The formula for establishing domicile is simply stated as follows: Physical presence in the state with simultaneous intent to make Arizona one’s permanent home and place of habitation and abandonment of former domicile. All evidence is weighed under the presumption that a non-resident student’s presence in Arizona is primarily for the purposes of education and not to establish domicile, and that decisions of an individual as to their intent to establish domicile are generally made after the completion of an education and not before.
In determining classification of students for tuition purposes, the following are basic to a case for Arizona domicile:
To be eligible for classification as an Arizona resident for tuition purposes, a person must be able to prove continuous physical presence in Arizona for at least 12 months immediately preceding the semester of application. This presence must be coupled with clear and convincing evidence of intent to establish a domicile in Arizona BEYOND THE CIRCUMSTANCE OF BEING A STUDENT. Mere presence of a person in this state does not, by itself, constitute domicile. There is a presumption that no adult student or emancipated minor has established a domicile in this state while attending any educational institution in this state.
Objective evidence of intent to be a resident of this state is demonstrated by the absence of ties to the former state of residence and the following:
- Objective evidence of financial independence. Indicators of financial independence include:
- Place of employment and proof of earnings
- Other sources of support
- Proof of filing an Arizona state income tax return
- Residence claimed on federal income tax returns of applicant and/or parents
- Veteran status
- Whether claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes by a parent or any other individual for two years immediately preceding the request for residency classification.
- Once established, residency for tuition purposes is not lost due only to the student's receipt of funds from a source outside Arizona
- State in which motor vehicle is registered
- Source of payment for the individual's auto insurance policies
- Date of issuance and state issuing driver's license or state identification card
- Employment history
- The transfer of banking services to Arizona
- Applications for loans, scholarships, grants-in-aid, and other such assistance
- Voter registration
- Place of prior attendance in educational institutions, including high schools, and any information held by such schools affecting domicile
- Marital status and work record of registrant and spouse, if applicable
- Change in permanent address on all pertinent records
- State in which registered with Selective Services
- Military records
- Ownership of real property
- All other material of whatever source which may have a bearing on determining residency status/financial independence
Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR)
- The Arizona Board of Regents is required by law to establish, for the universities under its jurisdiction and control, guidelines which provide uniform criteria for determining the tuition status of any student, and which provide uniform procedures for review of that status. The board has adopted policies concerning tuition classification to meet this requirement.
- A complete copy of the Arizona Board of Regents Policy can be found on the Arizona Board of Regents website (see Chapter 4 - Student Fees, Residency, Financial Aid).
- Each student must be classified as either a resident student or a non-resident for tuition purposes. A student who is not classified as a resident student is charged non-resident tuition in addition to other registration fees and charges.