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Residency Requirements for Tuition Purposes
Students who do not qualify on the first day of instruction as bona fide residents of the state of Hawai'i, according to University of Hawai'i rules and regulations, must pay the nonresident tuition. An official determination of residency status will be made at the time of application. Applicants may be required to provide documentation to verify residency status. Once classified as a nonresident, a student continues to be so classified during his/her enrollment at the University until he/she can present satisfactory evidence to the residency officer that proves otherwise.
Some of the more pertinent University residency regulations follow. For additional information or clarification, contact the residency officer in the Office of Admissions and Records.
Definition of Hawai'i Residency
A student is deemed a resident of the state of Hawai'i for tuition purposes if the student (19 years old or older) or the student (under 19 years old) and the student's parents or legal guardians have done the following:
- Demonstrated intent to establish domicile in Hawai'i (see below for indicia);
- Been physically present in Hawai'i for the 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction and subsequent to the demonstration of intent to establish domicile in Hawai'i; and
- The student, whether adult or minor, has not been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction by his/her parents or legal guardians who are not residents of Hawai'i.
To demonstrate the intent to make Hawai'i a person's domicile, the following indicia apply, but no single act is sufficient to establish residency for tuition purposes:
- Filing Hawai'i resident personal income tax return;
- Voting/registering to vote in the state of Hawai'i; and
- Other indicia, such as permanent employment and ownership or continuous leasing of a dwelling in Hawai'i.
Other Legal Factors
Other legal factors involved in making a residency determination include the following:
- The age of majority is 18 years. However, a person between the ages of 18 and 19, unless emancipated, cannot claim residency solely on the basis of himself/herself because he/she does not have the minimum 12 months residency, which commences on his/her 18th birthday. Therefore, the applicant must claim a portion of the required 12 months on the basis of his/her parents or legal guardian;
- The 12 months of continuous residence in Hawai'i shall begin on the date upon which the first overt action (see indicia above) is taken to make Hawai'i one's domicile. Resident status will be lost if it is interrupted during the 12 months immediately preceding the first day of instruction;
- Residency in Hawai'i and residency in another place cannot be held simultaneously;
- Presence in Hawai'i primarily to attend an institution of higher learning does not create resident status, regardless of the length of stay. A student cannot establish residency by simply being enrolled in school. If a student is a nonresident, it is presumed that he/she is living in Hawai'i primarily to attend school and his/her presence is temporary even if the student lives in Hawai'i during vacation and other breaks from study. For example, the student may be presumed to live in Hawai'i primarily to attend school if he/she is enrolled in school half-time or more, appears to be receiving significant financial support from family members who reside outside Hawai'i, is absent from the state for more than 30 days per year during school vacation period, or receives student financial assistance based on residency in another state or jurisdiction;
- The residency of unmarried students who are minors follows that of the parents or legal guardian. Marriage emancipates a minor;
- The residency of a married person may follow that of the spouse; and
- Resident status, once acquired, will be lost by future voluntary action of the resident inconsistent with such status. However, Hawai'i residency will not be lost solely because of absence from the state while a member of the United States Armed Forces, while engaged in navigation, or while a student at any institution of learning.
Nonresidents may be allowed to pay resident tuition if they qualify as one of the following:
- United States military personnel and their authorized dependents (as defined by the armed services) during the period such personnel are stationed in Hawai'i on active duty;
- Persons who are legal residents of any Pacific island or Asian district, commonwealth, territory, or insular jurisdiction, state, or nation that does not provide public institutions of higher learning;
- Certain employees of the University of Hawai'i and their spouses and legal dependents (as defined under Internal Revenue Service rules);
- East-West Center grantees pursuing baccalaureate or advanced degrees; or
- Hawaiians, descendants of the aboriginal peoples that inhabited the Hawaiian Islands and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.
A student or prospective student who provides incorrect information on any form or document intended for use in determining residency status for tuition purposes will be subject to the requirements and/or disciplinary measures provided for in the rules and regulations governing residency status.
Residency decisions may be appealed. Contact the residency officer for information on how to initiate an appeal before the Committee on Resident Status.
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