“Domicile" is used to describe the place where an individual has demonstrated intent to make a permanent home and legal residence. Both physical presence (see #1 below) and evidence of intent (see #2 below) must be in place to begin the domicile year.  Financial emancipation (see #3 below) is an additional requirement applied to students 22 years or younger whose parents do not permanently reside in Colorado.

Colorado residency requires a domicile in Colorado for 12 continuous months on or prior to the first day of classes of each semester.

Since domicile is defined as a permanent home and legal residence, being in Colorado solely for school purposes and/or temporarily for other purposes does not qualify as domicile for Colorado residency.

 1. Physical presence is your actual permanent home and legal residence. Proof of physical presence may include all of the following:

  • Lease agreements
  • Rent receipts
  • Home ownership
  • Statement from a landlord

2. Evidence of intent to make Colorado your permanent home and legal residence is demonstrated by giving up all your legal ties with your prior state and establishing them with Colorado for 12 continuous months. Proof that demonstrates evidence of intent, as specified by the residency statute, may include all of the following:
  • Colorado motor vehicle registration
  • Permanent, full-time, off-campus employment
  • Colorado voter registration
  • Change in permanent address on all pertinent records
  • Payment of Colorado state income taxes as a Colorado resident
  • Withholding of Colorado state taxes from wages
  • Ownership of residential property in Colorado

3. Financial emancipation applies to minors under 23 years of age who are no longer considered dependents and are not supported by their parents. An emancipated minor can establish domicile on the date of emancipation. Proof of emancipation is documented by submitting a Petition for In-State Tuition Classification to the Office of Admission by the close of business on the first day of classes.

Evidence of legal ties outside of Colorado during the domicile year that demonstrate residency in another state may include the following:
  • Failure to file a Colorado state income tax return
  • Failure to have Colorado state income taxes withheld from your wages
  • Filing a Colorado state income tax return as a non-resident
  • Failure to obtain a Colorado driver’s license or Colorado ID
  • Maintenance of a home in another state
  • Prolonged absence from Colorado
  • Registering the vehicle you operate in another state
  • Residing in another state between academic terms or when not enrolled as a student
  • Any other factor unique to the individual which tends to imply your permanent home and legal residence is in another state

Please click here for additional information and answers to frequently asked questions.

Appealing an Out-of-State Residency Classification


Students who have initially been denied eligibility for in-state tuition may use the Petition for In-State Tuition Classification to appeal this decision.

Contact the Office of Admission at 970-247-7184 or admission@fortlewis.edu for additional information.