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Residency Classification Guidelines for Tuition
and Fee Purposes


  1. The University of Delaware enrolls students from almost every state in the United States and many foreign countries. Because the State of Delaware appropriates public funds for the operation of the University and the construction of its physical facilities, lower tuition is charged to students who are residents of Delaware and who qualify for in-state tuition status. These residency classification guidelines have been developed to ensure that decisions about whether a student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition are fair and equitable; and that applicants for admission, enrolled students, and the parents of students who wish to pay in-state tuition understand that they may be required to provide additional information to document their residency status.
  2. These residency classification guidelines are established by the Board of Trustees under the authority vested in it by the University Charter, (14 Del. C. § 5106). Residency classification for purposes of assessing tuition and fees is determined solely by the University in accordance with these guidelines. The criteria set forth herein are intended to differentiate between Delaware residents and others in an equitable way for the purpose of tuition and fee assessment. These criteria may not coincide with the determination of residency status for other purposes.


As used in these guidelines, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

  1. Domicile: 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. One cannot be a domiciliary of more than one state at any one time. In order to establish domicile in Delaware, a person must maintain a predominant physical presence in Delaware for a minimum of twelve consecutive months after moving to Delaware, the term "predominant physical presence" meaning presence for at least 183 days during the twelve-month period.
  2. Applicant: A University of Delaware matriculant or applicant applying for in-state residency classification.
  3. Parent: The term, in context, means:
    1. An applicant's natural or legally adoptive parent or parents;
    2. If the natural or legally adoptive parents are divorced or legally separated, the one with whom the applicant resides the majority (51 percent or more) of the year;
    3. An applicant's legal guardian, provided there are no circumstances indicating that the guardianship was created primarily for the purpose of allowing the applicant to qualify for in-state residency classification; or
    4. A close relative of the applicant if ALL of the following requirements are met:
      1. The relative has claimed and will continue to claim the student as a dependent for federal income tax purposes;
      2. The applicant resided with the relative for at least twelve consecutive months as of the first day of classes in the semester or session for which in-state residency classification is sought; and
      3. No natural or legally adoptive parent contributes to the support of the applicant in an amount sufficient to claim the applicant as a dependent for federal income tax purposes in any jurisdiction.
  4. Financially independent applicant: An applicant who, at the time of application for in-state residency classification, 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 months as of the first day of classes in the semester or session for which in-state residency classification is sought;
    3. Is not claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes by any other person in any jurisdiction;
    4. Does not receive financial education assistance in any form based solely or in part on the income, assets and liability of parents; and
    5. Demonstrates the ability to pay for tuition and a minimum of his or her living expenses without financial support from a parent or relative.
  5. Dependent applicant: An applicant who does not qualify as a financially independent applicant.
  6. Person on whom the classification depends: the parent in the case of a dependent applicant, and the applicant if the applicant is a financially independent applicant.
  7. In-state residency classification: Classification as a Delaware resident who qualifies to pay tuition and fees at the applicable in-state rates established by the University's Board of Trustees.


  1. To qualify as a Delaware resident for in-state residency classification purposes, the person on whom the classification depends must have been domiciled in Delaware for at least twelve consecutive months as of the first day of classes in the semester or session for which in-state residency classification is sought. In-state residency classification shall apply for the entire semester or session and thereafter until changed.
  2. It shall be the applicant's responsibility to notify the University of any changes in circumstance that might result in termination of in-state residency classification. In-state residency classification shall terminate one year after the person on whom the classification depends ceases to be a domiciliary of Delaware.
  3. It is the applicant's responsibility to provide accurate and complete information as required for initial classification, and any subsequent re-classification. In the event that incomplete, false, or misleading information is presented, the University may revoke in-state status and may take disciplinary action against the applicant as provided in the University's Student Code of Conduct. If in-state residency classification is granted on the basis of incomplete, false, or misleading information, the University reserves the right retroactively to assess all out-of-state charges for each semester or term during which the applicant was incorrectly classified as an in-state resident.
  4. The applicant shall have the burden of proving through submission of appropriate documentary evidence that he or she satisfies the requirements and standards for in-state residency classification set forth in these guidelines.


  1. Residency classification will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The following facts regarding the person on whom the classification depends, although not conclusive, have probative value in support of an application for in-state residency classification. The Registrar's Office has access to and is entitled to utilize various websites and search engines to gather information in addition to what is provided by the applicant.
  2. An applicant will not be classified as an in-state resident for purposes of these guidelines unless the applicant submits:
    1. A filed Delaware resident income tax return showing that the person on whom the classification depends has paid Delaware income tax on all taxable income, including all taxable income earned outside Delaware; and
    2. A federal tax return showing Delaware as the state of domicile of the applicant (if the applicant is a financially independent applicant) or the person on whom the classification depends (if the applicant is a dependent applicant).
  3. In addition to the documentary evidence specified in Section IV.B of these guidelines, an applicant must submit written or electronic verification of in-state residence that includes a minimum of two of the items listed below. Information must be submitted by the applicant if the applicant is over the age of 23, married, or an independent applicant; parent information must be submitted if the student is under age 24, single, and a dependent applicant.
    1. Proof of ownership of or leasehold interest in a bona fide permanent home in Delaware that is occupied as the primary residence of the applicant (or the applicant's parent in the case of a dependent applicant). Proof must take the form of a copy of a registered deed or current signed lease for the permanent domicile in Delaware. A copy of a registered homeowner's deed may be obtained from a county courthouse. Depending on the term of a lease, more than one lease may have to be submitted to cover the twelve-month period specified in Section II.A of these guidelines. Ownership of a second, seasonal, or beach home in Delaware does not constitute Delaware residency for the purpose of determining Delaware student status unless Delaware is determined to be the domicile of the person on whom the classification depends.
    2. A valid Delaware driver's license dated a minimum of ten months prior to the start of the semester or session for which in-state residency classification is sought, and a Delaware vehicle registration for all owned and/or leased vehicles.
    3. Evidence showing that the applicant uses his or her Delaware address as the sole address of record for all purposes, including health and automobile insurance records, bank accounts, tax records, loan and scholarship records, school records, military records, etc. Evidence must take the form of copies of a minimum of twelve consecutive months of bills or statements.
    4. Other probative evidence of Delaware residence for the requisite time period, including but not limited to:
      1. A formal letter from the employer on the employer's letterhead verifying full-time employment, date of hire or transfer, and the withholding of Delaware income tax;
      2. Full-time employment in Delaware or contiguous area that results in residence in Delaware;
      3. Active Duty Military Orders, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), or DD-214;
      4. A state of Delaware identification card;
      5. A transcript from a Delaware high school for multiple years if the Delaware high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months; or
      6. A Delaware professional or occupational license reflecting a Delaware residential address.
      7. Documentation of the student's United States citizenship status, i.e. copy of a birth certificate, passport, green card, (or copy of green card application), or official Immigration and Naturalization Service stamp (I-551), or certificate of citizenship or naturalization.


  1. An applicant shall not qualify for in-state residency classification if any of the following is true:
    1. The applicant is enrolled full-time in an academic program at an out-of-state educational institution and was charged at the in-state tuition rate in the immediately preceding semester;
    2. The applicant has been considered in-state residence at another institution outside of the state of Delaware for the purpose of tuition and fees within the past 12 months will not be considered Delaware residents;
    3. The applicant moved to Delaware primarily to enroll in a Delaware post-secondary institution;
    4. The applicant has not resided continually in Delaware for a period of twelve consecutive months immediately preceding his initial enrollment at the University or, at the time of application for admission, applies as a non-resident;
    5. The applicant receives any type of scholarship, guaranteed loan, grant, or other form of financial assistance dependent upon residence in a state other than Delaware;
    6. The applicant attended high school outside Delaware and was not domiciled in Delaware at the time of application for admission to UD; or
    7. The applicant is 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.
  2. Marriage to a person classified under these guidelines as an in-state resident does not carry with it an entitlement to in-state residency classification.
  3. Unless the applicant's parents are divorced or legally separated, one parent's period of domicile in Delaware while the other parent and the remainder of the family are domiciled in another state shall not be considered for purposes of determining whether the applicant meets the twelve-consecutive-month requirement in Section II.A of these guidelines. If the applicant's parents own two or more homes, one of which is located in a state other than Delaware, then the applicant's state of residence will be deemed to be the state in which the applicant resided when he or she graduated from high school.


  1. Active members of the Armed Forces of the United States, their spouses, and their dependent children 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.
  2. Active members of Delaware Army Reserve or National Guard units are eligible for in-state residency classification regardless of the member's state of residence. Eligibility for in-state residency status will be extended for as long as the member remains on active duty.
  3. Veterans receiving educational benefits through the GI Bill are eligible for in-state residency classification immediately upon proof of residency in Delaware. If a Veteran transfers his or her educational benefits under the GI Bill to an eligible family member, that family member will be considered a resident of Delaware so long as the veteran resides in Delaware.
  4. Members of the Armed Forces of the Unites States or of Reserve or National Guard units who reside in Delaware do not, by reason of physical presence outside the state in compliance with official orders, relinquish domicile. The dependents of the deployed member do not relinquish domicile as long as they continue to reside in Delaware.


  1. The Office of Admissions and the Office of the University of Registrar, solely have the authority to make residency classification decisions. All decisions are made in writing.
  2. The Director of Admissions and his or her designee shall be responsible for making initial in-state residency classification decisions for undergraduate and graduate applicants at the time of application for admission based on the content of material required to be submitted for the purpose of admission.
  3. The University Registrar or his or her designee shall be responsible for making initial in-state residency classification decisions for all other applicants and for the reclassification of students which may be initiated based on any available information.


Students may request reclassification at any time, however, no more than once per year. No reclassification may be retroactive beyond the semester or session in which it is requested. In order to be considered for reclassification, a student must complete an Application for Change in Classification for Purposes of Admission and Assessment of Fees. The completed application must be returned to the Office of the University Registrar, with supporting documentation as outlined in Section IV of these guidelines. The University Registrar or his or her designee shall notify the student in writing of the decision based on the student's application and documents supporting re-classification.


  1. Applicants may appeal residency classification or reclassification decisions by filing written notice within thirty days of the decision appealed from. Appeals are heard by the Standing Committee on Student Classification for Tuition and Fee Purposes (the "Committee").
  2. The Committee shall be composed of the Provost (or designee), the Executive Vice President (or designee), and the Vice President for Student Life (or designee). The Committee shall have final authority within the University for the interpretation of these regulations and the determination of all student classification and reclassification appeals.
  3. Appeals must be submitted in writing in the form of a letter or e-mail. Letters must be mailed to the University Registrar, University Visitors Center, 210 S. College Avenue, Newark, DE 19716. E-mail messages should be transmitted to The written appeal must include the following information:
    1. The name, student identification number, permanent address, and e-mail address of the applicant filing the appeal; and
    2. An explanation of the basis for the appeal, indicating why the classification decision is erroneous.
  4. A written appeal may be accompanied by supporting documentation that demonstrates through clear and convincing evidence that the applicant meets the qualifications for in-state residency classification under these guidelines.
  5. The Committee shall consider the appeal at a meeting called for that purpose . The applicant may request, in his or her written appeal, to be present at the meeting of the Committee at which the appeal is decided. If the applicant wishes to attend the appeal meeting, then the Committee shall send written notice to the applicant, at least five working days in advance, of the date and place of the meeting.
  6. At the meeting, the applicant may address the Committee and make whatever presentation he or she wishes, subject to reasonable time limitations imposed by the Committee. The proceedings shall not be recorded by any participant.
  7. It is the applicant's obligation to show, through the presentation of clear and convincing evidence, that the initial classification decision was erroneous, and that the applicant meets the qualifications for in-state residency classification under these guidelines.
  8. The Committee shall notify the applicant in writing within ten business days after the meeting on the appeal whether the appeal is granted or denied, and shall provide a brief explanation for its decision.
  9. Subsequent appeals may not be submitted any earlier than one year from the date of the most recent appeal, and only if the applicant's situation has changed to warrant such action.


Reformatted by University Counsel 8/30/2012