How to get Colorado Residency

The tuition classification statutes place the burden of proof on the student to provide clear and convincing evidence of eligibility. Tuition classification is governed by state law (CO Revised Statutes §23-7-101, et. seq.) and by judicial decisions that apply to all public institutions of higher education in Colorado. Fort Lewis College does not have discretion to make exceptions to Colorado residency requirements as established by state law. There is no provision in the state statutes for retroactive compliance. Because Colorado law governs Colorado residency status, the fact that a student might not qualify for in-state status in any other state does not guarantee in-state status in Colorado.

New or incoming FLC students

Tuition Classification is determined based on the information provided in the application for admission. Please answer the questions in the application thoroughly, including address, high school, parent information, and the specific residency questions to ensure a timely and accurate determination.

We may request additional documentation, including a completed Residency Form, copies of your Colorado driver’s license, Colorado State Tax Returns, purchase or lease agreements, and/or additional information.

DEADLINE: You must submit the required residency documentation no later than 5 p.m. on the dates listed below.

  • Fall 2021 term: Monday, August 9, 2021

If you do not agree with your initial tuition classification, you have the right to submit a petition, including supporting documents, no later than 5 p.m. on the first day of the semester.

Current or continuing FLC students

Continuing students must submit a petition to request reconsideration for in-state residency.

Petitions and the accompanying documentation must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on the dates listed below (if the deadline falls on a weekend, petitions will be accepted until 5 p.m. the following Monday).

  • Fall Term: August 1
  • Spring Term: December 1
  • Summer Term: April 1

Petitions will be reviewed in the order they are received and will be processed in a timely manner. Decisions regarding tuition classification will be made prior to the start of the term, and students will be notified of the decision in writing.

Documentation cannot be considered after the deadline, and a new petition will be required for a future term.

A note about residency

Colorado residency requirements for tuition-purposes in the State of Colorado is determined by your physical presence in Colorado and evidence of intent to make Colorado your permanent home and legal residence for at least 12 months prior to the start of the term.

Physical presence is your actual permanent home and legal residence and may be demonstrated by lease agreements or rental receipts or home ownership.

Evidence of intent to make Colorado your permanent home and legal residence is demonstrated by giving up your legal ties with your prior state and establishing them with Colorado.  Proof that demonstrates evidence of intent may include all of the following: Colorado motor vehicle registration, CO voter registration, payment of Colorado state income taxes as a Colorado resident, permanent, full-time, off-campus employment.  Additional evidence may be required depending on circumstances.

Physical presence and evidence of intent together establish your domicile in Colorado. There is no formula or checklist to follow in establishing domicile. Generally physical presence plus one connection with the state (such as a driver’s license) will not be sufficient to establish domicile.

Student or parent residence

If you are an applicant who will be under 23 years old at the start of the term, please note that your residency determination for tuition purposes will be made based on your parent or court-appointed legal guardian’s information.

If you are an applicant who will be over 23 years old at the start of the term, your residency determination for tuition purposes will be based on your information.

Financially Emancipated Minors are students under 23 years old who are no longer considered dependents and are not supported by their parents. An emancipated minor must submit a petition for in-state tuition classification by the deadlines above.

Special populations

Veterans and students using VA benefits may qualify for in-state tuition through a few exceptions to the standard process and should read here for more information or contact the Admission Office.

Undocumented students, new or continuing are eligible for in-state tuition through the ASSET program if they have attended high school in Colorado for at least three years immediately before graduation or completion of a GED in Colorado. Please read more information and how to qualify here.

Read full Colorado Department of Higher Education Residency Requirements here

Colorado Department of Higher Education Residency FAQs


If you have questions about Colorado residency requirements, please contact the Admission Office at 970-247-7184 or email