’s Admissions & Records Office is committed to helping students with their residency determination. Our staff is happy to discuss residency with students in person, over the phone, and via email. Any student’s residency situation that is complicated or outside the norm is given close inspection, with more than one staff member’s review. There are certain exemptions and exceptions that our staff routinely explore with students to see if they qualify. If residency can be granted within the confines of residency regulations, we do our best to do so.

Military Members and their Dependents

US Active Duty military members and their dependents may be eligible to have their nonresident tuition waived. If you are active duty, submit a copy of your official orders to the Admissions & Records Office. If you are an active duty dependent, submit the US Military Dependent Form to our office.

California High School Graduates

Students who do not qualify for California residency may be eligible for an exemption from nonresident tuition if they meet the following requirements.

  • Must have attended a California high school for 3 or more full academic years (between grades 9 through 12, inclusive and does not need to be consecutive years);
  • Must have graduated from a California high school or have attained a G.E.D.; or received a passing mark on the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE);
  • Must register or is currently enrolled at an accredited institution of public higher education in California;
  • Must file or will file an affidavit as required by individual institutions, stating that the filer will apply for legal residency as soon as possible;
  • Must not hold a valid non-immigrant visa (F, J, H, L, A, E, etc.)

Eligible students must fill out the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form (AB 540) and provide their official high school transcripts.

AB 2210 Nonresident Fee Exemption

Education Code section 68075.6 grants an immediate nonresident tuition fee exemption to eligible Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled in California upon entering the United States. This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States.

This exemption applies to the following:

  • Iraqi citizens or nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by or on behalf of the United States Government in Iraq (Pub.L. No. 110-181, § 1244)
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators (and their spouses and children) who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces (Pub.L. No. 109-163, § 1059)
  • Afghanistan nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (Pub.L. No. 111-8, § 602)
  • Refugee students admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of the Title 8 of the United States Code

Eligible students must fill out the Request to Be Classified as a California Resident and provide appropriate documentation to Admissions & Records in order to be classified as a resident. If there are questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.



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