Summary of Tuition Classification Regulations

This section provides you with a general summary of tuition classification regulations outlined in Colorado statutes and CCHE guidelines. Students should consult the Tuition Classification Officer at your institution for additional information.

In-state status- requires domicile (legal, primary residence) in Colorado for the year immediately preceding the first day of class. During the one-year domicile period, students should comply with all legal obligations of a Colorado resident. Students under age 22 (Unemancipated minors), are eligible for in-state tuition if a parent or court-appointed legal guardian has been domiciled in Colorado for one year.

  • Domicile is defined as your true, fixed, and permanent home and place of habitation. Domicile is a legal characteristic that everyone has, and you can have only one domicile at any one time. Your domicile is your legal, primary residence.

Parents not domiciled in Colorado-If your parents are not domiciled in Colorado, you must be a qualified person to begin the one-year domiciliary period. A qualified person is someone who is either: at least 22 years old, or married, or emancipated, or a graduate student. Persons who are not citizens of the United States should read the section regarding aliens.

  • Emancipation requires that your parents cannot provide financial support of any nature for any purpose. Parental support includes funds your parents may have previously set aside for your current support even if those funds are in your name. Parents may provide reasonable incidental gifts but may not provide significant funds.

One year domicile period- A qualified person must be residing in Colorado with the present intention to reside permanently in Colorado for 12 months before the first day of class. To demonstrate this intention, students should take all actions that would be expected of any permanent resident of Colorado in your circumstances. These actions include severing from your former state your voter registration, driver's license, vehicle registration, employment, and income tax filing, and establishing these connections in Colorado.

Your in-state eligibility will be lost if you or your parents (depending on your age and parental support) maintain domicile outside Colorado for one year. However, if you are an unemancipated minor, you may retain in-state status if your parents have lived in Colorado at least four years (Four Year Rule). Regaining in-state status requires a new one year domicile period.

You may leave the state for vacations or for other temporary reasons and need not maintain a residence in Colorado during a temporary absence. To maintain Colorado domicile during a temporary absence, you should keep Colorado connections, particularly voter registration and declaration of any out-of-state income on your Colorado state income tax return. On any other state tax return, you must file as a nonresident. However, residing in your previous home state for a substantial period of time (including summer) is some evidence of continued domicile in that place, although such residence does not by itself disqualify you for in-state status.