Classification of Residents and Nonresidents for Admission and Tuition Purposes

The regulations and administrative guidelines governing the classification of residents and nonresidents for admission and tuition purposes are available below.  These criteria are contained in the Policy Manual, Iowa Board of Regents and or the Iowa Administrative Code: Iowa Board of Regents.


A.   A person enrolling at one of the three state universities shall be classified as a resident or non-resident for admission, tuition and fee purposes by the Registrar or someone designated by the Registrar. The decision shall be based upon information furnished by the student and other relevant information.

B.   In determining resident or nonresident classification, the issue is essentially one of why the person is in the state of Iowa. If the person is in the state primarily for educational purposes, that person will be considered a nonresident. For example, it may be possible that an individual could qualify as a resident of Iowa for such purposes as voting or holding an Iowa driver’s license and not meet the residency requirements as established by the Iowa Board of Regents for admission, tuition and fee purposes.

C.   The Registrar, or designated person, is authorized to require written documents, affidavits, verifications or other evidence deemed necessary to determine why a student is in Iowa.   The burden of establishing that a student is in Iowa for reasons other than education is upon the student.  A student may be required to file any or all of the following:

  1. A statement from the student describing employment and expected sources of support;
  2. A statement from the student’s employer;
  3. A statement from the student’s parents verifying nonsupport and the fact that the student was not listed as a dependent on tax returns for the past year and will not be so listed in future years;
  4. A statement from the student’s spouse related to sources of family support, length of residence in Iowa, and reasons for being in the state of Iowa;
  5. Supporting statements from persons who might be familiar with the family situation;
  6. Iowa state income tax return. 

D.   Applications for resident classification for a given semester or session are due no later than the fifteenth class day of that semester or session. Applications received after the fifteenth class day of that semester or session will be considered for the next semester or session.  Appeals of any nonresident classification decision resulting from applications for resident classification are due no later than Midterm of that semester or session.

Change of classification from nonresident to resident will not be made retroactive beyond the term in which application for resident classification is made.

E.   A student who gives incorrect or misleading information to evade payment of nonresident fees shall be subject to serious disciplinary action and must also pay the nonresident fees for each term previously attended.

F.    Review committee. These regulations shall be administered by the Registrar or someone designated by the Registrar. The decision of the Registrar or designated person may be appealed to a University review committee. The decision of the review committee may be appealed to the Iowa Board of Regents.

1.4 (2) Guidelines

a.   The following general guidelines are used in determining the resident classification of a student for admission, tuition and fee purposes:

  1. Financially dependent students whose parents move from Iowa after the student is enrolled remain a resident provided the student maintains continuous enrollment. A financially dependent student whose parents move from Iowa during the senior year of high school will be considered a resident provided the student has not established domicile in another state.
  2. In deciding why a person is in the state of Iowa, the person’s domicile will be considered. A person who comes to Iowa from another state and enrolls in any institution of postsecondary education for a full program or substantially a full program shall be presumed to have come to Iowa primarily for educational reasons rather than to establish a domicile in Iowa.
  3. A student who was a former resident of Iowa may continue to be considered a resident provided absence from the state was for a period of less than 12 months and provided domicile is reestablished. If the absence from the state is for a period exceeding 12 months, a student may be considered a resident if evidence can be presented showing that the student has long-term ties to Iowa and re-establishes an Iowa domicile.   A person or the dependent of a person whose domicile is permanently established in Iowa, who has been classified as a resident for admission, tuition, and fee purposes, may continue to be classified as a resident so long as domicile is maintained, even though circumstances may require extended absence of the person from the state. It is required that a person who claims Iowa domicile while living in another state or country will provide proof of the continual Iowa domicile as evidence that the person:
    1. Has not acquired a domicile in another state;
    2. Has maintained a continuous voting record in Iowa, and
    3. Has filed regular Iowa resident income tax returns during absence from the state.
    4. A student who moves to Iowa may be eligible for resident classification at the next registration following 12 consecutive months in the state provided the student is not enrolled as more than a half-time student (6 credits for an undergraduate or professional student, 5 credits for a graduate student) in any academic year term, is not enrolled for more than 4 credits in a summer term for any classification, and provides sufficient evidence of the establishment of an Iowa domicile.
  4. A student who has been a continuous student and whose parents move to Iowa for purposes other than establishing residency for admission and tuition purposes may become a resident at the beginning of the next term provided the student is dependent upon the parents for a majority of financial assistance.
  5. A person who has been certified as a refugee or granted asylum by the appropriate agency of the United States who enrolls as a student at a university governed by the Iowa Board of Regents may be accorded immediate resident status for admission, tuition and fee purposes where the person:
    1. Comes directly to the state of Iowa from a refugee facility or port of debarkation or
    2. Comes to the state of Iowa within a reasonable time and has not established domicile in another state.

Any refugee or individual granted asylum not meeting these standards will be presumed to be a nonresident for admission, tuition and fee purposes and thus subject to the usual method of proof of establishment of Iowa residency. 

  1. An alien who has immigrant status establishes Iowa residency in the same manner as a United States citizen.
  2. At the Regent institutions, American Indians who have origins in any of the original people of North America and who maintain a cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition with one or more of the tribes or nations connected historically with the present state of Iowa, including the Iowa, Kickapoo, Menominee, Miami, Missouri, Ojibwa (Chippewa), Omaha, Otoe, Ottawa (Odawa), Potawatomi, Sac and Fox (Sauk, Meskwaki), Sioux, and Winnebago (Ho Chunk), will be assessed Iowa resident tuition and fees.


A.   The following circumstances, although not necessarily conclusive, have probative value in support of a claim for resident classification:

1. Reside in Iowa for 12 consecutive months and be primarily engaged in activities other than those of a full-time student, immediately prior to the beginning of the   term for which resident classification is sought.

2. Reliance upon Iowa resources for financial support.

3. Domicile in Iowa of persons legally responsible for the student.

4. Former domicile in the state and maintenance of significant connections therein while absent

5. Acceptance of an offer of permanent employment in Iowa.

6. Military orders, if for other than educational purposes.

7. Other facts indicating the student’s domicile will be considered by the universities in classifying the student.

B.   The following circumstances, standing alone, do not constitute sufficient evidence of domicile to effect classification of a student as a resident under these regulations:

1. Voting or registration for voting.

2. Employment in any position normally filled by a student.

3. The lease of living quarters.

4. Admission to a licensed practicing profession in Iowa.

5. Automobile registration.

6. Public records, e.g. birth and marriage records, Iowa driver’s license.

7. Continuous presence in Iowa during periods when not enrolled in school.

8. Ownership of property in Iowa, or the payment of Iowa taxes.


This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code 262.9(3).                                                7/1/2009