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Southern Oregon University

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Is there a difference between being an Oregon resident and residency for tuition purposes?

Yes. Every state organization may have its own rules and regulations as to what determines a resident. The Oregon University System (OUS) is governed by the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs), Chapter 580, Division 10 - Board of Higher Education when determining residency for tuition purposes. You can read the rules here.

Why is there a tuition separation between resident and nonresident?

In Oregon, as in all other states, tuition at publicly supported four-year universities is higher for nonresident students than for resident students. The goal is to provide support preference to bona fide Oregon residents.

How is my classification determined?

A section of the SOU application for admission helps us determine whether the applicant meets the qualifications set forth by the OARs. If the information provided does not meet these criteria, is incomplete, or has conflicting information, the applicant will be considered a nonresident.

How am I notified of my classification?

The primary way you are notified is in the Conditions of Admissions statement in your Admissions packet. Under “Tuition Classification” the statement will read Resident or Nonresident. You will also find your classification on the Needs Letter that we send, notifiying you of any additional materials we need to complete your application for admission.

I am receiving the Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship or participating in the California Exchange Program but I am still classified as a nonresident. Why is that?

Both programs are tuition reduction programs that allow students to receive a lower tuition by exception. Students participating in these programs will remain classified as non-residents as both programs require students to maintain residency in their origin state.

How can I prove my residency?

If you were determined to be a nonresident because the residency section on the application was incomplete, you may complete the section here and we will reconsider the decision. If you were determined to be a nonresident because we felt that you did not meet the criteria based on the application information, you may submit the Residency Information Affidavit and all accompanying material to the Residency Officer.

It seems invasive. Do I have to submit all these documents?

It may seem invasive, but seeking residency for tuition purpose is no different than seeking financial aid. By submitting the required information to the Residency Officer, you can attain a resident classification that will significantly reduce your tuition. Of course, it is up to you to determine which documentation you wish to provide, but insufficient objective evidence of support may result in denial of appeal.

If I am not a resident of Oregon, where is my residency?

We only determine residency for tuition purposes for Oregon. Each state has its own rules governing residency. You do not have to be a resident of another state to be denied residency for tuition purposes in Oregon.

Are there deadlines for submitting my residency information?

The last date you can submit either the residency section of the application (if it was incomplete) or the complete Residency Information Affidavit is the last day you can register for classes for the term for which you are seeking residency. Please see the calendar for specific deadlines.

Can I apply for residency for prior terms?

No. Residency changes are only good for future terms and complete materials must be submitted by the last day you can register for classes for the term for which you are applying for residency.

How do I determine if I’m “financially independent or dependent”?

The OARs define a “financially independent person” as someone who declares financial independency, who has not been claimed as a dependent on another person’s current or previous years’ tax returns, and who is not receiving more than 50% financial support from another person. A “financially dependent person” would be someone who does not meet one of these criteria.

How do I prove I’m “financially dependent or independent”?

Tax returns are the best way. If you are under 24, you are required to submit a copy of parent/guardian’s tax returns to prove your status. Other proof would be W-2’s, pay stubs, and other financial statements showing personal income.

What do you consider as being financial support?

Any and all expenses incurred by the applicant over the past year. This includes housing costs, tuition costs, car payments, etc. If there are no direct payments or contracts, as would be the case for an applicant living at home, then estimate the average local cost for room rentals for a year. If you are not paying for those expenses, then we would consider that to be outside support from whoever owns the property.

Can I attend school while attaining residency?

You may take up to 8 credits per term while you are establishing the 12 consecutive months of residence required to achieve resident status; however, you must also make sure that your primary activity and financial support are not related to education. For example, if you receive over 50% of your financial support from educational loans or scholarships and/or you are not working or doing another non-educational activity for the majority of your time, education may still be considered to be your primary activity. Make sure to provide objective evidence to support your claim.

Why does my financial aid say I’m a resident when I’m listed as a nonresident?

Financial aid is determined from the information provided by the FAFSA. If you indicated Oregon as your residence on the FAFSA, the aid distributed will list you as a resident. However, this does not qualify you for resident status, as this is determined by the OAR rules. Your financial aid will revert to whatever designation was determined at the time of your admission application.

What is the Residency Officer’s role?

The Residency Officer has the authority to apply and interpret these rules and procedures. They can also advise individuals seeking to gain residency for tuition purposes. No other indication or determination of residency by any other institutional office, department, program, or staff represents the official institutional determination of residency.

Are there exceptions to these rules?

The Residency Officer is bound by the interpretation and application of these policies to make an initial determination at the campus level. If an applicant disagrees with the Residency Officer’s decision, they may choose to appeal the decision to the Interinstitutional Residency Committee (IRC). The IRC meets once a term to hear and rule on appeals to campus level decisions.


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