Campus Policy: Registration, Tuition and Fees
An official determination of residency status will be determined at the time of application. Students who do not qualify on the first day of instruction as bona fide residents of the state of Hawai’i, according to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, Title 20, Chapter 4, will pay the nonresident tuition. 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 or her enrollment.
A student is deemed a resident of the State of Hawaiʻi for tuition purposes if the student (18 years of age or older) or the student (under 18 years of age) and his/her parents or legal guardians have:
- Demonstrated intent to permanently reside in Hawaiʻi (see below for evidences);
- Been physically present in Hawaiʻi for the 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction, and subsequent to the demonstration of intent to make Hawaiʻi his/her legal residency; 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 legal residents of Hawaiʻi.
To demonstrate the intent to make Hawaiʻi your legal residency, the following evidence applies:
- Filing Hawaiʻi resident personal income tax return.
- Voting/registering to vote in the State of Hawaiʻi.
Other evidence, such as permanent employment and ownership or continuous leasing of a dwelling in Hawaiʻi, may apply, but no single act is sufficient to establish residency in the State of Hawaiʻi.
Other legal factors in making a residency determination include:
- In order to be considered as a resident for tuition purposes, you must be a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident alien for a period of 365 days/one (1) calendar year.
- The 365 days/one (1) calendar year “clock” begins when you take the first action demonstrating your intent to make Hawai‘i our permanent residence (i.e. start employment, register to vote, purchase property, or get a general excise tax license). Residence 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. A nonresident student enrolled for 6 credits or more during any term within the 12-month period is presumed to be in Hawai‘i primarily to attend college. Such periods of enrollment cannot be applied toward the physical presence requirement.
- The residency of unmarried students who are minors follows that of the parents or legal guardian. Marriage emancipates a minor.
- 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, provided that Hawai‘i is claimed and maintained as the person’s legal residence.
For more information about the Hawai‘i Administrative Rules Title 20, Chapter 4: can be found on the Determination of Residency as Applied to Tuition Purposes (PDF) and visit our General Catalog.
For information about exemptions from non-resident tuition and other programs, please visit the Residency page.