Residency For Tuition Purposes

Residency Overview

Washington residency law is codified in RCW 28B.15 and further explained in WAC 250-18. A student's eligibility for resident classification depends on how their circumstance corresponds with Washington law at the time of admission for their current enrollment.

The Admissions Office determines your residency classification at time of admission. Your residency classification will remain the same throughout your continued enrollment at Western and determines the tuition and fee rate each academic term.

If you wish to have your residency classification re-evaluated, you must complete the Residency Questionnaire and submit it with the indicated documentation to the Registrar's Office in person, by mail, or by email.  Email is the preferred method of submission at this time.

Students are strongly encouraged to submit petitions at least 3-4 weeks in advance of the academic term for which they are requesting reclassification and no later than the first week of classes. Under Washington law, any petition received more than 30 days after the first day of classes in a given term is by default considered for the following term (WAC 250-18-025).

Filing Deadlines for 2021-22

  • Fall Quarter: October 22, 2021
  • Winter Quarter: February 4, 2022
  • Spring Quarter: April 29, 2022
  • Summer Quarter: July 23, 2022

Filing for Fall 2022

Petitions for 2022-20 first-time admissions for Fall may be filed after March 1, 2022, if the filing includes current documentation (e.g., 2021 tax status) and any primary residency or domicile requirement is already complete at the time of filing. Students who need a determination prior to March 1, 2022, should email the residency mailbox.

Petitions may be approved up to 60 days prior to when the residency/domicile requirement is met if other documentation is supportive of resident classification; petitions filed more than 60 days before the residency/domicile requirement may be put on hold, may require additional documentation, and/or may be approved conditionally. 

Residency Law Update: SB 5194 went into effect at the end of July 2021. The revised requirements allow for resident classification for individuals who maintained a Washington primary residence for at least 12 months prior to the first quarter of their current enrollment at WWU, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and sign an affidavit attesting that they meet those requirements and that they are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or U.S. permanent resident or that they will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States as soon as they are eligible to apply. 

If you are currently classified as a nonresident but feel this revision may apply in your case, you are encouraged to contact our office. All students applying for residency under this law must supply a signed copy of the Washington State Higher Education Residency Affidavit, which may work in lieu of a full Residency Questionnaire. Additional documentation may be needed to confirm eligibility.

If you have concerns about how signing the affidavit may affect current or future immigration status, please consult an immigration attorney.


Application Process

The Admissions Office and Graduate School does the initial determination of residency.

What are the required documents?

Whose information would be required to prove that Washington State is their domicile?

  • Petitioning as financially dependent with WA-resident parent/guardian: It will be the Washington State resident’s, parent(s) or legal guardian(s), information and documentation that would be required.
  • Petitioning as financially independent with Washington domicile: The student’s information and documentation will be required.
  • Petitioning based on maintaining 12-month primary WA residence: The student's information and documentation will be required.                            

Will I be disqualified, if I do not have one of the required documents?

  • Complete the application to your best ability.

Residency classifications are not given retroactively for prior academic terms. Evaluating residency classification may take up to 30 business days after the start of the quarter to complete. All tuition and fee deadlines remain in effect during the evaluation process. Do not delay tuition and fee payment just because a residency classification evaluation is in progress. During the residency evaluation process, you may be asked to provide additional documentation. All requests are sent to student’s WWU email.

Veterans or a Dependent/Spouse of Military Personnel

For information on veteran status concerning Washington State Residency, please visit Veterans Services. 

Who Should I Contact About Residency?