Residency (for Tuition Purposes)

UC Berkeley classifies each student as either a resident or a nonresident for purposes of tuition and fees.

Here are some facts to know about residency, as it is applied at UC Berkeley:

  • The definition of residency varies between offices, such as for admissions or financial aid purposes. This means that information from the admissions office (or on your financial aid award letter) does not necessarily mean you are a resident for purposes of tuition.
  • The term “California resident for purposes of tuition” is different from other definitions of California residence. Here are some examples:
    • A person who is a California resident for tax or voting purposes is not necessarily a resident for purposes of tuition at the University of California. 
    • A person who is considered a resident at another California postsecondary institution is not necessarily a resident at the University of California. 
  • The process of obtaining California residency for tuition purposes is extremely difficult for undergraduates under the age of 24 with nonresident parents (this includes transfer students from community colleges and other postsecondary institutions within California). Virtually all nonresident undergraduates with nonresident parents remain nonresidents for the duration of their undergraduate career at UC Berkeley.
  • If you are classified as a resident for tuition purposes, you will most likely maintain that classification as long as you are continuously enrolled at UC Berkeley. There are a few cases in which this is not true, such as for immigration status changes or a residency classification based on an exemption. If you leave the University and are readmitted, your residency classification will be re-evaluated.  Please contact the Residence Affairs Unit if you have any questions.

Law Governing Residence: The rules regarding legal residence for tuition purposes at the University of California are governed by the California Education Code and implemented by the Standing Orders of The Regents of the University of California. Under these rules, adult citizens or certain classes of aliens* can establish residence for tuition purposes. There are also particular rules that apply to the residence classification of minors.

*As defined by USCIS, "alien" is defined as any person not a U.S. citizen or national. Any person defined as such should refer to the Immigration page for more information.