WSU Cougar Head Logo Washington State University

Links & Resources


Tax Documents: Tax Return Transcript

IRS: Get Your Tax Record

  • IRS Federal Tax Return Transcript shows Dependents and is the only acceptable transcript. Tax records are needed for the previous calendar year only. Do not send tax records for other years.
  • Tax Return Transcripts are available to view, print, download, or receive by mail. Allow 5-10 calendar days to receive a mailed transcript. You can also call (800) 908-9946 to order a tax return transcript by mail.

Parent's tax documents

Tax documentation for parents is used solely to determine whether the student was claimed on the previous years federal income taxes. Tax documents are required for both dependent and independent applicants. Financial information is not needed on the parent's tax documentation. The residency office cannot access documents submitted for financial aid purposes.

  • Acceptable tax return documents:
    • A Federal Income Tax Return Transcript, OR
    • The first page (lists dependents) and the SIGNED signature page of a Federal Tax Return. 
  • Black-out identifying numbers, except the last 4 digits of the student's social security number. Income is not needed for a parent's tax return and may be blacked-out.
  • The parent's name and address must be visible.
  • Spring applications: If the parent has not yet filed taxes for the year prior to the year residency is desired, a notarized letter may be substituted for a tax return.

Student tax documents

Tax documentation is required for financially independent students who were not 25 years of age during the entire previous school year. Student tax returns are not required for dependent applicants.

  • Acceptable tax return documents:
    • A Federal Income Tax Return Transcript, OR
    • The first page (lists dependents) and the SIGNED signature page of a Federal Tax Return. 
  • Black-out identifying numbers, except the last 4 digits of the student's social security number.
  • Income is REQUIRED on a student tax document and must be included.
  • The student's name and address must be visible.

Washington state documents

Washington updates their websites regularly. If these links are no longer valid, please let us know.

Voter Registration

VoteWA Voter Registration and information

VoteWA Voter Registration example

State Identification and Vehicle Registration

Washington state identification, Washington drivers licensing, and vehicle registration information is available on the Washington Department of Licensing website, linked below.

Washington Department of Licensing


Financial Information

Cougar Awards & WUE

The Cougar Award is WSU's name for the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). The award is automatically applied to eligible non-resident students and the amount is determined based on the student's GPA at admission. The amount remains constant for four years if the student meets eligibility requirements. More information about the terms and conditions of WSU's Cougar Awards. There are three WSU awards: WUE/Cougar Award, WUE/Distinguished Cougar Award, and the WUE/Cougar Award for Transfer Students. 

When residency is gained, the Cougar Award is removed during the repackaging of financial aid. Resident tuition is cheaper than non-resident tuition with a Cougar Award.

WSU Cost of Attendance (COA)

Students must have personal financial resources for 51% of the Non-Resident Tuition COA for the year prior to residency, and 51% of the Resident Tuition COA for the year they gain residency. Open the chart below in a separate window.

Other WSU Options

Best Practices

  • Take the Residency Quiz to assess your eligibility before you start.
  • Are you eligible for the Residency Affidavit? This is the easiest way to obtain residency, if you are eligible.
  • Read the page with information about the type of residency that you may qualify for.
  • Download the checklist to help you assemble documents before starting the online application. Dependent Checklist. Independent Checklist.
  • We do not need most identifying numbers listed on the documents submitted. One exception: Please leave the last 4 digits of the student's Social Security Number, if it's shown, on the parent's Federal Income Tax Transcript. You should block out all other identifying numbers.
  • Do not provide extra documentation, unless it is requested.
  • Housing: Just include the first page that shows the address & lease term plus the page with signatures. Housing documents needed show the date of the lease and signatures, usually the first and last page of a lease. Do not submit the other pages.
  • The Washington Vehicle Registration can be used to determine residency. The vehicle's Title of Ownership can not be used for this purpose.

Notarized Letters

Occasionally, the required documentation is not available. In these cases, a notarized letter can be provided in addition to other supporting evidence. We do not require a specific format for the letter; it simply needs to contain the requested information. The letter will need to be notarized by a Notary or Notary Public.

A notarized letter is acceptable in these cases:

  • Parent tax information is required, however the parent has not yet filed federal income taxes for the tax year (often for Spring term applications).
  • Housing documentation when the student is living with a relative or roommate without a lease.

All letters should include:

  • Student's name.
  • The author's name and relationship to the student.
  • For taxes: The tax year and plan for claiming or not claiming the student on the federal income taxes.
  • For housing: The address where the student lived and the dates that the student lived there.
  • The author's signature.
  • The notary seal and signature (sometimes on a separate sheet of paper).
Links & Resources
Residency for Tuition