Residency for Tuition Purposes

Incoming or Returning Students

The initial determination of residency status is made by the institution during the admission process and is based on all information obtained. 

In making residency decisions, a determination is made as to whether a person is financially dependent or independent, with the assumption that a dependent person lacks the financial ability to live independently and cannot, therefore, establish permanent residency. If you are an incoming or returning student and have questions about residency, contact the appropriate Admissions Office.

Currently Enrolled Students

If you feel your residency classification is in error, or your status has changed, and you meet the qualifications for residency according to 13 KAR 2:045, you may request a review of your residency status by completing the residency affidavit. Students are responsible for providing clear and convincing evidence of residence and domicile. Every relevant factor is considered in determining residency status. All facts of residency and domicile must be documented and verifiable. 


Applying for a Change in Residency for Current Students

  1. Review the state policy on residency classification required for all KY state-supported postsecondary institutions.
  2. Review Murray State's policy on residency classification. 
  3. Review Frequently Asked Questions about residency classification. 
  4. After completing steps 1-3, if you feel you meet the qualifications for a residency change, complete the Residency affidavit. Read all the instructions carefully. Do NOT sign the front page until you are in front of a notary. The Office of the Registrar has a notary on-site.
  5. Gather copies of all the supporting documentation. The list of supporting documentation can be found at the end of the Residency Affidavit. TIP: Provide as much documentation as you can to prove the change in residency.
  6. Submit the affidavit and supporting documentation to the Office of the Registrar before the change of residency deadline - thirty (30) calendar days from the first day of the semester for which the application is being filed. See the Academic Deadlines for exact dates. 
  • Allow two (2) weeks for review of your affidavit and documentation.
  • Know the tuition deadline. Submitting a request for a residency change does not count as payment and will not extend the tuition deadline.
  • Denial of a residency change will not result in a 100% refund if you choose to remain enrolled in courses past the 100% published refund deadline.
  • Residency change decisions will not be applied to student accounts retroactively.
  • If additional information is needed, the Residency Officer will contact you via your MSU email. Please respond to any inquiries about your residency appeal within five (5) business days. If the Residency Officer does not hear from you, this may be a reason for automatic denial.
  • You will be notified of the official decision by mail.
  • Every student has the right to appeal through the Residency Review Committee. 
  1. The appeal of the initial determination of residency is reviewed by the University Registrar. If the decision is Kentucky, or appropriate region/state and county, the appeal is finalized. If the decision is nonresident, the student may submit a written request within fourteen (14) calendar days, to further appeal to the Residency Review Committee. 
  2. The Residency Review Committee reviews the determination made by the University Registrar. If the decision is Kentucky, or appropriate region/state and county, the appeal is finalized. If the decision is nonresident, the student may submit a written request, within fourteen (14) calendar days, to further appeal the determination made by the Residency Review Committee to the Office of the Provost for a formal institutional hearing. 
  3. The Office of the Provost shall administer a formal hearing to review the determination made by the University Registrar and the Residency Review Committee. The Provost will issue a final written decision to the student. The case is closed.

Residency FAQs

Q. How long do I have to live in KY to get in-state residency? (I've been living in Kentucky for 1 year. Do I qualify for in-state residency?)

A. Mere physical presence in KY doesn't automatically qualify someone for in-state residency. There are many factors the State of Kentucky requires in order to establish residency for tuition purposes. Many people live in Kentucky, including students from other countries, while going to school but have not established permanent residency in the state. Although certain presumptions about residency refer to a period of twelve (12)
months, there is no specific time limit for establishing residency and domicile for tuition and admission purposes. The student is responsible for providing convincing evidence that residency and domicile have been established pursuant to 13 KAR 2:045.

Q. What are the requirements for becoming a KY resident?

A. The State of KY regulates the determination of residency status for admission and tuition purposes for all public colleges and universities in the state. All persons seeking a change in residency status should read this regulation (13KAR:045). KY residency requires a preponderance of evidence supporting permanent residency in the state. State-supported postsecondary education institutions were established and are maintained by the Commonwealth of Kentucky primarily for the benefit of qualified residents of Kentucky. The substantial commitment of public resources to postsecondary education is predicated on the proposition that the state benefits significantly from the existence of an educated citizenry.

Q. How is the determination of residency made?

A. Residency determination is based on the student's (1) financial independence or dependence on parents/guardian, spouse, or other financial resources (aka loans, grants, financial aid), and (2) a preponderance of evidence supporting the permanent domicile of the student or parent/guardian or spouse.

New Admissions or Readmissions - For a newly admitted or readmitted student, residency status is determined by information provided on the admissions application, documents supplied, and other available information. The student should ensure that all pertinent information has been provided. The university will review the available information and determine the student's residency status based on state regulation. If the student then wishes to appeal that determination, a completed residency affidavit and required documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. 

Enrolled Student - A currently enrolled student who wishes to petition for Kentucky residency status must complete the official residency affidavit and provide all necessary documentation to the Office of the Registrar. Refer to the Academic Deadlines website. 

Q. What is the deadline to file a request for residency change?

A. The residency affidavit and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no more than thirty (30) days after the first day of class for the term for which the person is requesting a change in residency status. Tuition bill deadlines will be enforced. Classes could be purged for non-payment. Residency determination may be made after tuition is due. If residency is changed, the student's tuition bill will be adjusted and refunds may be generated, if applicable.

Q. What type of evidence is necessary to establish domicile or residency?

A. Each request for a change in residency should be supported with written documentation. The affidavit identifies several areas that are to be supported by documentation; as much documentation should be provided to support a residency claim. The required documentation is listed at the end of the residency affidavit. 

Q. If I have a KY driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration, and a lease, will I be considered a KY resident?

A. Although they are required as part of the supporting documentation for residency, due to the ease and convenience in completing these acts, they have limited value in a determination that a person is domiciled in and is a resident of Kentucky.

Q. If an affidavit is refused by the institution due to lack of necessary documentation, and the complete file is not resubmitted until after the thirty-day deadline, should the institution accept the application for that term?

A. No. However, the student should be informed that the application can be accepted for the following term.

Q. Is there a deadline for a student to submit additional documentation?

A. Yes. A student may supply additional documentation within five (5) business days after being contacted by the Residency Officer for more information. If the Residency Officer does not hear from the student, this may be reason for automatic denial. 

Q. What is the definition of full-time employment?

A. At least 48 weeks a year, with an average of at least 30 hours a week, constitutes full-time employment for tuition residency purposes in KY. In most cases, full-time
employment in KY for at least one year prior to enrolling full-time at Murray State University is required to establish KY residency.

Q. Can I apply for residency for other states besides Kentucky?

A. Yes. Murray State offers tuition discounts to students whose residency is in one of our regional states (see the Bursar's Office website for a list of regional states). The same rules and regulations apply to determining regional state residency as it does to determining Kentucky residency. The same residency affidavit and supporting documents must be provided. 

Q. What is the residency of a dependent student?

A. A dependent person’s residency is that of the parent(s)/legal guardian or spouse.

Q. My parents are divorced (or separated) and one parent lives in Kentucky. Although I was in custody of the parent living out of state, I would like to attend Murray State University as a Kentucky resident. Is this possible?

A. If you are a dependent student, you may take the resident status of either parent, regardless of which parent claims you for income tax purposes or has official custody. In this situation, it will be necessary for you to provide documentation to verify that your parent living in Kentucky is a resident according to Section 10 of the residency regulation.

Q. I'm a currently enrolled student and my parents are moving out of KY. Will my residency change?

A. A student's residency doesn't change as long as the student maintains continuous enrollment at the same degree level. Once continuous enrollment is broken and must be readmitted to the university or if the student changes degree levels, residency is reassessed.

Q. I am married to a KY resident. How do I change my residency to in-state?

A. Complete the residency affidavit and supply the required documentation based on your spouse's residency. 

Q. What must I do in order to be considered an independent person who can establish residency in Kentucky?

A. The student must submit documentation showing ability to provide the necessary financial resources to provide their own sustenance, as defined in 13 KAR 2:045, without dependence on student financial aid (grants, loans, federal work study, or aid) or financial help for any other person (except a spouse) and proof of not being claimed by a parent or other person (except for a spouse) as a dependent or as an exemption for federal and state tax purposes. A student is considered dependent if they enroll immediately in college following high school graduation and remain enrolled. Refer to 13 KAR 2:045 Section 5 for details.

Q. For financial aid eligibility purposes, the definition of independent status may be different from that for residency. Which definition is to be used for residency determination?

A. In cases where student financial aid information differs from that required for residency, follow the KY residency regulation in making residency determinations. The federal financial aid residency definition may differ from the state of KY regulation. 

Q. What is the residency of a person (or parent or spouse) in the military?

A. Residency information for members of the armed forces can be found in section 7 of the state regulation.

Q. How is residency status assessed for civilian employees of the military?

A. Residency guidelines for active military personnel do not apply to civilian employees of the military. Their residency is assessed the same as any other non-military individual.

Q. Is a member of a foreign military who is on temporary assignment for special training at a Kentucky military base eligible for residency?

A. No. 13 KAR 2:045 Sec. 7 refers to a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. Residency status for a member of a foreign military is to be assessed in the same manner as a non-military person. 

Q. How long after moving from Kentucky does it take to lose Kentucky residency status?

A. A person is presumed to lose Kentucky residency when steps are taken to establish domicile and residency in another state and/or after a one-year absence from the state unless the person can prove that Kentucky domicile and residency have been attained.

Q. How is it determined that a person has established domicile in another state?

A. The facts and conditions presumed in establishing domicile in Kentucky are the same as determining domicile elsewhere.

Q. What is the residency of a high school student whose parent is transferred out of state but the student remains in Kentucky to finish high school and attend college?

A. A recent high school graduate is presumed to be dependent and has the domicile and residence of the parent. Therefore, the student entering college under these circumstances is presumed to be a non-resident. 

Q. If a student attends a Kentucky high school but parents have resided in Kentucky for less than one year, what is the residency status of the student?

A. This depends on the reason the parents moved to Kentucky. The dependent student’s residence is the parent’s, and the parent must demonstrate residency according to the regulation.

Q. What is the residency status of the student if the student, or parents of the student, recently moved to Kentucky for employment reasons?

A. If there is documented evidence that the person received a job transfer to Kentucky, or came to Kentucky because of acceptance of full-time employment, the person(s) could be eligible for residency.

Q. What is the residency status of a student who graduated from an out-of-state high school, is independent of parents, and has resided in off-campus housing for at least 12 months?

A. If independent status has been documented, the student’s residency must be evaluated on the individual’s circumstance. The reason for coming to Kentucky, full-time attendance at a higher institution, and other facts must be considered.

Q. Can a person be a resident of Kentucky if they have resided in the state for less than one year?

A. Yes, depending on the reason for coming to Kentucky. The status of the person as a full-time or half-time student and other facts are considered, not necessarily the length of stay in KY. Mere physical presence in the state for one year is not sufficient evidence to establish domicile and residency for tuition purposes. 

Q. Does owning property, purchasing property for my child to live in while enrolled at MSU, owning a business, or working in Kentucky qualify a person for resident classification for tuition purposes, although the person has not been residing in Kentucky?

A. Owning property, operating a business in Kentucky, or working in Kentucky does not, by itself, qualify a person as a resident for tuition and admission assessment purposes. “Domicile” means a person’s true, fixed, and permanent home and is the place where the person intends to remain indefinitely. 

Q. How is residency assessed for an applicant for admission who graduated from a Kentucky high school, lived in Kentucky for at least twelve months, and holds a visa for which residency may be established?

A. Persons holding one of the visas for which residency may be established are able to establish residency the same as other individuals. If the person meets these criteria, they may be assigned KY residency. For a recent high school graduate who is presumed to be a dependent, residency is based on that of the parent.

Q. According to the previous interpretations, a non-citizen (resident alien) cannot extend residency to a non-resident spouse who is here under the F – Nonresident Alien Visa. Does this change in fact of marriage to a Kentucky resident override this fact?

A. No. The holder of an F Visa cannot obtain Kentucky residency by this means.

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