Texas Residency Requirements for In-State Tuition

Last Updated on May 25, 2024 by Team College Learners

Establishing Texas residency for in-state tuition can be a complex process that requires meeting specific requirements. In order to qualify for in-state tuition in Texas, students must have lived in the state for at least 36 months immediately before high school graduation, as well as 12 months immediately before the census date of the semester in which they enroll at a university.

The Texas Education Code allows anyone whose parents have established legal residence in Texas to be eligible for an in-state tuition classification. Residing in the state while attending a Texas college or university can save hundreds of dollars a semester. Even small amounts of time spent in the state can have an impact on one’s eligibility for in-state tuition. A short term visit is enough to establish eligibility, so consider living with parents or relatives while attending school.

In addition to meeting the residency requirements, students must also fulfill basic admission requirements in order to be considered for admission to a university in Texas. This may include submitting high school transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Each university may have specific requirements, so it is important to check with the admissions office for the specific details.

The admission process for universities in Texas can vary, but generally students will need to complete an online application, submit required documents, pay an application fee, and possibly attend an interview or submit additional materials. Once all requirements are met, the admissions committee will review the application and make a decision on acceptance. It is important for students to carefully follow all instructions and deadlines in order to have the best chance of being admitted to their desired university.

What is Texas Residency?

Public colleges charge lower in-state tuition rates for state residents, typically saving them one-third to two-thirds off of the cost of out-of-state tuition. The out-of-state tuition rates charged to non-residents are thousands of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars more expensive. This gives out-of-state students a strong financial incentive to try to qualify for in-state tuition.

Texas law classifies each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university as a resident of Texas, nonresident, or foreign (international) student.  This classification determines if a student will pay the in-state or out-of-state tuition rate.

There are many things you need to know about Texas residency requirements for in-state tuition and how to establish residency for in state tuition in Texas amongst others. You must have lived in Texas for 36 months immediately before high school graduation; and. Live in Texas for 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at the university (or another college or university).

Resident students are also eligible for other benefits such as being able to apply for financial aid awarded by the state and to take certain courses offered to resident students.




Residency RequirementDetails
Length of Residency
Must have lived in Texas for 36 months immediately before high school graduation
Recent Residency
Must live in Texas for 12 months immediately before the census date of the semester in which you enroll
Financial Aid Eligibility
Resident students can apply for financial aid awarded by the state
Course Opportunities
Resident students can take certain courses offered exclusively to them

Establishing Texas Residency

Under Texas state law, an applicant or enrolled student is classified either as a resident of Texas, a nonresident, or a foreign student. Residency for admission and tuition purposes at a public college or university in Texas is different from residency for voting or taxing purposes.

To qualify as a Texas resident, an individual must 1) reside in Texas for one year prior to enrollment and 2) establish a domicile in Texas prior to enrollment. An applicant or student who is claimed as a dependent on a parent’s most recent federal tax return will be classified based on the parent’s qualifications for residency.

Texas Residency Requirements for In-State Tuition

How to Qualify for In-State, Texas Resident Tuition

International students can qualify for in-state, resident tuition in many ways:

  • Senate Bill 1528 (attended 3 years of Texas High School)
  • Transferring from a Texas College/University where previously met state rules
  • Domicile-eligible immigration status AND 12 months of Texas residency based on self
  • Domicile-eligible immigration status AND 12 months of Texas residency based on parent (for eligible minors)
  • Mexican Waiver
  • Competitive UNT Scholarship of $1,000 or more
  • Employment Waiver for Faculty and Dependents
  • Employment Waiver for Teaching / Research Assistants, and Dependents
Establishing Texas Residency (And Helpful Links)

Residency Requirements

The University of Houston is a state university, meaning Texas residents and non-residents have different tuition rates. Residents of the state of Texas will be billed in-state tuition and non-residents will be billed out-of-state tuition.

Determining Residency

There must be conclusive evidence of a student’s intent to permanently establish domicile in Texas. Domicile means to live and maintain gainful employment in the State of Texas. Those wishing to change their residency status must show they have domiciled in the state of Texas for 12 months or more prior to the semester in which is being applied.

If the admissions application indicates you aren’t a U.S. citizen or permanent resident but that you may qualify for residency based on Texas high school graduation, you will be prompted to download and submit the Residency Affidavit. The form must be completed, signed, notarized and submitted to the university.

Residency Classification Review

Do you think you may qualify for residency in the state of Texas? If you believe you are incorrectly classified, take steps to correct the inaccuracy by submitting the Residency Questionnaire, along with supporting documents, to the Office of the Registrar.

Texas law classifies each person who applies for admission to a Texas public college or university as:

  • A resident of Texas;
  • A nonresident; or
  • A foreign (international) student.

How you’re classified is important because it determines whether you pay non-resident tuition rates or in-state rates, which are lower. Being a resident also qualifies you to apply for financial aid awarded by the state.

ut austin in state tuition requirements

Texas residents are eligible to pay lower in-state tuition rates and to apply for state financial aid.

In general, students are considered Texas residents if they graduated from a Texas high school and lived in Texas for at least 36 months before graduating from that school and 12 months before enrolling in a university; or if they established permanent residency at least 12 months before enrolling in a university.

in state tuition texas a&m

The chart below outlines the estimated cost of attendance for students at Texas A&M University College Station. Detailed information regarding tuition & fees at Texas A&M University College Station is available from Student Business Services. Tuition and fees vary by college and tuition rate code. Federal, state, and institutional aid cannot exceed this cost.

Estimated Cost of Attendance for College Station Undergraduate Students

2022 College Station Undergraduate Summer

College ExpensesResident*Resident at home
with Parents*
Non-Resident*
Tuition & Fees$2,496$2,496$7,984
Loan Fees323232
Housing & Meals3,8001,6173,800
Books & Supplies**333333333
Travel8338331,200
Personal Expenses1,1671,1671,167
Total$8,661$6,478$14,516

*Amounts are based on 6 credit hours per semester at Texas A&M University.
**Includes electronic-books (e-books), access to third-party online homework platforms and other resources

2022-2023 College Station Undergraduate Fall and Spring

College ExpensesResident*Resident at home
with Parents*
Non-Resident*
Tuition & Fees$13,012$13,012$40,896
Loan Fees646464
Housing & Meals11,5504,92811,550
Books & Supplies**1,0001,0001,000
Travel2,6002,6004,000
Personal Expenses3,8003,8003,800
Total$32,026$25,404$61,310

*Amounts are based on 15 credit hours per semester at Texas A&M University. Tuition and fees vary by college and tuition rate code. Visit the tuition website.
 **Includes electronic-books (e-books), access to third-party online homework platforms and other resources.

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