A resident student is one who is a U.S. citizen and has met specific requirements demonstrating permanent residence in the State of Washington. Two elements are necessary to establish permanent residence. The first element requires physical presence on the location claimed as a permanent residence. The second element requires the intent to permanently reside in that location. These two elements can be established by a variety of factors and documentation which should be dated one year and one day prior to the commencement of the quarter for which the student is applying for residency status.
Application for reclassification prior to registration into classes is preferred. Residency reclassification must take place within 30 calendar days of the first day of the quarter.
Special regulations may apply to some eligible non-citizens, Washington higher education employees, and to military personnel and their dependents stationed in the State of Washington. For further information contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 509.527.4283.
Students wishing to change their residency classification must complete a residency questionnaire (form linked below) and provide necessary documentation. See detailed residency requirements below.
Ways to qualify for Washington Residency:
To establish domicile in the state of Washington, students must provide documentation showing that they meet the following guidelines:
- Student must prove that they have not come to Washington primarily for educational purposes. Current guidelines require students who are enrolled for 7 credits or more a quarter to be employed at least 30 hours per week at a non-student job to overcome presumption of educational purposes.
- Live in the state for at least 12 consecutive months as legal residents.
- Establish legal ties:
- Employment (if taking more than 6 credits a quarter during the first year of being present in Washington State).
- Driver’s license / state ID within 30 days of arrival. Student who do not possess a driver’s license must obtain a Washington State Identification Card.
- Vehicle registration within 30 days of arrival.
- Voter registration within 30 days of arrival.
- Establish a bank account in Washington.
- Be financially independent for the current and prior calendar years. *Students who are not 25 years or older must submit their parents’ most recent tax returns.
Once the individuals is in full compliance with all of Washington’s requirements for residency, then he/she has established domicile. Once domicile is established, the student is eligible for in-state tuition 12 months from the date of arrival if all legal ties are in place.
Examples of other factors that may help students establish proof of domicile include: disposition of property in the former state of residence, relocation of household members, participation in local community organizations, and generally becoming involved in activities that will help prove their intent to make Washington their official place of residence.
Once all the above it met, fill out the Residency Questionnaire linked above.
Students may be eligible to pay resident tuition rates if they meet all of the following 3 criteria:
- Received a diploma from a Washington high school or the equivalent of a diploma in Washington State.
- Lived in Washington for at least 3 calendar years (not school years) prior to receiving their diploma or its equivalent.
- Continuously resided in Washington since receiving their high school diploma or its equivalent.
Students who meet all of the above criteria are required to provide a completed Residency Affidavit to the Office of Admissions & Records verifying that they will file an application to become a U.S. Permanent Resident at the earliest opportunity. Affidavit form linked above.
American Indian student who meet the following two conditions are eligible to pay resident tuition at college and universities in Washington State:
- For a period of one year immediately prior to enrollment at a state institution of higher education, student must have domiciled in one or a combination of the following states: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington.
- Students must be a member of one of the federally recognized Indian tribes, as determined Title 25 of the Code of federal regulations 25CFR, whose traditional and customary tribal boundaries included portions of the state of Washington, or whose tribe was granted reserved lands within the state of Washington.
- Provide verification of tribe affiliation and documentation of domicile in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington during the year prior to enrollment at Walla Walla Community College.
Washington State Tribes
|Chehalis Confederated Tribes||Quinault Nation|
|Colville Confederated Tribes||Samish Nation|
|Cowlitz Indian Tribes||Sauk-Sulattle Tribe|
|Hoh Tribe||Shoalwater Bay Tribe|
|Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe||Skokomish Tribe|
|Kalispel Tribe||Snoqualmie Tribe|
|Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe||Spokane Tribe|
|Lummi Nation||Squaxin Tribe|
|Makah Tribe||Stillaguamish Tribe|
|Muckleshoot Tribe||Suquamish Tribe|
|Nisqually Tribe||Swinomish Tribe|
|Nooksack Tribe||Tulalip Tribes|
|Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe||Upper Skagit Tribe|
|Puyallup Tribe||Yakama Nation|
Out of State Tribes
- Coeur d’Alene Tribe
- Grande Ronde Confederated Tribes
- Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
- Nez Perce Tribe
- Umatilla Confederated Tribe
- Warm Spring Confederated Tribes
If you qualify, please contact the Office of Admissions & Records
Permanent U.S. Residents
If students are able to provide documentation of final approval for their Permanent Resident immigrant status, they may apply for Washington State residency if they meet the requirements listed under establishing a bona fide domicile.
Student may apply for Washington State residency for tuition and fee purposes if they are on an A, E, G, H1, L, or K visa and if they meet the requirements listed under establishing a bona fide domicile.
For more information on establishing a bona fide domicile, see the Residency Requirements. If you qualify for either of these, fill out the Residence Questionnaire.
Students who are financially dependent upon parents or legal guardians must provide documentation to prove their parents/legal guardians have established a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington. Students must also provide documentation to show they are dependents claimed by the parents/legal guardians on the most recent U.S. Federal Income Tax return.
Students whose parents or legal guardians are either divorced or legally separated may be classified as residents in the following conditions are met:
- The student is claimed on the most recent U.S. Federal Income Tax return by one of the parents/legal guardians.
- A least one parent or legal guardian has established a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington.
The student and parents/legal guardians will fill out the Residence Questionnaire.
For students 25 years of age or younger.
Students must show establishment of a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington if they are under the age of 25 and if their parents or court appointed legal guardians do not reside in Washington.
Students must also provide documentation showing independent payments of the majority of their expenses for the previous calendar/tax year and independent payment of, or the ability to independently pay, the majority of their expenses for the current calendar/tax year. These documents include:
- The student’s most recent tax return. *if the student did not file a tax return, the student should complete a memo stating their reasoning as to not filling a tax return.
- The parents’ most recent tax return (limited to the first page showing dependents claimed and the signature page).
- Verification of the year-to-date earning (i.e., the student’s most recent pay stub with the year-to-date earnings total listed), and/or a copy of previous W2.
Note: A married student applying for residency status should apply as a financially independent student.
See the Residency Requirements documentation for information on how to establish a bona fide domicile. If you qualify and complete the above, fill out the Residency Questionnaire, and submit it, with supporting documentation, to the Office of Admissions & Records.
Effective Fall Quarter, 2009, the following visa types (including spouses and dependents) have been added to the WAC and RCW as qualifying visas who may be eligible to pay in-state tuition:
If you currently hold one of these visas, and have applied for the visa for at least 12 months prior to the quarter application, you may apply for residency as any other independent student for tuition purposes. Please refer to the Residency Requirement page. After reviewing the rules and regulations, please fill out a Residency Questionnaire, and submit it to the Office of Admissions & Records along with the proper documentation.
In order to apply as a resident for tuition purposes based on your spouse working in Washington, they student must submit the following:
- Residency Questionnaire
- Proof that you have been domiciled in Washington for 12 months
- Your dependent visa
- Your spouse’s working visa
- Proof that your spouse has been working in the state for 12 months
In order to apply as a resident for tuition purposes based on your parent working in Washington, the student must submit the following:
- Residency Questionnaire
- Proof that your parent has been domiciled in Washington for 12 months
- Your dependent visa
- Your parent’s working visa
- Proof that your parent has been working in the state for 12 months
- Your parent’s tax return showing you as a dependent
For more information on establishing a bona fide domicile, see the Residency Requirements. If you qualify and complete the above, fill out the Residency Questionnaire, and submit support documentation to the Office of Admissions & Records.
Active Duty Members Stationed in Washington
To apply for residency for tuition as active duty military or as member’s spouse or dependent, students must:
- Show proof of military duty and that they are stationed in Washington State.
- Provide Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders.
Washington National Guard Members
To apply for residency for tuition as Washington National Guard members or as a member’s spouse or dependent, students must:
- Show proof of miliary orders that show the date of you or your sponsor’s assignment to Washington State.
- Show your military ID card.
To apply as a discharged member, students must:
- Submit their DD-214 showing Washington as their place of entry (home of record) where orders are bound and date separated.
- Character of service must be “Honorable”, box 24.
- Provide verification that they have returned to the state of Washington within 12 months of discharge.
Washington Members Stationed Elsewhere
To apply as members (or dependents) who are from Washington, but stationed in another state or overseas, students must:
- Provide documentation of their (or, the active duty military member’s) home of record (L.E.S. Leave and Earnings Statement)
- Submit documentation that you are maintaining legal ties while being stationed elsewhere. You need at least three of the following:
- Driver’s license
- Voter’s registration
- Vehicle registration
- Bank account
- Property ownership
If you qualify, please visit the Office of Admissions & Records.
Absence due to military/civil service
Washington residents who enter military/civil services while domiciles in Washington, or persons who establish a domicile while stationed here for a period of at least one year, will remain residents while stationed outside of Washington if they return within one year of discharged/end of service with the intent to be domiciled in Washington. Please view the Military Personnel section for information.
Absence for educational purposes only
Students who are Washington residents and have been out of Washington to attend an out-of-state college or university need to submit a completed Residency Questionnaire to the Office of Admissions & Registration (OAR), along with the following additional documentation:
- Verification that they resided in Washington for a minimum of one year prior to leaving the state to attend school.
- Verification from the out-of-state college or university that they were enrolled as non-resident and paying non-resident tuition.
- Proof that they maintained all ties with Washington (such as driver’s license, vehicle registration, bank accounts, voter’s registration, property, etc.) and did not take steps to establish a domicile in another state.
If you qualify and complete the above, fill out the Residency Questionnaire and submit it with supporting documentation to the OAR.
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to be eligible for resident-tuition rates, a student must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, or have permanent resident immigration status in the U.S. for at least one year, or hold an eligible visa classification (A, E, G, H, I, K, or L).
- Be physically present (or his/her legal parent or legal guardian) in Washington for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the quarter.
- Have established a bona fide domicile (or his/her parent or legal guardian) for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the quarter.
- The State of Washington regulates residency determinations at Washington community and technical colleges and public universities in accordance with RCW 28B.15.012-014.
A student must complete the Washington Residence Questionnaire and supply supporting documentation to prove that the student is a bona fide resident of the state of Washington for resident-tuition rates. All materials should be submitted to the Office of Admissions & Records.
The cost difference depends on the amount of credits and types of courses the student is enrolled for in any given quarter. See the Tuition and Fees table for a breakdown by credit of how much tuition will cost.
At this current time, Walla Walla Community College does not offer resident tuition rates for our neighbors living in border counties of Oregon or Idaho.
There is a waiver available for WWCC students from eligible Oregon border counties.
Military personnel may qualify for tuition waivers pending submission of proper documentation list under Military Personnel in the Ways to Qualify for Washington Residency section above.
As an American Indian, you may qualify for in-state residency for tuition purposes. Please see the American Indians under the Ways to Qualify for Washington Residency section.