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Residency General Information

Establishing Residency in the Future

If you are just beginning the process of establishing residency in Washington, here are a few things that Financially Independent students can do ONE YEAR prior to the semester that residency is desired. You will apply for residency near the end of the waiting period.

  • Obtain a Washington State Driver's License or State Identification Card. You have 30 days from the first day of classes, one year prior to your desired residency semester, to obtain this. Fall 2020 Applicants should get this document by September 19, 2019.
  • Register your vehicles in Washington. You have 30 days from the first day of classes, one year prior to your desired residency semester, to obtain this. Fall 2020 Applicants should get this document by September 19, 2019.
  • Register to vote, if you plan to. You have 30 days from the first day of classes, one year prior to your desired residency semester, to obtain this. Fall 2020 Applicants should get this document by September 19, 2019.
  • You will need to show financial independence for two years - the calendar year prior to your application and year of your application. For Fall 2020 applications that will be 2019 and 2020.

Application Tips

  • Download BOTH the Questionnaire and the Checklist. The checklist will help you assemble your documents. The Questionnaire is your application.
  • Read the instructions on the website, checklist, and questionnaire.
  • Use one paper- or binder-clip. Please do not add sticky notes, extra paperclips, staples, or other organizational aids.
  • Do not provide extra documentation, unless it is requested.
    • Tax forms, parents: Only include the first page that lists dependents. Black out identifying numbers, except the last 4 digits of the student's social security number.
    • Tax forms, students: Only include the first page that shows income. Black out identifying numbers, except the last 4 digits of your social security number.
    • Housing: Only include the first page that shows the address & lease term plus the page with signatures.

The Application Process

  • Questionnaires are reviewed in the order received.
  • Review can take weeks, depending upon the time of year. August and September are especially busy.
  • Approval notification will be sent to your WSU official email. Denials are provided in letter format.
  • You are responsible for paying the resident portion of your fees while awaiting a determination of your residency status.
  • Documents may be mailed, hand-delivered, or emailed. Note: The Graduate School does not accept email applications.
  • Documents are not returned and become part of your student file.

State of Washington Residency Requirements

  • Residency is determined at the time of formal admission to the university on the basis of information included in the university application for admission.
  • Residency policies are set by the State of Washington (RCW 28B.15) and applied uniformly throughout Washington’s public colleges and universities.
  • Students who do not establish residency will be assessed out of state tuition.
  • Students seeking a change in residence classification must file a Residence Questionnaire and evidence of Washington domicile with the University.
  • Residency is determined by several factors in addition to physical presence in the state of Washington and is based on documentary evidence submitted.

Submit Your Application

See Addresses and other information about where to submit your application.