In-state Tuition Classification

Students must provide clear and convincing evidence of Colorado residency eligibility for in-state tuition in their admission application because tuition classification is determined based on that information.

Colorado state statutes define tuition classification and place the residency burden of proof on the student. Fort Lewis College cannot make exceptions to state law.

Colorado state statute does not allow retroactive compliance, which means if you become a Colorado resident after you've begun school, you do not get to go back and change your tuition status. Also, a student who might not qualify for in-state tuition status in any state does not guarantee in-state tuition status in Colorado.

Learn more about in-state tuition classification from the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Colorado Residency Requirements

New & incoming students

Follow the directions in your admission application and provide all required residency information so our office can give you a timely decision on your tuition classification.

Our office might request additional documentation, like a completed Residency Form, copies of your Colorado driver’s license, Colorado State Tax Returns, purchase or lease agreements, or other information.

You must submit the required residency documentation by 5 pm on the below dates:

  • Spring 2023 term: Monday, December 19, 2022
  • Summer 2023 term: Monday, April 24, 2023
  • Fall 2023 term: Monday, August 7, 2023

Appeals

You have the right to petition to appeal your tuition classification. You must submit your petition and supporting documentation no later than 5 pm on the first day of the semester to be considered. If you miss this deadline, you can appeal for a future term.

Current students

You have the right to petition to appeal your tuition classification. Continuing students must submit a petition to request reconsideration for in-state residency.

Deadlines

Petitions and documentation must be submitted no later than 5 pm for the following dates (if the deadline falls on a weekend, you can submit your petition the following Monday):

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

Our office reviews petitions quickly and in the order they are received. We notify students of our tuition classification appeal decision in writing before the start of the term.

Special populations

Veterans

Veterans and students using VA benefits may qualify for in-state tuition through a few exceptions to the standard process. Contact the Admission Office for additional help.

Undocumented students

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 Colorado GED.

Special Immigrants & Refugees

Senate Bill 18-087 (effective Fall 2018) states that a foreign national admitted to the United States as a refugee or special immigrant who settles in Colorado upon entering the United States is eligible for classification as an in-state student immediately upon settlement in Colorado.

The primary purpose for settlement in Colorado must not be solely for educational purposes. Along with the tuition classification information provided in the application for admission, students will be asked to verify their refugee/asylee immigration status to the United States.

 

Residency & age

Your age and residency determination

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

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

Evidence for Colorado Residency Considerations

Physical presence and evidence of intent establish your domicile in Colorado. There is no formula or checklist to follow in establishing a residence. Generally, physical presence plus one connection with the state (such as a driver's license) is insufficient to establish a residence.

  • Physical presence
  • Evidence of intent
  • Financial emancipation
  • Residency & age
Physical presence

Physical presence is your actual permanent home and legal residence. The following may be considered as evidence of physical presence in Colorado:

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

The following may be considered as evidence that you do NOT have physical presence in Colorado:

  • Return to your former state of residence for a substantial period of time during the summer or during other periods when not enrolled as a student or between academic sessions.
  • Maintenance of a home in another state.
  • Prolonged absence from Colorado, except for military or government service or for temporary absences required by an employer.
Evidence of intent

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 prior to the start of the term. Proof that demonstrates evidence of intent, as specified by the residency statutes, may include all of the following:

  • Colorado driver's license or state ID
  • Colorado motor vehicle registration
  • Permanent, full-time, off-campus employment
  • Colorado voter registration
  • Payment of Colorado state income taxes as a Colorado resident
  • Ownership of residential property in Colorado

The following may be considered as evidence that you do NOT have intent:

  • Failure to pay 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
  • Registering the vehicle you operate in another state
  • Any other factor unique to the individual which tends to imply your permanent home and legal residence is in another state

Intent is demonstrated by several kinds of connections with the state dated one year prior to the beginning of classes. There is no formula or checklist to follow in establishing domicile. Generally, physical presence plus one connection with the state will not be sufficient to establish domicile. Several connections are necessary, and the more connections that are made, the greater chance a person has of qualifying for residency. Any connections maintained with any other state during the 12-month period for establishing domicile may be viewed as negative intent to make Colorado one’s permanent home.

Financial emancipation

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 Admission Office 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
Residency & age

Your age and residency determination

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

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

Questions

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