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Residency FAQ

FAQs

  1. What classifies me as "independent" or "dependent?"
  2. Do I have to work in order to obtain residency? If so, how much?
  3. What are "legal ties?"
  4. Does SPSCC participate in any "reciprocity agreements?"
  5. How can students qualify for the "Military Exemption?"
  6. Can a student still get residency if they are not a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or qualifying Visa holder?
  7. When is the deadline for submitting the application?
  8. Is there a different process for American Indian students? If so, what?
  9. What if a student only left the state of Washington for school?
  10. What happens if you do not review my application before the tuition date?

1. What classifies me as "independent" or "dependent?" In order for students to be classified as independent, they must not be claimed on their parents'/legal guardians' Federal Tax Returns and must be able to submit proof that they are financially independent. In order for students to be classified as dependents, they must be financially dependent on their parents'/legal guardians', claimed on their parents'/legal guardians' Federal Tax Returns, and provide proof. Note: A married student applying for residency status should apply as a financially independent student.

  • How do I prove financial independence/dependence? In order for students to prove they are financially independent, they must provide proof of income that amounts to 51% of their total expenses. This income must come from their OWN employment, Financial Aid, loans, scholarships, grants, etc. If the students are receiving Financial Aid, loans, etc., it cannot be under their parents' name/account. The students must be the primary account holders. Parents are allowed to be secondary account holders/co-signers. When filing as dependents, the students will be submitting all of their parent's information with their Residency Questionnaire and none of their own information.
  • Can I use trust funds to supplement my financial independence? Yes, students may use trust funds to supplement their financial independence, however, the trust funds are only valid if it was established before the students' 10th grade. Students will be asked to provide documentation of when the trust was established.

2. Do I have to work in order to obtain residency? If so, how much? If students attend school during their first year in Washington and take more than 6 credits per quarter, yes: they will have to work. In this case, the students must work for, at least, 30 hours a week for the entire time they are attending school for more than 6 credits. The students are only required to work when they take more than 6 credits per quarter.

Essentially, students have 3 options:

  • Not attend school for the first year, obtain all of their legal ties, and be physically present for 12 consecutive months.
  • Attend school during their first year, but, only take 6 credits or less each quarter, obtain all of their legal ties, and be physically present for 12 consecutive months.
  • Attend school during their first year, take more than 6 credits, obtain all of their legal ties, be physically present for 12 consecutive, and work at least 30 hours a week for however long they are taking more than 6 credits.

Keep in mind, if the student is not 25 years of age, they must ALWAYS prove that they are financially independent. Please see question 1.

3. What are "legal ties?" and how long do I have to have them? Legal ties consist of a driver's license, vehicle registration, voter's registration, bank account, and lease/home purchase agreement.

  • Do I need to have all of the legal ties switched over? Yes, all of the legal ties must be switched over if they were established in another state.
  • How long do I have to have the legal ties? Yes, you must establish all legal ties within the first 30 days of arrival.
  • If I do not own/ use a vehicle, do I need a vehicle registration? No, students do not need a vehicle registration if they do not use or own a vehicle.
  • If I have never registered to vote, do I need to register in WA? No, students do not need to register if they have never registered in any other state.

4. Does SPSCC participate in any "reciprocity agreements?" SPSCC does not participate in any reciprocity agreements.

5. How can students qualify for the "Military Exemption?" In order to be eligible for the Military Exemption, students must be active duty or dependents on an active duty member of the qualifying branches of military. They need to submit the Military Exemption form, their military I.D., and orders stationing them in Washington. Please see the Military page.

a. What branches of the military qualify for the exemption? The qualifying branches of the military that qualify for the exemption are: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard.

6. Can a student still get residency if they are not a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident, or qualifying Visa holder? If so, how? Yes, students who are not U.S. citizens are able to get residency through an application known as the HB 1079 form. In order to qualify for this, students must have been present in Washington for 3 full years (not 3 school years) before they graduated and not return to their home country during the summer breaks. Please see the Affidavit of Residency page.

7. When is the deadline for submitting the application? To be effective for the current quarter, the deadline to submit the Residence Questionnaire and/or all required documentation is the 30th calendar day of the quarter. For questionnaires and/or documentation submitted after the 30th calendar day of the current quarter, approved residency changes will not take effect until the next quarter.

8. Is there a different process for American Indian students? If so, what? American Indian students who belong to a qualifying tribe are able to apply for bona fide Residency with the American Indian application. Please see the page.

9. What if a student only left the state of Washington for school? If students leave Washington for school, it is OK for them to return as a resident if they: 1) Are able to provide proof that they were consistently enrolled in school for the entire time that they were absent from Washington, 2) Are able to provide proof that they were paying out-of-state tuition, and 3) Did not sever any of their legal ties (obtain another license, vehicle registration, etc.). Please see WA residents absent from state page.

10. What happens if you do not review my application before the tuition date? If the students' application is not reviewed by the time tuition is due, it is the students' responsibility to pay the tuition. If they are approved after the tuition date, they will be reimbursed the difference of the in and out-of-state tuition.

Contact

Enrollment Services
One-Stop Building 22
Phone: 360-596-5241
Fax: 360-596-5709
Email:


Hours

Fall, Winter, Spring
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. / Mon-Thurs
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. / Fri
Summer
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. / Mon-Thurs
Closed on Fridays

Submit Information:

The Residence Questionnaire and supporting documentation should be submitted in person to the Enrollment Services office in Building 25. Bring original documents. Copies made by students are not acceptable.