Residence for Tuition Purposes

Wisconsin Statute 36.27(2) governs resident status for tuition purposes. To be eligible for in-state tuition, a student must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least the 12 months immediately prior to enrollment, or must qualify as a resident for tuition purposes under one of the provisions in the Statutes that waives the 12-month requirement. In determining resident status for tuition purposes, standards are different from those used for voting, paying taxes, etc.

If students are classified as nonresident for tuition purposes, they do not automatically become residents for tuition purposes after residing in Wisconsin for one or more years. In cases where it appears the students have entered and remained in Wisconsin principally for educational purposes, a presumption is made that they continue to reside outside the state. The presumption of non-residence continues in effect until rebutted by clear and convincing evidence of bona fide residence.

Provisions of the statute under which a student may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes without waiting 12 months are:

  • The student is a graduate of a Wisconsin high school and has a parent who has been a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for the 12 months preceding the beginning of any term of enrollment or whose last surviving parent was a bona fide resident of this state for the 12 months preceding death;
  • The student, a spouse, or parent (of which they are claimed as a tax dependent), has moved to Wisconsin for a job transfer or for new employment that was accepted before moving and before the student applied to this university. The employment needs to continue full-time with the same employer, and the student needs to demonstrate an intent to establish and maintain their permanent home in Wisconsin;
  • One of the student’s parents is a bona fide resident of Wisconsin, and the student is a tax dependent of one of the parents.

Find more information about residence for tuition purposes and the full text of the applicable statute on the Office of the Registrar’s Residence for Tuition Purposes webpage. Students with questions about residence for tuition purposes, or who believe they should be a resident and would like to appeal the nonresident tuition status, may contact the Office of the Registrar’s Residence Counselors.