Gaining residency as a financially independent student

 


Please read information and instructions entirely.

Residency questionnaire is found at the bottom of page.

FOR STUDENTS UNDER THE AGE OF 25:  If your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) do not reside in the state of Washington AND you are under the age of 25, then your only option to gain residency for tuition paying purposes is to become financially independent of your parents/legal guardians.  In order to be considered financially independent, you MUST meet the following criteria:

  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent by either parent (or anyone) on federal IRS income tax returns for the current and prior calendar year AND
  • You pay at least 51% of the cost of attendance including: tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies & transportation for an out-of-state student for the year prior to term you are seeking residency AND 51% of the cost of attendance for the current year 

You must obtain all of your state of Washington documents 12 months prior to the term you are seeking residency.

FOR STUDENTS 25 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER:  Students that are 25 years of age (for the entire academic year prior to submitting the residency questionnaire) and older do not need to provide financially independent documentation (tax returns/W-2s etc.) as required for students under the age of 25, UNLESS there is evidence you did not pay at least 51% of the cost of attendance for an out-of-state student for the academic year prior to the term you are seeking residency.  In addition, you must meet all other criteria and you must obtain all of your state of Washington documents 12 months prior to the term you are seeking residency.

INSTRUCTIONS
  • Fill out both pages of the questionnaire completely.
  • Submit all documentation required (checklist below).  Failure to submit appropriate documentation will significantly delay any decisions regarding your residency or may result in denial of residency.
  • To expedite the review of your residency questionnaire and reduce the amount of copying required, please provide only what is required (checklist below)Excessive and unnecessary documentation will delay review.
REQUIRED ITEMS CHECKLIST (READ THOROUGHLY)

Submit this completed checklist WITH your questionnaire.

1.  Housing documentation.  (Must show physical presence within the state of Washington for the entire 12 month period prior to the term you are seeking residency.  Acceptable documents include:

  • A copy of the first and signature page of your lease agreement (document must include lease duration and physical address), OR
  • Copies of rent receipts or tenant ledger from landlord, OR
  • Copies of canceled rent checks from your bank, OR
  • A notarized letter from your landlord (OR person you lived with) along with copies of official pieces of US Mail you received at that residence for the duration of the living arrangements (typically bank statements), OR
  • A letter from the WSU housing office (if you resided in WSU housing), OR
  • A home purchase agreement showing the physical address of the home and date of closing

2.  State of Washington voter’s registration. Submit this only if you are currently registered to vote.  Acceptable documents include:

3.  State of Washington vehicle registration.  Submit a vehicle registration only if you own or are using a vehicle in the state.  Residents of the State of Washington are required to title and register their vehicle(s) within 30 days of moving to and establishing a domicile in the state.  PLEASE NOTE:  if you use, but do not own a vehicle in the state of Washington, it must be registered in the state.  State of Washington vehicle registration website.  Acceptable documents include:

  • A copy of your vehicle registration (a copy of the title is not accepted as proof for residency purposes)
  • If the vehicle was purchased less than 12 months prior to the term you are seeking residency, provide a copy of the bill of sale in addition to the vehicle registration

4.  State of Washington driver’s license OR state of Washington identification card (if you do not drive or do not have a previous driver's license from another state). Residents of the state of Washington are required to surrender their previous state's driver's license and obtain a State of Washington driver's license or state identification card within 30 days of moving to and establishing a domicile in the state.  State of Washington driver's license/identification card website.

5.  A federal IRS tax transcript for the most recent tax year.  Order here.  If you have not filed a tax return, please provide copies of W-2 forms, if any.  NOTE:  For students that are 25 years of age for the entire previous academic year, or older than 25 years of age, you are not required to submit tax information UNLESS there is evidence that your parents provided more than 49% of your support for the previous academic year.

6. A federal IRS tax transcript of your parent(s) for the most recent tax year.  Order hereNOTE:  For students that are 25 years of age for the entire previous academic year, or older than 25 years of age, you are not required to submit tax information UNLESS there is evidence that resources in your name are less than 51% for the previous academic year.

7. Documents verifying your financially independent status for the current calendar year (the year you file the residency questionnaire) and the prior calendar year (the year you entered WSU). (To be considered financially independent, a student must demonstrate by evidence satisfactory to the institution that he or she has met, through his or her income, the expenses associated with college tuition and living for the current calendar year and the calendar year immediately prior to the year in which application is made.) Financial resources that may be used include:

  • Earnings documented on a federal IRS tax form (W-2 and/or 1099) for the calendar year immediately prior to the year in which application is made
  • Earnings documented on a pay check stub for the current calendar year (the year in which application is made)
  • Financial aid grants, scholarships and loans authorized by the Financial Aid Office in the student’s name
  • A trust account in the student's name (GET, 529 College Savings Plan, etc.), if the account was created before the student entered high school. In order to count this resource, appropriate documentation is required as follows:
    • Documentation of the date the account was established, AND
    • Proof the account was used to pay for expenses associated with the cost of attendance at Washington State University for the current calendar year and the calendar year immediately prior to the year in which application is made.

Personal loans, PLUS loans, checking & savings accounts, gifts, and cash earnings shall not be counted as income in this calculation. Receipt of the Federal Parent PLUS loan for more than 51% will contradict financial independent status.

8. If you are not a US citizen, but hold permanent resident immigration status, temporary resident status, “Refugee-Parolee,” “Conditional Entrant” status, or are permanently residing in the United States under color of law, attach a copy of both sides of your Resident Alien Card, Temporary Resident card or other verification of your status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

9.  Sign and date Section 2 on page two of the questionnaire.

 Required Items Checklist
(print, initial each item, submit on top of questionnaire)

   State of Washington Residency Questionnaire
(this is a writable PDF, however you must print & sign)