Residency Classification for Tuition Purposes
Important information for Residency Applicants:
Enrollment at any community college, college or university in the State of Nebraska during the 12 months prior to the term for which residency is sought can adversely affect your eligibility. Transcripts from each institution will need to be provided before a final residency decision can be made.
Qualifying for residency for tuition purposes at the University of Nebraska differs from what is normally required to be considered a 'resident' of the State of Nebraska. A person may be considered a 'resident' of Nebraska for most intent and purposes and still be Non-Resident for Tuition purposes.
The Office of Graduate Studies makes an initial residency determination based on information provided by the student on the application and other relevant information. Any student who has lived in the state of Nebraska for 18 months or less, or provides any information that indicates that he / she is possibly not a Nebraska resident for tuition purposes, will be admitted as a non-resident and will need to apply to change his / her status.
It is the student's responsibility to contest the initial residency decision and meet all appropriate deadlines if they feel the initial determination was wrong. The burden of proof lies solely with the student.
Mere physical presence in the State of Nebraska, regardless of length of stay, is NOT adequate to prove residency for tuition purposes. Likewise, owning property in the state will NOT result in automatic residency approval.
All applicants for admission to the University of Nebraska should be aware that recent arrivals to the state may be classified as residents for most intents and purposes and still be non-residents for tuition purposes under University of Nebraska Board of Regents residency policy (revised 1994). Therefore, when first applying for admission, all students who did not graduate from a Nebraska high school or who have not lived in Nebraska for a period of time long enough to determine resident status may be considered non-residents until evidence is shown of having completed all requirements for resident tuition.
A change in resident status for tuition purposes is not granted automatically. Students who have been classified as non-residents must submit Applications for Residence Classification and all applicable support documentation before resident status can be determined. A student applying for residence will be required to have established a home in Nebraska at least 12 months immediately preceding the term or semester for which residence status is sought. Any individual who has moved to Nebraska primarily to enroll in a post-secondary institution in Nebraska will be considered a non-resident for tuition purposes for the duration of his/her attendance. The University reserves the right to question and/or request a residency application and supporting documentation from any individual who wishes to be considered for resident tuition status.
Students who have been classified as non-residents but believe they qualify for resident status should review the various categories outlined in the residency application. After determining the appropriate category, each applicant should:
Complete and submit an Application for Residency Classification
Provide photocopies of appropriate support documentation
Submit the application and all supporting documents to the graduate or undergraduate office as appropriate within the published time period.
Note: Merely changing residence / address information on any other University form will not change your resident status.
What are the residency deadlines?
Although it is highly recommended to submit the residency application and all supporting documents prior to the start of classes, the last day to apply and submit documentation for residency is the end of the third week of the semester for which residency is sought (Fall and Spring Semesters only). For summer sessions, the application deadline is the end of the first week of classes for the session student is enrolled in.
The last day to qualify for residency is the last day of the registration 'add period.' All students must register and enroll in classes for the term in which residency is sought. Failure to register for the term in which residency is sought will result in the cancellation of the residency application. Please see the Application for Residency in the Forms, Policies, and Conditions page for more information.
Applications determined to be incomplete after the last day to apply will be voided. To apply for a subsequent semester or term, one must submit a new application and provide appropriate updated support documentation.
What regulations determine residency?
Students' rights to become residents for tuition purposes at the University of Nebraska are determined according to provisions of the Nebraska Revised Statutes (re issued 1987). In accordance with these statutes, the University has been authorized to develop regulations and to make decisions regarding Nebraska residence for tuition purposes. These regulations provide the basis upon which the Director of Admissions, Director of Graduate Studies, and the Residency Committee determine whether students qualify as Nebraska residents for tuition purposes.
Individuals seeking residence for tuition purposes will be required to have their applications signed before a notary public attesting to the accuracy of their statements (Section IV, Affidavit of Intent of Application). If it is subsequently determined that information on an application has been falsified, the applicant may be subject to disciplinary action by the University before the individual will be permitted to continue to enroll at the University. Such disciplinary action will be determined on an individual basis, and may include measures such as disciplinary probation or suspension, expulsion from the University, or reimbursement to the University for the difference between the tuition paid and the non-resident tuition rate.
What is the difference in tuition costs?
The tuition rate is set by the Board of Regents. For more information, please click here to view the current tuition rates through the Student Accounts / Cashiering Office.
Individuals who believe they have incorrectly been denied residency for tuition purposes may appeal that decision. They can contact the Gail Drelicharz, Admissions Counselor, 402.554.3082 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on how to appeal to the Residency Committee.
For the purpose of these regulations, the following definitions shall apply:
Resident Fees: The resident tuition rate as set by the Board of Regents applicable to the academic program in which an individual intends to enroll.
Non-resident Fees: The non-resident tuition rate as set by the Board of Regents and applicable to the academic program in which an individual intends to enroll.
Legal Age Dependent: The age of majority (19 to 24) set by Nebraska statute.
Emancipated Minor: An individual who by virtue of marriage or financial status has become independent of his or her parent(s) or guardian as defined by Nebraska statutes (for clarification contact the Office of Admissions).
Established Home: The place of abode in Nebraska that an individual continuously maintains a primary place of residence and where he/she is habitually present.
Legal Residence: The place of domicile or permanent abode as distinguished from temporary residence.
Dependent: A person who is claimed as a dependent or an exemption for federal income tax purposes by a parent, guardian or spouse.
What are the different categories I can apply under?
The following categories are all sections in which a student may be eligible to apply to change his / her residency status. For more information on the documentation needed for each category, please refer to the UNO Application for Residence Classification for Tuition Purposes.
A. Legal Age or Emancipated Minor: A person of legal age (19 or older) or an emancipated minor who for a period of 12 months has established a home in Nebraska where he or she is habitually present, and shall verify by documentary proof that he or she intends to make Nebraska his or her permanent residence. An emancipated minor is a person who by virtue of marriage, financial status or other reasons, has become independent of his or her parents or guardians. NOTE: An individual who moves to Nebraska primarily to enroll in a post-secondary institution in Nebraska will be considered a non-resident for tuition purposes for the duration of his or her attendance. Additionally, an individual claiming Nebraska resident status under this category will NOT be granted such a determination is he or she has claimed resident status in any other state within the last 12 months.
B. Dependent Minor: A minor (less than 19 years of age) whose parent/guardian has established a home in Nebraska where they are habitually present with the bona fide intention of making Nebraska their permanent place of residence. There is no minimum period of residence for the parent/guardian under this category.
C. Legal Age Dependent: A person of legal age (19 to 24) who is a dependent for federal income tax purposes of a parent/legal guardian who has established a home in Nebraska. There is no minimum period of residence for the parent/guardian under this category.
D. Married to a Nebraska Resident: A person shall be required to verify that he/she is married to an individual who, prior to the marriage, had already established a home in Nebraska. There is no minimum period of residence for the applicant under this category, but the spouse must meet residency requirements described in Category A.
E. Asylee, Refugee or Permanent Resident Alien: A person who has applied for or been granted permanent residency or has applied for or been granted asylee or refugee status and has established a home in Nebraska for a period of at least 12 months of non-educational purposes.
F. University or State College Staff Member or Dependent/Spouse: A staff member or the dependent or spouse of a staff member of the University of Nebraska, one of the Nebraska state colleges, or one of the community colleges. The employee must be PERMANENT and have at least part-time (.5 FTE) employment status.
G. Active Duty Military, active duty National Guard and/or Dependents: A person on active duty with the armed services of the United States of America who has been assigned a permanent duty station in Nebraska, or the spouse or dependent of an individual who has been assigned permanent duty station in Nebraska. A person who is a dependent of a Nebraska resident on active military duty will be granted resident tuition status if he/she verifies that he/she is a spouse or a dependent for federal income tax purposes of an individual meeting the qualifications.
H. Nebraska High School Graduate: A person who has reestablished a home in Nebraska, is a graduate of an accredited Nebraska high school, and was a legal resident of Nebraska at the time of graduation. There is no minimum period of residence for the individual under this category.
I. Former University/State College Resident Student: A person who has been enrolled at the University of Nebraska or one of the Nebraska state colleges as a resident for tuition purposes, and re enrolls within two (2) years of the last date of enrollment. There is no minimum period of residency for the individual under this category.
J. Native Americans: A person not residing in Nebraska who is a member of a Native American tribe that is indigenous to or has historically migrated to or from the State of Nebraska. A list of these tribes is available from the Office of Admissions.
K. Recruited or Transferred Employees: Individuals who, because of their special talents and skills, were recruited to Nebraska for full-time employment in the state, or were transferred to Nebraska by a business entity, and the spouses or dependents of such individuals are exempted from the 12 months domicile rule. There is no minimum period of residence for the individual under this category.
L. Nebraska High School Graduate - Veteran: A person who has served with the military who has been honorably discharged, is a graduate of a Nebraska high school, and has established a home in Nebraska with the intent to make Nebraska a permanent residence. There is no minimum period of residence for the individual under this category.
M. Military Veteran of Dependent/Spouse: A person who has served the military and who has been off active duty for two (2) years or less, or a dependent or spouse of such veteran, if the person is registered to vote in Nebraska and demonstrates objective evidence of intent to be a resident of Nebraska. There is no minimum period of residence for the individual under this category.
Please refer to the UNO Application for Residence Classification for Tuition Purposes for information on providing the following documentation.
Documentation 1: Proof of Home
Current lease agreements
Canceled checks for rent
Documentation showing residence in a home owned in Nebraska
Other notarized documentation approved by UNO's residence officer
Documentation 2: Supporting Documentation
Nebraska driver's license
Nebraska voter's registration (voter's registration card or certificate)
Nebraska bank account (voided personal check or bank statement)
Nebraska vehicle registration (pink slip, NOT title)
Employment showing Nebraska state income tax withheld (most recent pay stub showing name and Nebraska employer)
Nebraska state income tax return for the most current year (or W-2 form with latest paycheck showing state income tax withheld.)
Proof of Dependent and/or Spouse Status
If an individual is trying to qualify for residency status based upon dependent or spouse status, documentation proving this status must be provided. Dependent of a parent/guardian must provide a signed copy of the parent's/guardian's most recent federal income tax return as proof that the applicant is a dependent. If applying based upon spouse's status, a copy of the marriage certificate must be provided.
Affidavit of Intent
The affidavit must be signed in the presence of a notary. See Section IV of the Residency Application.
Additional Information Request
This form (see below) is often completed by the applicant in addition to the standard application and documentation. It often helps the residency committee to make a more informed decision regarding the residency status of applicants.
What if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Students who have applied for or have been granted U.S. Permanent Residency, Asylee, or Refugee statuses are eligible apply for residency under Category E – Non-U.S. Citizens. Students applying under this category are still expected to have met the 12 month requirement. Enrollment at any community college, college or university in the State of Nebraska during the 12 months prior to the term for which residency is sought can adversely affect your eligibility.
In 2006, the Nebraska state legislature passed a law that grants resident tuition to Nebraska High School graduates who do not hold official U.S. status and meet certain requirements. For more information, please view Nebraska High School Graduate seeking permanent Residency under our policies section.
What if I can’t qualify for residency?
If a student does not qualify for residency for tuition purposes there are several programs to defray the cost of Non-Resident tuition. These programs are listed in our section on Residency programs.
The Nebraska State Income Tax credit applies to any non-resident student who works in Nebraska and pays Nebraska income taxes. Students may also use their parents' tax liability if they are claimed as a dependent on their parents' Federal Tax Return, or in the case of divorce/custody situations they may still be eligible if they can provide sufficient documentation supporting residence with the Nebraska taxpayer. For more information, please see http://cashiering.unomaha.edu/tax.php
The Metropolitan Advantage Program (MAP) at the University of Nebraska Omaha offers residents of Cass, Crawford, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Shelby and Woodbury counties the opportunity to attend UNO graduate programs at a special reduced tuition rate.
The University of Nebraska Omaha participates in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), an interstate initiative established by the Midwestern Higher Education Commission to increase educational opportunities for students in its member states. Participating states include Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
This program enables residents from these 9 states to enroll in participating institutions at reduced tuition levels. Tuition for MSEP students attending participating public institutions is equal to no more than 150% of the regular in-state tuition rate.
Participating states include Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin. You must be enrolling as a non-resident student at a participating MSEP campus to receive the discount.
The Nebraska Legacy Scholarship provides the differential between in-state and out-of-state tuition to incoming freshmen that are children of University of Nebraska graduates. Students eligible for review must rank in the upper one-third of their graduating class or have a minimum ACT composite of 24 or higher(or equivalent on the SAT). The scholarship is renewable for up to four years. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information on how to apply.