UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Residency For Tuition Purposes

Upon admission students are classified as residents or non-residents. Residency for tuition purposes is based upon standards set forth in Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2), which govern resident status for tuition purposes. These standards are different from other standards used to determine residency for voting, paying taxes, and other purposes. Therefore, it is important that you understand the Wisconsin statute governing resident status for tuition purposes and how it may apply to you.

Resident Status Review Form

Residence Frequently Asked Questions

General Residency for Tuition Purposes Information

Initial residency determinations for tuition purposes at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls are made by the Registrar's Office, based on the provisions of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) which governs residency status for tuition purposes. In general, you must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least 12 months prior to enrollment to be eligible for in-state tuition.

Please be aware that there has been a change to Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2). Section (cr), the provision that provided an exemption from non-resident tuition for a "person who is a citizen of a country other than the United States," has been repealed, effective July 1, 2011. Therefore, the exemption from non-resident tuition based on Section (cr) is no longer available to any student.

If you do not qualify as a Wisconsin resident, you will be assessed non-resident tuition. In determining residency status for tuition purposes, different standards are used than those which may be used for voting, paying taxes, etc. Individuals who come to Wisconsin primarily for educational purposes do not automatically qualify as Wisconsin residents for tuition purposes, even after living in Wisconsin 12 months or more.

Please note: if you have been classified as a non-resident because you a) did not claim residency or b) did not submit all information requested by our office, your non-resident tuition status will remain in effect and you will be assessed the non-resident tuition fees. If the documentation necessary to re-evaluate your non-resident tuition status is not submitted to our office by the last class day of the term for which you are requesting exemption from non-resident tuition, your residency status will not be re-evaluated for that term. After the term in question is over, you cannot submit documentation to change your residency status for that term.

Further, if you are classified as a resident for tuition purposes and are notified that your resident tuition classification will NOT be finalized until our office receives additional information in the future (such as tax documentation), and if you do not submit the requested documentation by the given deadline, your status will be changed to non-resident, and you will be retroactively assessed the non-resident tuition rate for the term in question and for any subsequent terms.

Remember: it is your responsibility to read and respond to all official correspondence from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, whether it is sent electronically or hard copy.

For additional information beyond what is outlined here, please email registrar@uwrf.edu.

What if I'm a graduate from a Wisconsin High School and I have parents who reside permanently in Wisconsin?

See Section c of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

If you graduated from a Wisconsin high school and one or both of your parents have lived continuously as bona fide residents in Wisconsin for at least the twelve months prior to the beginning of any term for which you enroll at University of Wisconsin-River Falls, or your last surviving parent was a bona fide resident of the State for the year before death, your classification is resident under Section (c) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2). There is no age limitation on claiming residence under this section of the Statute.

To claim legal Wisconsin residence for tuition purposes under the provisions of Section (c) of the Statute, you should check "yes" for the question on the application asking whether you claim Wisconsin residence, then complete the information requested regarding your high school, city, state and date of graduation, as well as the information about your parents' residence. Your residence status will be determined by the Office of the Registrar at University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

 

What if I am a minor?

See Section (a)(4) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

If you are a minor and have resided substantially in Wisconsin during your years of minority (while under the age of 18), and at least the full year before your enrollment, you will be classified as a resident student for tuition purposes. The Registrar's Office may contact you for further information regarding your residence.
 

What if I am a minor under guardianship in this state?

See(a)(5) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

According to the Statute governing residence for tuition purposes, a minor who is under guardianship in Wisconsin pursuant to ch. 48 or 880, Wisconsin Statutes, is entitled to exemption from nonresident tuition, provided the guardian has been officially appointed by a Judge of a Wisconsin court of record and has been a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least 12 months immediately prior to the minor's registration at the University.

If you are under guardianship of a Wisconsin resident and meet the criteria above, the Registrar's Office will contact you and your guardian to request further documentation.

In order for you to remain eligible for exemption from nonresident tuition, you need to demonstrate your intention to become a bona fide resident of Wisconsin when you become an adult.

 

What if I am claimed as a tax dependent of a parent and have a parent who resides in Wisconsin?

See Section (a)(3) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

You may qualify as a resident in accordance with Section (a)(3) of the Statute if:

1. One of your parents is a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least the twelve months prior to the beginning of any semester, and

2. You are claimed as a tax dependent for Federal income tax purposes by one of your parents, and

3. You will continue to be claimed as a dependent by one of your parents.

On your application to University of Wisconsin-River Falls, you should claim legal Wisconsin residence. The Registrar's Office will contact you to obtain additional information.

If you have a parent who moved to Wisconsin because of their employment and you are a tax dependent of that parent, you may meet the qualifications for residency under Section (cm) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2). For further information and requirements go to the next question.

 

What if I or my parents or my spouse recently moved to Wisconsin because of employment?

See Section (cm) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

If you have moved to Wisconsin to engage in full-time employment, you and your spouse at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and dependents may be exempt from nonresident tuition in the University of Wisconsin System.

Section (cm) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) allows the following persons--and their spouses and dependents--to qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition immediately upon moving to Wisconsin, without having to wait a twelve month period to be eligible to be classified as a resident:

1. Individuals who have been relocated to Wisconsin for employment purposes by their current employer and who remain continuously employed full-time by that employer.

2. Individuals who accepted their current full-time employment with a new employer before moving to Wisconsin and before filing an application for admission to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. In addition, such individuals must have moved to Wisconsin for employment purposes and must have remained continuously employed full-time by that same employer since their arrival in order to continue to qualify under this section of the Statute.

If you are not a United States citizen, you must be on a visa which permits indefinite residence in the United States by the time you enroll at University of Wisconsin-River Falls to qualify for residence under Section 36.27(2)(cm).

When the Registrar's Office receives your application for admission from your admitting office, indicating you are claiming residence, you will be asked to provide additional documentation.

 

What if I am not a citizen of the United States?

See Section (e) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, in general, you need to be in possession of a visa that permits indefinite residence in the United States, or have been approved as a Permanent Resident of the United States for the twelve months immediately prior to the beginning of your intended term of enrollment and qualify for residency under some part of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) in order to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes at the UW-River Falls. See the Statute for categories where the durational twelve months is not required.

Visas which allow individuals to be considered for residence for tuition purposes include the H-1 and related H-4, E, K, and certain L visas as well as asylees. A student on one of these visas is not required to affirm a domicile in his/her country of origin.

A student who holds a visa such as the F, J, M, TN, TD and B, has as a condition of the visa, a requirement to affirm a permanent and unrelinquishable domicile in another country, and is not eligible to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes at the University.

Providing you are on a visa which allows indefinite residence in the United States, your residence for tuition purposes will be determined in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2).

 

What if I moved to Wisconsin as a refugee?

An exception to residing in Wisconsin for twelve months prior to enrollment applies if you are a student on refugee status as defined under 8 USC 1101(a)(42); you moved to Wisconsin immediately upon arrival in the United States; and you have resided in this State continuously since moving here. If you are in this situation, you need to demonstrate intent to establish and maintain a permanent home in Wisconsin according to the criteria under Section (e) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2).

You will be asked to provide additional documentation regarding your refugee status after the Registrar's Office receives your application for admission from your admitting office.

 

What if I am a member of the military?

See Section (b) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

Under Section (b)1 of the Statute, you may be exempt from the non-resident portion of tuition at University of Wisconsin-RIver Falls if you are a member of the Armed Forces stationed in Wisconsin on active duty, or if you are the spouse or child of a person in the military under those conditions. If you believe you can qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition under Section (b)1, upon notification of admission to this University, please submit a set of official orders verifying that you, your spouse, or your parent is stationed in Wisconsin at the present time to: Registrar's Office 105 North Hall. A determination of prospective eligibility for the tuition exemption will be made and you will be notified of your status. If it appears that you can qualify, you will be advised of the procedures you should follow, prior to your payment of fees, to have your fee assessment adjusted to reflect resident rates.

Under Section (b)2 of the Statute, you may be able to pay tuition at the resident rate even though your legal classification will remain nonresident at University of Wisconsin-River Falls, if you are a member of the Armed Forces stationed on active duty within 90 miles of the borders of this state, but are residing in Wisconsin, or if you are the spouse or child of a person in the military under those conditions. If you believe you can qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition under Section (b)2, upon notification of admission to this University, please submit a set of official orders verifying that you, a spouse or parent is stationed in Wisconsin at the present time to: Registrar's Office 105 North Hall. A determination of prospective eligibility for the tuition exemption will be made and you will be notified of your status. If it appears that you can qualify, you will be advised of the procedures you should follow, prior to your payment of fees, to have your fee assessment adjusted to reflect resident rates.

Under Section (b)3 of the Statute, you may be able to pay tuition at the resident rate if you were a member of the Armed Forces for at least 10 years, honorably discharged from such service within 4 years before application to the University, and filed Wisconsin state income tax returns for at least 8 of the last 10 years of active duty, or you are the spouse or child of a person under those conditions.

Under Section (b)4 of the Statute, you may be able to pay tuition at the resident rate if you were a resident of this state at the time of entry into active duty, and are a resident when registering, and are a veteran as defined in s. 45.01(12).

Qualification for Wisconsin State veteran benefits is determined by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA). If you feel you may qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition under this law, you must apply to the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA, 30 West Mifflin Street, Madison or 608-266-1311) for determination of eligibility for veteran benefits, or you can apply through your County Veterans Service Office.

 

What about Minnesota-Wisconsin Reciprocity?

A tuition reciprocity agreement exists between Wisconsin and Minnesota. This agreement stipulates that residents of Minnesota can attend Wisconsin institutions in approved programs and be assessed the approved reciprocity tuition rate, plus segregated fees assessed all students. Students in the professional programs of the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, however, are not covered under the reciprocity program.

Minnesota residents must apply to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MOHE) for verification of their eligibility for reciprocity. The deadline for filing an application in Minnesota is the last day of classes at University of Wisconsin-River Falls in the term for which you wish to receive reciprocity status. A certification year runs from the beginning of the fall Term and extends through the end of the following summer term. Reciprocity will be automatically renewed for a subsequent academic year for students who met the following conditions during the spring term of the previous academic year: enrolled for credit courses at University of Wisconsin-River Falls, remained enrolled beyond the 100% adjustment period, and paid reciprocity tuition. Students need to reapply for reciprocity if they were not enrolled at all during an academic year, or were enrolled but did not take advantage of reciprocity tuition because of an assistantship or third party payment contract.

At University of Wisconsin-River Falls, students not certified prior to the date tuition is due must either pay at the nonresident rate and receive an appropriate refund upon certification by MOHE, or delay payment until certification is issued and pay an appropriate late payment fee.

Minnesota residents who wish to take advantage of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement should apply for certification as a Minnesota resident to:

 

Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
(651) 642-0567 or 1-800-657-3866
https://www.ohe.state.mn.us/ssl/reciprocity/apply1.cfm


Wisconsin residents who wish to take advantage of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement should apply for certification as a Wisconsin resident to:

Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board Reciprocity Program
P.O. Box 7885
Madison, WI 53707-7885
(608)267-2209
http://heab.state.wi.us

What if I or my family leaves Wisconsin?

If you are a minor and your parents move out of the state during the 12 months prior to your enrollment at University of Wisconsin-River Falls, you will be classified as a nonresident unless you have lived in Wisconsin during a substantial portion of your life and for the full year before enrollment. If your parents move out of the state, you are 18 or older, and you are living in the state of Wisconsin and maintaining your legal ties, you can retain your resident status for tuition purposes in your own right.

If you are 18 or older and move out of the state with your parents, you generally will be considered a nonresident.

If you are enrolled at University of Wisconsin-River Falls and you are in such a situation, come to the Registrar's Office 105 North Hall and ask to file an affidavit declaring your intent to retain Wisconsin residence. This documentation will be placed in your permanent file.

If you are a student at University of Wisconsin-River Falls participating in a Year Abroad Program, or will be temporarily employed outside of the state for a period of time, and you choose to retain your residency, please contact the Registrar's Office regarding how you may maintain bona fide residence in Wisconsin while being temporarily out of the state. You may contact the Registrar's Office: 715-425-3342; 105 North Hall, 410 S. 3rd Street, River Falls WI 54022; registrar@uwrf.edu

What if I am a nonresident and take a year off of school?

See Sections (a)1 and (e) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2)

If you are a nonresident student you may discontinue enrollment for a twelve-month period to establish bona fide residence in Wisconsin for tuition purposes, and you must fulfill the criteria in Section (e) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2), including timely filing of a Wisconsin income tax return of a type only a full-year Wisconsin resident may file, voter registration, motor vehicle registration, possession of a Wisconsin operator's license, place of employment, self-support, involvement in community activities, and physical presence in Wisconsin for at least 12 months before classes begin. Also, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you must be in possession of a visa that permits indefinite residence in the United States.

When you submit an application for readmission to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, check the "Yes" box regarding residency, even if the 12 months has not passed when you reapply. This will alert the Registrar's Office of your intent, and they will write for further information.

 

What if I am a nonresident - will I ever become a resident?

If you enter and remain in Wisconsin principally to attend an educational institution during the twelve months you are attempting to establish bona fide residence in Wisconsin, you are presumed to continue to reside outside the state. This presumption remains in effect until you are able to demonstrate you have overcome the presumption with clear and convincing evidence of bona fide residence in the state for the year next preceding a term for which you wish to enroll at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Wisconsin Statutes 36.27.(2) Section (e).

Generally, a student who enters Wisconsin to attend any educational institution will continue in the nonresident status until the student's reason for being in Wisconsin is clearly shown to be non-educational. Twelve months after the change in the student's reason for being in Wisconsin, the student may wish to inquire about appealing their nonresident status.

 

How do I appeal my nonresident status?

Initial residence determinations for tuition purposes at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls are made by the Admissions Office based on the provisions of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) which governs residence status for tuition purposes. In general, you must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least 12 months prior to enrollment to be eligible for in-state tuition.

If you still have questions about your residence classification after reading the extract of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2), or you feel that your classification is incorrect or that you have important extenuating or mitigating factors, you may contact the Registrar's Office and/or submit an Residence Status Review Form by the appropriate deadline.

It is our goal to make students residents whenever possible in accordance with the State law. While every student has the right to submit an appeal, a consultation with the Registrar's Office can help you determine whether moving forward with an appeal is a prudent decision. The office will provide guidance and will give a professional opinion about the likelihood of a successful appeal based on the circumstances of your situation. Having a clear understanding of the law and the appeals process could save you a good deal of time and energy.

Fall Appeal Deadline - August 1

Spring Appeal Deadline - January 1

What happens after I submit an appeal?

Once the Registrar's Office receives your completed Residence Status Review Form, your enrollment for the term of your appeal will be verified and the Residency Appeals Committee will conduct a hearing.

The Residency Appeals Committee is the hearing body which considers the appeals for exemption from nonresident tuition. The Committee meets on call of the chair to hear and deliberate the appeals submitted in accordance with the provisions of Ch. 20 UWS Administrative Code. The evidentiary portions of the hearings are open to the public unless the appellant requests a closed session. Deliberations of the Committee are always in closed session. Notice to the appellant will be in accordance with Chapter 227, Wisconsin Statutes. Students who appeal may rely on the written appeal affidavit and appropriate supporting documents as the basis for the Committee's review.

At the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Residency Appeals Committee is the final hearing agent for appeals for exemption from nonresident tuition. Cases will not be reheard following the Committee's decision unless there is a material error of fact or law, or significant evidence which could not have been discovered by due diligence on your part prior to the hearing and which could change the Committee's decision.  You can, however, contact the Registrar's Office to request a redetermination of your tuition status for any subsequent school term for which you register at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

What if my domestic partner came to Wisconsin to work at UW-River Falls?

An individual who moves to Wisconsin as a result of their domestic partner's full-time employment at the UW-River Falls, or an individual who is a dependent of someone who moved to Wisconsin as a result of their domestic partner's full-time employment at the UW-River Falls, may be eligible for up to a one-year remission of non-resident tuition. After one year of residence within the state of Wisconsin and after it is determined that the individual did not move here for educational purposes, the individual would be eligible to apply for in-state tuition under Wisconsin Statute 36.27(2).