Pictures of Hawaii Community College
Residency

Your residency status for tuition purposes determines the amount of tuition you will pay per credit.  Title 20, Chapter 4, Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules, "Determination of Residency as Applied to Tuition Payments and Admission" establishes the definitions, rules and regulations governing residency determination at the University of Hawaiʻi.  Below are residency related FAQs.  For more detailed information please contact the Residency Officer at the Admissions & Registration Office.

Q. How do I qualify to pay the resident tuition rate?

A. To qualify for the resident tuition rate the student must meet the following criteria:

  • The adult student, or in the case of a minor student, the student's parents or guardians, has been a bona fide resident of the state of Hawaiʻi for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of instruction
  • The adult or minor student has not been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes by a non-resident during the 12 months immediately proceeding the first day of instruction. An exception is made in the case of a minor whose non-custodial parent claims him/her as a dependent and is not a Hawaiʻi resident. In this case, the minor may take the residency of his/her custodial parent.

Q. How do I prove that I (or my parents) am a bona fide resident of Hawaiʻi?

A. To be a bona fide resident of Hawaiʻi you must by physically present for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of instruction AND you must demonstrate an intent to make Hawaiʻi your permanent home. No single action will be sufficient to demonstrate your intent. The Residency Office will look for a combination of actions when evaluating your residency status. The Residency Officer may also request further documentation from you that must be submitted prior to your residency determination.

The following are examples of evidence that will be evaluated.

  • filing a Hawaiʻi resident personal income tax form
  • registering to vote and voting in Hawaiʻii
  • ownership or continuous lease of a home in Hawaiʻi
  • permanent or continuous employment in Hawaiʻi
  • receiving welfare benefits from Hawaiʻi
  • presence of close relatives in Hawaiʻi

This list is meant to assist you in preparing your application. There may be other evidence that the Residency Officer will consider. For further information, please contact the Admissions & Registration Office.

Q. When does my "clock" start for the 12 month continuous physical presence requirement?

A. Your "clock" starts when you take the first action demonstrating your intent to make Hawaiʻi your permanent home. Your "clock" DOES NOT necessarily start when you arrive in Hawaiʻi. When you file Hawaiʻi taxes as a resident, your "clock" starts from the first date covered during the tax period.

Q. How might a non-resident qualify to pay the resident tuition rate?

A. A non-resident student may be allowed to pay the resident tuition if s/he qualifies as one of the following.

  • United States military personnel and their authorized dependents while stationed in Hawaiʻi on active duty ($25 non-resident application fee is not required)
  • Member, only, of the Hawaiʻi National Guard and Hawaiʻi-based Reserves
  • Full-time employee of the University of Hawaiʻi, his/her spouse and legal dependent(s)
  • Hawaiian, descendant of the aboriginal peoples that inhabited the Hawaiian Islands and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778

A non-resident student may be allowed to pay 150% of the resident tuition if s/he qualifies as follows:

  • Citizen of one of the following countries

American Samoa
Cook Islands
Futuna
Nauru
Niue
Solomon Islands
Tokelau
Wallis

Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas
Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)
Kiribati
New Caledonia
Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)
Republic of Palau (Belau)
Tuvalu
Vanuatu

Q. Am I able to convert from non-resident to resident status once I meet the residency requirements?

A. If you enroll in six or more credits per semester, it will be presumed that you are in Hawaiʻi primarily to attend school. You will not be allowed to count the time of such enrollment towards your 12 month physical presence requirement.

If you enroll in five or less credits per semester or you enroll in six or more credits per semester and can provide clear and convincing evidence that you are not in Hawaiʻi primarily to attend school, you must contact the Admissions & Registration Office to apply for conversion. Conversion DOES NOT occur automatically.

Q. How do I appeal my non-resident status?

A. Contact the Admissions & Registration Office as soon as you decide to appeal your resident status. The Residency Officer will provide you with a Residency Appeal Application, a copy of Title 20, Chapter 4, Hawai'i Administrative Rules, "Determination of Residency as Applied to Tuition Payments and Admission", and instructions and information on the appeals process.

You must register for at least one credit and pay the non-resident tuition rate to be eligible to appeal. If your non-resident status is overturned (you are made a resident), you will be refunded the difference. If your non-resident status is upheld (you remain a non-resident) you will not be able to drop your class(es) for a refund.

The deadline to submit your Residency Appeal Application is set for approximately one month from the start of class. Please check with the Admissions & Registration Office for more specific deadline information. Appeal applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

Residency rules and regulations are subject to change. The information presented here is a summary and not meant to be conclusive or exhaustive. For more detailed information or if you have questions, please contact the Residency Officer at the Admissions & Registration Office.