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

In general for tuition purposes, 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.

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.

Jump to Border-State residents section.
Jump to Military section.

Determining residency

View Texas Administrative Code §21.24 for full details.

Important: Qualifying Texas residents can be classified as nonresidents based on the information they provide on their applications.

When you apply for admission, SFA uses information you provide on the admissions application to make an initial determination about residency. Make sure you answer each question of the residency section completely and accurately. This determination will remain on your student record and continue each semester in which you are enrolled. 

Getting notified of your determined residency status

Once admitted to SFA, you'll be notified if you're classified as a nonresident and provided instructions regarding how to request a review if you feel this classification is an error. Make sure your email and postal mailing addresses are correct on your admission application. The earlier you can identify a possible mistake, the easier it will be to correct. You are responsible for your residency classification and subsequent tuition rates and payments.

If you believe you're incorrectly classified, view the requesting reclassification information.

Establishing residency

In some cases, responses to questions on the application show that the student may meet requirements to establish residency through one of the following methods.

High School Graduation

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. and to some non-U.S. citizen students. 


To establish residency through high school graduation, you must:

  1. graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas
  2. live in Texas for the 36 months immediately before high school graduation
  3. and live in Texas for the 12 months immediately before the census date (usually the 12th class day) of the semester in which you enroll at SFA.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen student seeking residency through high school graduation, you must meet the three requirements above and submit a notarized residency affidavit to

Establishing Domicile

This option for establishing Texas residency is available to:

  • citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
  • and international students who possess an eligible visa.

If you're independent for tax purposes, you may gain resident status if you establish domicile in the state. If your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) claim you as a dependent on their federal income tax return, they must establish domicile in the state for you to claim residency.

To establish domicile, you or your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) must meet the following criteria:

  • Live in Texas for 12 consecutive months.
  • Establish and maintain domicile for 12 consecutive months, as evidenced by:
    • gainful employment in Texas (student jobs do not qualify as gainful employment)
    • sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas by you or your parent, having established and maintained a domicile at the residence
    • ownership and operation of a business in Texas
    • or marriage for one year to a person who has established domicile in Texas.

Students with a permanent resident ID

Students with a permanent resident ID are usually coded as a nonresident until a copy of their permanent resident card is received.

Submit a copy of your permanent resident card by:

  • emailing it to
  • or uploading it through your mySFA account:
    1. Log in to mySFA.
    2. Select "Future Lumberjacks" from the menu.
    3. Click the "Check Admission Status" link.
    4. Scroll to the "Upload Materials" section and select "MISC" from the dropdown options.
    5. Upload your file and click "Submit."

Once the Office of Admissions receives this proof of permanent residence status, your records will be updated.

Additional residency situations

Border-state residents

Students from Louisiana are considered border-state residents and can receive a waiver to be charged border-state tuition rates.

Additional documentation is required. To receive this waiver, you must submit a copy of your driver's license or state ID along with the notarized oath of residency form. If you have any questions, contact the Office of Admissions at or call 936.468.1285.


Members of the United States Armed Services whose Home of Record with the military is Texas are presumed to be Texas residents, as are their spouses and dependent children.

A member whose Home of Record is not Texas but who provides Leave and Earnings Statements that show the member has claimed Texas as their place of residence for the 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment is presumed to be a Texas resident, as are their spouse and dependent children. Email your statements to Note: Income can be redacted.

A member who did not select Texas as their Home of Record when they entered the service, and who has not taken steps to change their permanent residence with the military to Texas, may still qualify for a waiver under Texas statutes. Contact for more information.

Requesting reclassification

You may provide supporting documentation to show you or your parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have met the requirements to be classified as a Texas resident if:

  • information on your application for admission resulted in an incorrect classification
  • or your domicile situation has changed and you're now eligible for Texas residency.

Important: Your residency classification will not update automatically. It will remain unchanged until the proper documentation is processed.

To reclassify your residency status, email a completed core residency questionnaire with the supporting documentation to no later than the first day of classes of the term in which you're seeking reclassification. Any residence status changes after the census day will apply to the following term.

Review process

The Office of Admissions will review your documentation and additional information or documents may be requested. The decision of the Office of Admissions is final.

Keep in mind that the review time period may vary and you are responsible for payment of any tuition and fees due during this time.

Exemptions, waivers and financial aid

If you are correctly classified as a nonresident of Texas, you may qualify for certain tuition exemptions and waivers. All students also are encouraged to explore different aid options.