Students are considered financially dependent when they are claimed on someone else's federal income taxes and/or they receive more than half of their support from another person. The residency of a financially dependent student is based on the domicile of the student's parent, step-parent, or legal guardian, not the domicile of the student. It does not matter where the student lives. It is possible for a student to be considered a resident in more than one state when parents are separated or divorced.
Visit our FAQ page for more examples of financially dependent residency.
Residency for Tuition Purposes requires three basic actions from the parent/legal guardian:
WSU uses the first day of term determine the waiting period.
Our application is available online for ALL STUDENTS. Undergraduate & Professional students must apply using the online application. Graduate students have the option to use either the older paper questionnaire or the online application. The paper application is available as a downloadable pdf on the application page.
Use the checklist to help you assemble the required documents. Read the instructions and don't submit additional documents unless requested.
This is an online version of the residency application/questionnaire. It is created using Smartsheet, a FERPA/HiPPA compliant application. You may receive some communication from us via Smartsheet to your WSU email address. Please assemble your documentation before completing the form; it must be completed in one sitting. Use the checklist above to determine what documents to assemble.
Failure to submit appropriate documentation will significantly delay decisions regarding your residency or may result in denial of residency. Do not submit additional documentation unless it is requested. Your residency application will be processed in the order received based on the date of the latest document submission. You can watch our progress on our homepage. Please allow several WEEKS for processing.
Documents that prove your residency claim are required as part of your residency application. The Residency Checklist is helpful for assembling these documents. Do not send original documents; documents will not be returned to you and will be kept for our files.
If your parent/legal guardian is not a US citizen, but holds 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 their Resident Alien Card, Temporary Resident card, VISA, or other verification of their status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
Housing documentation must show that your parent/legal guardian lived in Washington state during the 12 month period prior to the term you are seeking residency. They may leave the state on a temporary sojourn if they do not take steps to establish residency in another state and otherwise meet the domicile requirements. For instance, a parent/legal guardian may be temporarily working overseas and plans to return to Washington state. You may be eligible if the parent did not establish residency in another state prior to moving overseas.
Your parent/legal guardian are not required to register to vote in Washington, however current voter registration can support and strengthen their claim for residency.
Submit a vehicle registration if your parent/legal guardian owns or is using a vehicle in Washington. If they use, but do not own a vehicle in Washington, it must be registered in the state. State of Washington vehicle registration website.
Washington requires new residents to surrender their previous state's documents and obtain Washington documents. Maintaining out-of-state documents will preclude receiving Washington residency.
State law determines residency, in part, based on whether the student is claimed as a dependent on a parent(s) federal income taxes for the most recent tax year.
Please black-out income and identifying numbers, with the exception of the last 4 digits of the student's social security number. We do not need income nor social security numbers for parent(s)/legal guardian(s).
Military Residency is the easiest way to obtain resident tuition. Once granted, the student will receive resident tuition until they need to re-apply at WSU, perhaps for Graduate. Military residency does not grant full Washington residency status; the student will continue to be coded as a Non-Resident in myWSU. There will be periods of time when the Cost of Attendance has not yet updated to the resident tuition amount, and this can occasionally be disconcerting.
If the military member has maintained Washington as their state of residence, including driver's license, that status can be used to apply for full Washington residency. Dependent student may choose to also apply for residency using the Traditional application. The recommendation is to apply for Military Residency first, as that form is available sooner and is very easy to complete, then apply for traditional residency when that form opens 60 days before the start of the term. Full resident status will update residency in myWSU to Resident and may make some Washington financial aid available.