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Residency

According to Colorado Tuition Classification Law, CRS 23-7-101 et. seq., state-supported colleges and universities in Colorado must classify each student as either in-state or out-of-state for tuition purposes. This designation determines the amount of tuition you will pay. In-state students pay lower tuition than out-of-state students. Undergraduate students who are approved in-state status will also be eligible for extra funding applied towards their tuition bill. Please visit the College Opportunity Fund page to read more and apply for this stipend.

The law also determines the conditions you must meet in order to be classified as an in-state student. Although people who have lived in Colorado only a short time are considered state residents by voting and other legal purposes, they are not necessarily classified as in-state for tuition purposes unless they meet the specific additional requirements outlined in the law.

Administering the tuition law, as with any law, depends upon the judgment and interpretation of individual actions and circumstance. 

The Colorado Department of Higher Education provides helpful resources to assist with your residency questions:

Colorado Higher Education Residency Guide

Colorado Residency Statutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Non-immigrants who hold student visas, or visas with the primary goal to study in the U.S., are incapable of establishing domicile for tuition purposes. This includes visa types F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, J-2, H-3 and H-4.


Form Deadlines

Deadlines for the forms vary per semester so please ensure that you complete the correct form.

Residency forms should be submitted to the Office of Admissions. Read the forms carefully and provide supportive documentation. The burden of proof relies on the individual seeking in-state tuition. Incomplete forms will delay processing.

Students are responsible for verifying the balance due and all cost incurred upon registration.

In-State Correction and Petition for In-State Tuition Form Deadlines
SemesterIn-State Correction FormPetition for In-State Tuition 
Fall

November 10

September 15

Spring

April 10

February 15

Summer 

July 10

June 15


Under Age 23

Students under the age of 23 the day before classes begin must use their parent/legal guardian’s information (except where noted).

Qualifications:
  • Student’s parent/legal guardian must have lived in Colorado for 12 months preceding the first day of classes and be able to prove that Colorado is their home of permanent residence.
    • Evidence of 12 months domicile in Colorado met (physical presence)
    • Evidence of intent to remain in Colorado met (ties to Colorado)
Steps:

New and Re-admit Students

Continuing Students

  • Complete the Petition for In-State Tuition using parent’s information.
  • Submit supportive documentation which may include but is not limited to a Lease Contract, Mortgage Contract, Property Deed, Utility Bill, Identification or Driver’s License, Motor Vehicle Record, Employment Letter, Income Tax Returns and/or Bank Statements.

Exceptions for students under the age of 23 are listed below. If you fit in any of the options below, please select the drop down menu to read more.


McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (UHY, 2015) allows homeless youth under the age of 23 the eligibility to obtain in-state tuition based on their own information. The Act defines an unaccompanied homeless youth as a youth whose living situation is not “fixed, regular, and adequate,” (homeless) and who is “not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian” (unaccompanied).

Qualifications:
  • Student must be an unaccompanied homeless youth living in Colorado for the 12 months preceding the first day of classes and be able to prove that Colorado is their home of permanent residence.
    • Evidence of 12 months domicile in Colorado met (physical presence)
    • Evidence of intent to remain in Colorado met (ties to Colorado)
Steps:
  • Complete the In-State Correction Form using student’s information.
  • Submit one of the following documents:
    • Letter from a high school district McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison.
    • Letter from the director (or designee) of an emergency shelter program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
    • Letter from the director (or designee) of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program.
    • Letter from the Financial Aid administrator (Application and Verification Guide (AVG) 2013-14, Chapter 2, page 23).

The Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET, 2013) bill was signed into law at MSU Denver in 2013. Under this bill, U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents and students without lawful status (undocumented) who meet MSU Denver’s admission requirements and the necessary qualifications outlined below are eligible for in-state tuition.

Qualifications:
  • Have attended a public or private high school in Colorado for at least three years immediately before graduating high school or obtaining a GED.
  • Be admitted to a Colorado college or university within 12 months of graduation from a Colorado high school or completion of a Colorado GED.
  • Apply for the College Opportunity Fund (COF) and complete an affidavit indicating that you have applied for legal presence or will apply as soon as you are eligible to do so.
Steps:

Additional information can be found at College in Colorado: Colorado ASSET.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, 2012) is a federal program that is not directly tied to education but allows students without lawful status to gain in-state tuition as long as they meet the necessary qualifications as outlined below.

Qualifications:
  • Parent/legal guardian’s must have lived in Colorado for 12 months preceding the first day of classes and be able to prove that Colorado is their home of permanent residence
    • Evidence of 12 months domicile in Colorado met (physical presence)
    • Evidence of intent to remain in Colorado met (ties to Colorado)
Steps:

Please note: Supportive documentation may be required to make a determination.

Qualifications:
  • Student must have been married,  lived in Colorado for 12 months preceding the first day of classes and be able to prove that Colorado is their home of permanent residence.
    • Evidence of 12 months domicile in Colorado met (physical presence)
    • Evidence of intent to remain in Colorado met (ties to Colorado)
Steps:
  • Complete the Petition for In-State Tuition using student’s information.
  • Submit marriage license.
  • Submit supportive documentation which may include but is not limited to a Lease Contract, Mortgage Contract, Property Deed, Utility Bill, Identification or Driver’s License, Motor Vehicle Record, Employment Letter, Income Tax Returns and/or Bank Statements.
Qualifications:
  • Student must have been financially independent from their parent/legal guardian, lived in Colorado for 12 months preceding the first day of classes and be able to prove that Colorado is their home of permanent residence.
    • Evidence of 12 months domicile in Colorado met (physical presence)
    • Evidence of intent to remain in Colorado met (ties to Colorado)
Steps:
  • Complete the Petition for In-State Tuition using student’s information.
  • Submit the Emancipation Determination Form that includes either the parent/legal guardian notarized Statement for Minor Claiming Emancipation OR sign the Student’s Declaration of Emancipation.
  • Submit student's and parent/legal guardian’s Federal income tax form (1040, 1040EZ).
  • Submit 12 months of financial statements that document all financial obligations are met without any financial assistance from any other individual.
  • Submit supportive documentation which may include but is not limited to a Lease Contract, Mortgage Contract, Property Deed, Utility Bill, Identification or Driver’s License, Motor Vehicle Record, Employment Letter, Tax Returns and/or Pay Stubs.

The tuition law was updated to reflect economic benefits (2007 & 2009) for the state when companies and employees move to Colorado. Students affected by a job relocation to Colorado within 12 months preceding classes may be eligible for in-state tuition.

Qualifications and Steps:
  • Student, parent/legal guardian (employer) moved entire business operations to Colorado as a result of receiving an incentive from the Colorado Office of Economic Development or an incentive from a local government economic incentive program.
    • Complete the Local Economic Development Incentive Form‌ using the employee’s information.
    • Submit letter verifying that the business’s move to Colorado was based on an economic incentive from the Colorado Office of Economic Development or a local government economic incentive program AND that the student or the student’s parent/legal guardian was employed by the company prior to the relocation.
  • Student’s parent/legal guardian moved the family to Colorado to accept a job during the student’s senior year in high school.
    • Complete the In-State Correction Form using student’s information.
    • Submit letter verifying parent/legal guardian job relocation to Colorado.
    • Submit unofficial high school transcript or enrollment verification with high school start date.
  • Student’s parent/legal guardian moved to Colorado to take a faculty position at a state-supported institution of higher education.
    • Complete the In-State Correction Form using parent/legal guardian’s information.
    • Submit parent/legal guardian’s job offer letter on school’s letterhead.

Over Age 23

Students over the age of 23 the day before classes begin must use their information (except where noted).

Qualifications:
  • Student must have lived in Colorado for 12 months preceding the first day of classes and be able to prove that Colorado is their home of permanent residence.
    • Evidence of 12 months domicile in Colorado met (physical presence)
    • Evidence of intent to remain in Colorado met (ties to Colorado)
Steps:

New and Re-admit Students

Continuing Students

  • Complete the Petition for In-State Tuition using student’s information.
  • Submit supportive documentation which may include but is not limited to a Lease Contract, Mortgage Contract, Property Deed, Utility Bill, Identification or Driver’s License, Motor Vehicle Record, Employment Letter, Income Tax Returns and/or Bank Statements.

Exceptions for students over the age of 23 are listed below. If you fit in any of the options below, please select the drop down menu to read more.


The Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET, 2013) bill was signed into law at MSU Denver in 2013. Under this bill, U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents and students without lawful status (undocumented) who meet MSU Denver’s admission requirements and the necessary qualifications outlined below are eligible for in-state tuition.

Qualifications:
  • Have attended a public or private high school in Colorado for at least three years immediately before graduating high school or obtaining a GED.
  • Be admitted to a Colorado college or university within 12 months of graduation from a Colorado high school or completion of a Colorado GED.
    • OR show continuous physical presence in Colorado for 18 months.
  • Apply for the College Opportunity Fund (COF) and complete an affidavit indicating that you have applied for legal presence or will apply as soon as you are eligible to do so.
Steps:

Please note: Students who graduated prior to September 2013 will also be required to submit proof of physical presence in Colorado based on the qualifications listed above.

Additional information can be found at College in Colorado: Colorado ASSET. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, 2012) is a federal program that is not directly tied to education but allows students without lawful status to gain in-state tuition as long as they meet the necessary qualifications as outlined below.

Qualifications:
  • Student must have lived in Colorado for 12 months preceding the first day of classes and be able to prove that Colorado is their home of permanent residence
    • Evidence of 12 months domicile in Colorado met (physical presence)
    • Evidence of intent to remain in Colorado met (ties to Colorado)
Steps:

Please note: Supportive documentation may be required to make a determination. 

Military / Veteran Students or Dependants


  • If you are an active duty military member on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to Colorado, you can qualify for in-state tuition rates without regard to how long you have been in Colorado.  You will need to submit the Active Duty Certification signed by your Base Education Office each semester you want to use this benefit.
  • If you are within 3 years of discharge at the time of enrollment and intend to use Post 9/11 GI BIll or Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 30 you may qualify for in-state tuition under the Veterans Access Choice and Accountability Act.
  • If it has been longer than 3 years or you are not using the Post 9/11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI Bill Chapter 30, you can still qualify for in-state tuition if you are a veteran with a DD-214 without regard to how long you have been in Colorado.  You will need to submit the Veteran Tuition Application with the DD-214 and two documents showing you have moved to Colorado on a permanent basis.
  • This application is for Honorably Discharged Veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), who are not members of the Colorado National Guard, who otherwise would not qualify for in-state tuition as one-year residents of Colorado, to apply for in-state tuition. Students qualifying for in-state tuition on this basis do not qualify for Colorado resident Financial Aid programs.

 

  • If you are a member of the Colorado National Guard, you may be eligible for in-state tuition. Students qualifying for in-state tuition on this basis do not qualify for state-based aid. Guard members must be members of the Colorado National Guard by the day before classes begin for the semester. Unmarried children under the age of 22 by the first day of class and spouses also qualify.

Olympic Athlete

If you are participating in a Colorado-based training program approved by the United States Olympic Committee and a National Governing Body of an Olympic, Paralympic, Pan American or Parapan American sport, you may be eligible for in-state tuition. Students qualifying for in-state tuition on this basis do not qualify for state-based aid. Please complete the Olympic Athlete Verification Form signed by the National Governing Body (NGB) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). The signed form should be provided to the Office of Admissions prior to the first day of classes in the term you wish to seek in-state tuition and will be required every year thereafter. For more information, please contact Megan Psyllos at 719-866-2775 or megan.psyllos@usoc.org.


Contact Us

Although the law remains the same for each student, not one student’s case is alike. Please contact the Tuition Classification Officer with specific questions and check your secured school-issued email regularly for correspondences related to specific inquiries and the status of your forms and/or the residency decision. Access your email now via the StudentHub.

Aubrey Winbigler
Tuition Classification Officer
residency@msudenver.edu
Office: 303-556-2693
Fax: 303-556-6982

Student Success Building, Room 180
890 Auraria Parkway
Denver, CO 80204

Office of Admissions Hours (to pick-up forms & drop-off documents):
Monday - Friday | 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

Office Hours (to speak with the Tuition Classification Officer):
Fall/Spring: Monday - Friday | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Summer: Monday - Friday | 1 - 4p.m.
Appointments are available outside of the set walk-in hours. Please contact the Tuition Classification Officer for availability.          

If you're mailing forms and other required documents, please send to:
MSU Denver Admissions
Campus Box 16, P.O. Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217

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