Frequently Asked Questions
Residency for Tuition Purposes
Below is a list of frequently asked questions concerning residency.
What are the requirements for establishing Ohio and/or Lorain County residency for tuition purposes?
In general, a student must demonstrate that they meet all of the following criteria:
- The student is expected to live in Ohio and/or Lorain County for a full, 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the term for which they are applying for a residency change.
- The student should demonstrate their intent to become an Ohio resident by transferring any items of registration to Ohio such as a driver's license, automobile registration, and voter registration (if applicable).
- The student must demonstrate that during the 12-month period while establishing residency, that they have had sufficient income to meet all expenses without the need of money from outside the State of Ohio and/or Lorain County. Documentation of income sources used during the 12-month period is required.
What documentation do I need to submit to apply for a residency change?
Documentation required for certain sections of the residency application is listed with the specific section or question where documentation is needed. If there is additional documentation required, you will be contacted by the college and asked to provide the additional documentation. It is important to provide us with a good phone number to reach you during the day, so as not to delay the processing of your application.
If my parents or spouse move to Ohio and/or Lorain County, when am I eligible to become a resident?
You may be eligible for residency prior to the 12-month domicile requirement, under C(3) of the law, if you are dependent upon a parent/spouse who is working full-time and has established domicile in Ohio and/or Lorain County before the beginning of a term. Refer to C(3) in the Ohio Board of Regents Guidelines for information on this type of residency exception.
Can I qualify for C(3) through someone other than my parent/legal guardian or spouse?
No. A student cannot qualify for C(3) through other relatives, fiancée’s, in-laws, etc. A student may only be reviewed for C(3) through their dependency upon a parent/legal guardian or spouse who is living and working on a full-time basis in Ohio.
Does marrying an Ohio and/or Lorain County resident automatically make me a resident?
Marriage to a person living in Ohio does not automatically make you an Ohio resident for tuition purposes. The person you marry must qualify as a resident for all legal purposes. See C-1 of the Guidelines and the Ohio Board of Regents Guidelines for the definition of an Ohio resident for all legal purposes.
If my legal guardian is an Ohio and/or Lorain County resident will I be considered a resident for tuition purposes?
The residency guidelines allow students to be considered residents if they have a legal guardian who is an Ohio and/or Lorain County resident. However, setting up a legal guardianship in order to qualify for residency is not permitted. The burden of proof is upon the student to show that a legal guardianship was not arranged in order for the student to gain residency. In general, the expectation will be that the legal guardianship has been in effect for at least 12 months, and that the student has been financially dependent upon the legal guardian during that time. The student's relationship and involvement with his or her parents will also be a consideration.
I am currently considered a resident of Ohio and/or Lorain County. How is my residency affected if I leave Ohio?
The Ohio Board of Regents Guidelines allow Ohio residents 12 months out of the state before they "lose" their residency. If you leave the state and/or county for more than 12 months, your residency will likely be affected.
Except for the past couple of years, I lived in Ohio and/or Lorain County my entire life. Shouldn't I (and/or my children and spouse) still be considered a resident?
In determining a person's eligibility for residency, the guidelines are primarily concerned only with the 12-month period immediately preceding the term for which the student is applying for residency. The cumulative time a person lived in Ohio and/or Lorain County is not relevant if the person has been away for more than the 12 months immediately preceding enrollment.
My parents are divorced, but one of them lives in Ohio and/or Lorain County. Does that make me a resident?
As long as a dependent student has one parent who has been an Ohio and/or Lorain County resident for at least the 12 months immediately preceding enrollment, they will be considered a resident. To apply for residency under this clause, the student should submit a letter from the parent currently residing in Ohio and/or Lorain County that contains supporting information
How does being in the military affect my (or my children or spouse's) residency?
For individuals who are on full-time, active duty status with the military, or in the Ohio National Guard, the state has three exceptions in the residency guidelines:
- If you are an Ohio and/or Lorain County resident on full-time, active duty status with the military, you and your dependents are considered residents as long as Ohio has remained your state of domicile and you have fulfilled your tax obligation to the state while on active duty.
- If you are not an Ohio resident but are stationed in Ohio and/or Lorain County on a full-time, active duty status, you and your dependents will be considered residents for tuition purposes.
- If you are a person who is a member of the Ohio National Guard and who is domiciled in Ohio and/or Lorain County, you and your dependents will be considered residents for tuition purposes.
If I am currently working full-time in Ohio and/or Lorain County, am I eligible for residency?
If you are employed on a full-time or part-time and self-sustaining basis, you may be eligible for "Conditional" Residency.
What is Conditional Residency?
Conditional Residency allows an individual who is living in Ohio and is employed on a full-time or part-time and self-sustaining basis in Ohio and/or Lorain County to enroll as an in-state/in-county student for part-time studies, regardless of how long the individual has lived here. Conditional Residents must be able to demonstrate that they are self-supporting solely on their current employment income. All income must be subject to Ohio/Lorain County taxation also. Conditional Residents may not register for more than 11 hours or they will be billed as a non-resident for all hours. See E(1) Residency under Exceptions in the Guidelines..
If I'm employed and being paid cash (ie: tip income, babysitting) is this income eligible for residency?
Employment income earned as cash is only eligible for any type of residency if it is subject to Ohio and/or Lorain County taxation. The impetus is on the student to provide proof that the income has been subject to Ohio and/or Lorain County taxation. Otherwise it is ineligible income.
If I am paying taxes to Ohio and/or Lorain County, doesn't that make me a resident?
Not necessarily. If you are trying to establish residency in Ohio and/or Lorain County, paying taxes is an indicator of your intent to become a resident. However, you must meet all the residency criteria to be eligible for residency for tuition purposes.
Will I automatically become a resident for tuition purposes once I have lived in Ohio and/or Lorain County for a year?
No. Any student who has been classified as a non-resident must apply for reclassification as a resident.
Are non-U.S. citizens eligible for residency for tuition purposes?
If a person is financially independent, they must be a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident Alien, Political Asylee, Political Refugee, or hold specific visa types that are eligible for residency consideration. If a student is financially dependent upon a spouse or parent, the person they are dependent upon must also must be a U.S. citizen, Permanent Resident Alien, Political Asylee or Political Refugee, or hold an eligible visa type. Students who hold an B, F, J, or M visa are not eligible to establish Ohio and/or Lorain County residency unless they are financially dependent upon a spouse or parent who is a bona fide Ohio and/or Lorain County resident. Students whose immigration status is pending are eligible to establish residency only if their most recent immigration status (visa type) was eligible to establish residency.
I own property or a business in Ohio and/or Lorain County, but live elsewhere. Does that make me or my dependents Ohio residents for tuition purposes?
The state guidelines do not grant residency to individuals or their dependents solely on the basis that they own property or a business in Ohio and/or Lorain County.
How important is it that I obtain an Ohio driver's license or register to vote in Ohio and/or Lorain County?
Obtaining an Ohio driver's license and registering to vote demonstrate your intent to make Ohio and/or Lorain County your residence. Since the Ohio Board of Regents Guidelines are meant to exclude from residency those who are in Ohio for educational purposes only, transferring these items of registration is a way to show that you intend to become a resident.
I am currently trying to establish residency. How does leaving Ohio and/or Lorain county for any period of time affect my residency application?
The expectation is that students who are in the process of establishing their residency are physically living in the State and/or county for the 12 consecutive months prior to the term for which they are requesting reclassification. Leaving for any length of time longer than a year seriously jeopardizes your claim to residency.
After reading the residency guidelines, I think I should have been considered a resident previously. Can I apply for a prior term and get a refund if I can show I was a resident then?
No. The state guidelines prohibit retroactive residency decisions. You must apply by the deadline for the term in question in order to be reviewed for residency for that term.
Who can I talk to for more information about residency for tuition purposes?
Contact the Records office at (440) 366-4067 for more information or to obtain clarification on any items you don’t understand.