Student Residency Policy and Procedures

The  policy 3.2.1 Standards and Processes for Determining Student Residency Status for Tuition establishes specific criteria associated with requests for reclassification from non-resident to resident status, and establishes a process for reviewing applications of eligible applicants and students seeking reclassification. Please review the policy for all information. Some aspects of the policy are highlighted below.

Initial Residency Classification for Incoming Students

Initial residency classification is made based on the applicant’s responses to questions on the application for admission. The address (legal state of residence) at the time of application is the key determinant, provided that the individual is a U.S. citizen or has been granted permanent resident status through the U.S. State Department. The questions and data elements on the application for admission used for residency classification will be based upon the residency standards outlined in this policy.

Routine initial classifications will be made by the college’s admissions personnel based on the information provided in the application to the program and according to the rules for determining resident status established in this policy. Residency determinations are made by all colleges using the same guidelines and standards. Non-routine, initial classifications will be reviewed and decided by the Residency Classification Officer (RCO), or, if appropriate, the Student Residency Classification Committee (SRCC—see later section). The University Registrar or her/his delegate serves as the RCO

Residency Reclassification

An applicant or continuing student may request a change in residency classification by completing an Application for Change of Residency Status available through the Office of the University Registrar (OUR). Completing an application for reclassification is not a guarantee that a change in residency status will be granted. Any change in the status of an applicant applying through a national application service requires that the applicant also change the state of residency in the application service database. Applicants should contact their respective academic college’s admissions officer for additional information.

The burden of proof of reclassification is on the student seeking a change in status. To be eligible for reclassification consideration, all documentation in support of the request must be submitted to the appropriate office no less than four weeks prior to the start of the student’s term. The SRCC and/or the RCO may waive documentation requirements and/or request additional documentation from the student as needed.

The SRCC is chaired by the RCO, and may review applications for reclassification from new and continuing students at the request of the RCO. The committee includes one representative from each of the colleges and the Graduate School and the Director of Student Financial Services. These officials may serve directly as the college representative or appoint a designee for the role. As committee chair, the RCO is a non-voting member.

An application for reclassification is considered complete when all standards in the Residency Reclassification Standards section of this policy have been addressed. Documentation must be submitted with the application or later at the request of the RCO, and must be in the form of photocopies clearly showing the relevant data elements. Original documents should not be submitted as materials will not be returned to the applicant.

Residency Classification Standards

 A student/applicant who is financially independent will be evaluated based on his/her own circumstances. A student who is a dependent of a parent or guardian will be evaluated based on the parent(s)/guardian(s) circumstances. One parent or guardian must qualify as an Arkansas resident in order for a dependent student/applicant to claim state residency.

Each of the following standards must be met in order for in-state residency status to be granted.

1.The applicant/student is a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident.

 Sample Documentation: Permanent resident (green) card, certificate of naturalization. NOTE: For purposes of tuition and fee calculation, some students with neither status may be eligible for a residency exception rather than a residency reclassification. See Appendix B for information about residency exceptions.

 2. The applicant/student has physically resided in Arkansas for at least six consecutive months in the permanent home (a bona fide domicile) and was not a student (full- or part-time) at any Arkansas higher education institution during those six months.

Sample Documentation:  Housing agreement (deed, lease, etc.) with applicant’s name listed. A university/college residence hall or a P.O. box do not qualify as a bona fide domicile for residency purposes.

 3. The applicant/student maintains a permanent connection to the state and has an expectation of remaining in the state beyond graduation (reclassifications only).

 Sample Documentation:

  1. A written justification supporting his/her assertion of a permanent connection (e.g., family, social or professional ties, job opportunities), and post-graduation plans
  2. Arkansas driver’s license, if applicable
  3. Arkansas voter registration
  4. Arkansas vehicle registration, if applicable

 4. The applicant/student has earned a minimum of $2000 gross taxable income in the state during the six consecutive months prior to application (reclassifications only).

 Sample Documentation: Pay stubs or other verification of Arkansas wages or salary earned.


Contact Information

Information about the residency classification and reclassification process, including contact information for each college admissions officer, is available through the Office of the University Registrar website: Students may also contact the office directly at (501) 526-5600 or email


Updated 8/22/19