Section: Financial
Policy Number: 3-15
Policy Name: Regulations Governing the Classification of Students for Tuition and Fee Purposes
Date: October 26, 1977
Revisions: June 5, 1989; March 1, 1996; February 15, 2008, August 7, 2009


    Student classification for assessment of fees is determined solely by the University in accordance with these regulations established by the Board of Trustees under the authority of 14 Delaware Code 5106. Because the State of Delaware makes appropriations for the operation of the University and the construction of its physical facilities, lower fees are offered to Delaware students. The criteria set forth herein are intended to differentiate between Delaware students and others in an equitable way for the purpose of fee assessment. They may or may not coincide with the determination of domiciliary status for other purposes.


    Whenever used in these regulations the following definitions shall apply, regardless of whether or not such definitions differ from those in use for any other purpose:

    1. Domicile denotes a person's true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation. It is the single place where one intends to remain and to which one expects to return when one leaves without intending to establish a new domicile elsewhere.

    2. Parent(s) shall mean: (1) the natural parent(s), or (2) if the natural parents are separated or divorced, the one with whom the applicant actually resides, or (3) the legal guardian(s), provided there are no circumstances indicating that the guardianship was created primarily for the purpose of qualifying as a Delaware student, or (4) a close relative if all of the following requirements are met: (a) the said relative has claimed and will continue to claim the student as a dependent for federal income tax purposes, (b) the student will have actually resided with said relative for at least twelve consecutive full months as of the first day of classes in the semester or session for which Delaware student status is sought, and (c) no natural parent contributes to the support of the student in an amount sufficient to claim the student as a dependent for federal income tax purposes in any jurisdiction.

    3. Independent shall mean a person who meets all of the following conditions: (1) has attained the age of 18 years or is married, (2) has established and maintained a domicile separate from that of his or her parents for at least twelve consecutive full months as of the first day of classes in the semester or session for which classification as a Delaware student is sought, (3) is not claimed as a dependant for federal income tax purposes by any other person in any jurisdiction, (4) does not receive financial educational assistance in any form based solely or in part on the income, assets and liability of parents, and (5) demonstrates the ability to provide tuition and a minimum of his or her living expenses without financial support from his or her parent or relative.

    4. Dependent shall apply to all applicants who do not qualify as independent.

    5. Person on whom the classification depends shall mean the parent(s) in the case of a dependent applicant and the applicant in the case of an independent person.


    To qualify as a Delaware student the person on whom the classification depends must have been domiciled in Delaware for at least twelve consecutive full months as of the first day of classes in the semester or session for which the classification is sought. Such classification shall apply for the entire semester or session and thereafter until changed. It shall be the student's responsibility to notify the University of any change in circumstances that might result in termination of Delaware student status and such classification shall terminate one year after the person on whom the classification depends ceases to be a domiciliary of Delaware.


    1. Although each case shall be decided on the basis of all information submitted by the student, the following facts regarding the person on whom the classification depends, although not conclusive, have probative value in support of a claim of domicile:

      1. place of residence;

      2. the person's purpose in establishing residence in Delaware;

      3. full-time employment in Delaware or contiguous area which results in residence in Delaware;

      4. filing of Delaware resident income tax returns;

    2. The following are not necessarily sufficient evidence of domicile:

      1. payment of property or income tax in Delaware;

      2. ownership of real property in Delaware;

      3. registration to vote in Delaware;

      4. possession of a Delaware driver's license;

      5. motor vehicle registration in Delaware;

      6. continued presence in Delaware during periods when the University is not in session.


    Unless the contrary is demonstrated by the student to the satisfaction of the University officers identified in Section 6 below, it shall be presumed that:

    1. The sojourn in Delaware of students who enter Delaware from other states for the primary purpose of continuing their education beyond the twelfth grade is not domicile.

    2. The primary purpose of undergraduate students registered for more than nine semester hours or graduate students registered for more than six semester hours (including courses taken as listener) is to continue their education.

    3. Marriage to a Delaware student or a person eligible for such classification does not, of itself, establish Delaware student status for the spouse.

    4. Unless the student's parents are separated or divorced, residence in Delaware by one parent or part of a family while the other parent and the remainder of the family continue to enjoy the privileges of domicile in another state is not considered as part of the period for establishing Delaware student status.

    5. The following special conditions shall also be applicable:

    6. An alien in this country on a student or other temporary visa, or for a stay of short duration with the intention or legal requirement to return to the country of former residence, may not acquire domicile in Delaware.

    7. Delaware students or their parents who enter the Armed Forces of the United States do not, by reason of physical presence outside the state or official orders, relinquish domicile.

    8. Active members of the Armed Forces of the United States, their spouses and dependent children, who are stationed in Delaware in connection with military service, are eligible for Delaware student status immediately upon being assigned to Delaware. Eligibility will continue as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment. * (see below)


    1. The Dean of Admissions or his/her designee shall be responsible for the initial classification of undergraduate and graduate students at the time application for admission is made based on the content of material required to be submitted for the purpose of admission.

    2. The University Registrar or his/her designee shall be responsible for the initial classification of all other students and for the reclassification of all students, which may be initiated based on any available information. Students may request reclassification at any time. However, no reclassification may be retroactive beyond the semester or session in which it is requested.

    3. In order to be considered for reclassification, a student must obtain an "Application for Change in Classification for the Purpose of Fee Assessment" from the Office of the University Registrar. The completed application must be returned to the Office of the University Registrar. The University Registrar or designee shall notify the student in writing of his/her decision based on the student's application for reclassification.

    4. Students may appeal classification decisions within 30 days to the Standing Committee on Student Classification for Tuition and Fee Purposes. This Committee shall be composed of the Vice President for Finance or designee, the Vice President for Student Life or designee and the Provost or designee who will serve as Chair of the Committee. Petitions to the Committee must be in writing and accompanied by supporting documentation. The student may, at his/her request, appear in person before the Committee if such a request is contained in the appeal petition. The Committee shall inform the student of its decision in writing within 30 days of receipt of the appeal petition. The Committee shall have final authority within the University for the interpretation of these regulations and the determination of all student classifications for tuition and fee purposes.


    It is the responsibility of the student to provide in writing accurate and complete information as required by the appropriate administrators for the initial classification and reclassification. Failure to give complete and correct information constitutes grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal from the University. If any erroneous classification as a Delaware student shall have been based on the concealment of material facts or false statements by the student or the person on whom the classification depends, the student shall be required to pay all tuition and fees that would have been charged to him/her except for such erroneous classification.


    * In November of 2005, the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission's recommendations to close Ft. Monmouth, NJ became effective. The majority of the military organizations and personnel, including civilian and contractor personnel, now operating at Ft. Monmouth will relocate to Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD or Ft. Belvoir, VA. Ft. Monmouth is to close no later than September 15, 2011.

    It is expected that some military, civilian and contractor personnel who are assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground will choose to reside in Delaware. It is also expected that reassignments may result in some personnel temporarily not having the in state tuition privilege. To remedy this situation, with State concurrence, the special condition (Section V - paragraph G) contained in the University's policy will be extended to military personnel who are assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground and who, as a result of that reassignment, reside in Delaware. With State concurrence, the special condition also will be extended to civilian employees of or contractors with the Armed Forces of the United States who find themselves in similar circumstances. In either case, the special condition will apply to personnel who relocate on or before September 15, 2011.

Submitted by: University Registrar