Residency Classification

Initial residency classification at Colorado State University-Pueblo is determined by the Office of Admissions based on information provided by the student during the application process. Students are responsible for checking the residency determination provided at the time of admission, with the admissions packet. This initial residency classification remains the same unless the student provides additional information to prove that the domicile requirements for Colorado residency have been met. This may be proved by submitting a Residency Information Form or additional documentation to the Office of Admissions. If the student does not agree with the residency determination after the Residency Information Form or additional documentation has been reviewed that student must submit a Petition for In-State Tuition Classification (see below). New students must complete the Residency Information Form and/or Petition for In-State Tuition Classification prior to the first day of class of the student’s first term.

Changes to Tuition Classification

Continuing students who believe they qualify for Colorado residency must submit a completed Petition for In-State Tuition Classification by the deadline. Students enrolled in online programs may be eligible for an exemption to this requirement; contact Admissions for additional information. Deadlines are the first Monday in August for the fall semester and the first Monday in December for spring.

Colorado residency for tuition purposes is governed by Colorado State Law (Title 23, Article 7-101 to 111, of the Colorado Revised Statutes of 1973, as amended) and by judicial decisions that apply to all public institutions of higher education in Colorado and is subject to change at any time. The residency decision made at one Colorado institution is non-transferable to other Colorado institutions. Colorado State University-Pueblo must apply the rules set forth in the residency statutes and is not free to make exceptions to the rules except as specifically permitted by State Law.

Any student granted the Western Undergraduate Exchange tuition rate, is indicating that he or she is NOT a Colorado resident and WILL NOT establish Colorado residency during his or her time of attendance at CSU-Pueblo.  If a student plans to establish residency in Colorado and would like to petition for in-state benefits at CSU-Pueblo during his or her time of attendance, it is recommended the student does not claim another state as his or her state of residence.  WUE students who change their residence to Colorado lose their WUE eligibility, but do not become eligible for in-state tuition rates until one year after establishing Colorado domicile. Because students under 23 are deemed to have the domicile of their parents, the WUE student seeking to change domicile to Colorado must show either: a change of the parents’ residence to Colorado; or a change in the student’s residence after proving emancipation from the parents.

Qualified Individuals

Parent Petitioners

Parents who have moved to Colorado and meet the domicile requirements may submit a Petition for In-State Tuition Classification which supports their domicile. If their petition is approved, their dependents are eligible for Colorado residency for tuition purposes.

Other Qualified Individuals

A student is a qualified individual and eligible to establish domicile separate from his or her parents if, at the beginning of the 12-month domicile year, the student was:

  • At least 22 years old, or
  • Married, or
  • Emancipated, or
  • A graduate student

An emancipated minor is an individual under 23 years of age who is no longer considered a dependent and is not supported by his or her parent(s) or any other individual. An emancipated minor can begin establishing their domicile on the date he or she becomes emancipated.

Emancipation must be proven in the following way:

  • Parents or other individuals must no longer provide financial support of any nature for any purpose. Parental support includes funds parents may have previously set aside for current support even if those funds are in the student’s name.
  • Parents must no longer claim the minor on their federal and state income tax returns.
  • If the minor takes out a loan, he or she must do so without a parent co-signer. In addition, the loan must not be the student’s major source of support.
  • The minor must document that he or she is independently able to meet all financial obligations without any financial help from any other individual.

Examples of financial obligations may include:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Rent and food
  • Cable and cell phone statements
  • Medical expenses, including health insurance
  • Vehicle expenses, including auto insurance

If a student is granted Colorado residency as an emancipated minor, he or she must continue to independently meet all financial obligations, including the cost of education, without financial assistance from parents or any other individual.


A student who does not have lawful immigration status may be classified as an in-state student for tuition purposes if:

  1. The student attended high school in Colorado for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date the student graduates from a Colorado high school or earns a GED;
  2. The student is admitted to a Colorado institution of higher education or attends any institution of higher education under a reciprocity agreement within 12 months of high school graduation or earning a GED; and
  3. The student submits an affidavit thru the COF application process stating that the student does not have lawful immigration status but has applied for lawful presence or will apply as soon as the student is eligible.

Additionally, a student who does not have lawful immigration status and graduated from a Colorado high school or earned a GED prior to September 1, 2013, but was not admitted to a Colorado institution within 12 months of graduating or earning a GED may nonetheless be qualified as an in-state student if the student has been continuously physically present in Colorado for at least 18 months prior to enrolling in a Colorado institution. Students applying under ASSET must complete a Colorado ASSET form, available from Admissions.


Persons who are lawful permanent residents or who are admitted as refugees are eligible to establish domicile for tuition purposes. Nonimmigrant aliens who are residing in Colorado for purposes other than education may qualify for in-state status after one year of Colorado residence. The nonimmigrant categories subject this provision are determined by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

Nonimmigrants in the following categories cannot qualify for in-state tuition: F-1, F-2, H-3, J-1, M-1 and M-2.

  • H-4 will qualify unless the visa holder is the spouse of child of an H-3.
  • J-2 will qualify if the J-1 visa holder is not a student of trainee.
  • H-1B, L, K, V, E, O and P visa may qualify.

Military Personnel

Military Exception

  1. Active-duty members of the armed forces of the United States and Canada on either PCS or TDY orders in Colorado and their dependents (as defined by military regulations) are eligible for in-state status, regardless of domicile or length of residence in Colorado. A dependent of a member of the armed forces is eligible for in-state tuition classification when the member moves to Colorado on a PCS basis, regardless of the length of the member’s or dependents residency in Colorado. After qualifying as an in-state student, a member of the armed forces or the member’s dependent, shall not lose his or her eligibility for in-state tuition status if the member retires or separates from the military. Dependent means a spouse of a member of the armed services who was the member’s spouse at the time that the member was stationed in Colorado and at the time the spouse is requesting in-state tuition classification and any child under twenty-two years of age born to or legally adopted by the member of the armed forces who enrolls in a public institution of higher education within ten years after the member was stationed in Colorado.
  2. Members of the Colorado National Guard who maintain their sole legal residence in Colorado and their dependents also qualify for in-state tuition exception regardless of length of residence. This includes having Colorado state taxes withheld from wages, leasing or owning property in Colorado, having a valid Colorado driver’s license, maintaining Colorado vehicle registration and Colorado voter’s registration.
  3. Military dependents continuously enrolled in a Colorado college continue to qualify for in-state tuition if the military member is transferred outside Colorado or retires and remains in Colorado.

Contact Admissions for required documentation and forms.

Military Members Domiciled in Colorado

To retain domicile during an absence from Colorado due to military orders, military personnel must maintain Colorado as their state of legal residence for tax purposes, and voters must maintain Colorado voter registration.

Military personnel may retain legal residence in their original state, or they may establish a new legal residence in a state in which they reside due to military orders. They may not establish domicile in Colorado while residing elsewhere or while being physically present in the State only on a temporary basis. Persons domiciled in Colorado for one year who enter active duty military service, and who return permanently to Colorado within 6 months of discharge, and their dependents, qualify for in-state tuition regardless of changes of domicile while on active duty.


Honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces moving permanently to Colorado qualify for in-state tuition. Dependents of veterans are eligible for in-state tuition classification if the dependent has completed two years of high school in Colorado. Contact Admissions for required documentation and forms.

GI Promise-Honorably Discharged Veterans

All honorably discharged veterans who show established domicile in Colorado immediately preceding the start of the semester, regardless of length of time, shall be granted in-state tuition. The veteran can also petition for this benefit for his or her spouse and dependent if the veteran established domicile in Colorado. A dependent is an unmarried undergraduate student and under the age of 23 on or before the first day of class. Honorable discharge status must complete GI Promise eligibility document.

  • Proof of intent: a Colorado driver’s license or Colorado state ID card and a housing contract, lease agreement, or mortgage.

A residency determination cannot be made until all supporting documents have been received.  Once a covered individual is determined to have met the qualifications for in-state residence, this person will retain his or her status as long as he or she remains continuously enrolled in the institution. 

Veteran Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act)

In August 2014 Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. Section 702 of the “Choice Act” requests that CSU-Pueblo provide in-state residency for tuition purposes to veterans and their family members using the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) or the Active Duty Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30) for terms that begin after July 1, 2015 with the following qualifying circumstances:

  • A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

Necessary documents for review under Section 702 classification are:

  • Most recent DD-214, Member 4 for the veteran who earned the GI Bill entitlement to be used.

Additionally, students must enroll at Colorado State University-Pueblo within three years of their transferor's discharge from active duty. Students are not eligible if they are still on active duty.

Court Appointed Legal Guardian

A student may qualify for Colorado residency based on the domicile of their court appointed legal guardian if the guardianship has been in effect for at least one year. The legal guardian must provide court documents certifying that the primary purpose of the appointment is other than to qualify the student for Colorado residency. The court must also certify that the student’s parents do not provide financial support.

Residency Requirements


"Domicile" is used to describe the place where an individual has demonstrated intent to make a permanent home and legal residence. Both physical presence (see #1 below) and evidence of intent (see #2 below) must be in place to begin the domicile year. Qualified individuals must reside in Colorado with the intent to make Colorado their permanent home and legal residence.

Colorado residency requires a domicile in Colorado for 12 continuous months on or prior to the first day of classes of each semester.

Since domicile is defined as a permanent home and legal residence, being in Colorado solely for school purposes and/or temporarily for other purposes does not qualify as domicile for Colorado residency.

  1. Physical presence is the qualified individual’s actual permanent home and legal residence. Proof of physical presence may include all of the following:
    • Home ownership
    • Lease agreement
    • Rent receipts
    • Notarized statement from a landlord
  2. Evidence of intent to make Colorado the qualified individual’s permanent home and legal residence is demonstrated by surrendering all legal ties with prior states and establishing them with Colorado for 12 continuous months. Proof that demonstrates evidence of intent, as specified by the residency statute, may include all of the following:
    • Colorado driver’s license or valid Colorado ID.
      If the qualified individual has a driver’s license from another state, he or she must apply for a Colorado driver’s license within 30 days of moving to Colorado (if employed) or within 120 days (if unemployed). If the qualified individual does not drive, he or she may obtain a Colorado identification card.
    • Colorado motor vehicle registration.
      If the qualified individual operates a motor vehicle, he or she must register it in Colorado within 30 days of moving to Colorado (if employed) or within 120 days (if unemployed). This law applies to any vehicle the qualified individual has, whether or not he or she is the registered owner.
    • Permanent, full-time, off-campus employment or acceptance of future permanent employment in Colorado. (Student employment provided by CSU-Pueblo is not recognized by the state of Colorado in proving intent.)
    • Colorado voter registration.
      A qualified individual may register to vote with the county clerk, or when his or her Colorado driver’s license is obtained. Although voting is not required by law, it is nonetheless an indicator of one’s intent to create Colorado domicile.
    • Change in permanent address on all pertinent records.
    • Payment of Colorado state income tax (if income is sufficient to be taxed).
      All taxable income accrued after moving to Colorado, regardless of source, must be reported to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Qualified individuals should file part-year resident returns for each state of residence for the year they move to Colorado. For subsequent years, they should file a full-year resident Colorado return.
    • Withholding of Colorado state taxes from wages.
    • Ownership of residential property in Colorado that is the qualified individual’s primary residence.
      (Ownership of vacation or income property is not an indication of domicile.)

Evidence of legal ties outside of Colorado during the domicile year that demonstrate residency in another state may include the following:

  • Failure to obtain a Colorado driver’s license or Colorado ID (Failure to change driver’s license to Colorado within the statutory periods).
  • Failure to file a Colorado state income tax return.
  • Failure to pay Colorado state income tax (if income is sufficient to be taxed).
    Income earned in another state by a resident of Colorado is taxable in Colorado. Filing a nonresident Colorado tax return is persuasive evidence of domicile outside Colorado.
  • Maintenance of a home in another state.
  • Prolonged absence from Colorado.
  • Residing in another state between academic terms or when not enrolled as a student.
  • Vehicle the qualified individual operates is registered in another state (Failure to register a motor vehicle in Colorado within the statutory periods).
  • Any other factor unique to the individual that tends to imply that his or her permanent home and legal residence is in another state.

The fact that an individual does not qualify for in-state status in any other state does not guarantee in-state status in Colorado; in-state classification is governed solely by Colorado statute. The tuition classification statute places the burden of proof on the petitioner to provide clear and convincing evidence of a change in eligibility for in-state tuition once the student has registered.

The Admissions Office must receive completed petitions no later than the published deadline date for the semester for which the student is petitioning. Deadlines are the first Monday in August for Fall semester and the third Friday in December for Spring semester. Petitions will not be accepted after the published deadline date; incomplete petitions will not be accepted and/or reviewed for that semester, and the tuition classification and tuition assessment will remain nonresident for that term.

Decisions made by the Tuition Classification Officer may be appealed to the University’s Residency Appeals Committee. A student who wants to appeal the decision to the Residency Appeals Committee must contact the Office of Admissions no later than the appeal date listed in the letter in which the decision was conveyed to the student. The decision of the Residency Appeals Committee is the FINAL University determination for that specific semester. In addition, there are no provisions in the Tuition Classification Statutes for retroactive petitioning.

Any student who provides false information to avoid paying out-of-state tuition may be subject to legal and/or disciplinary actions.