How To Immediately Establish California Residency To Avoid Paying Tuition in Your Second Year

How to immediately establish California residency to avoid paying tuition in your second year

Like most American states, California gives tuition preference to its own residents for purposes of attendance at its state university. Out-of-state undergraduates and graduates at UCLA indeed must pay this tuition for their entire period of study. However, graduate students are considered by the University to be independent, and, after a stay of one year as non-residents, may become California residents and thus escape payment of non-resident tuition.

The amount of the non-resident tuition is very substantial: as of Fall 2020 it is $5034 per quarter, and the amount historically has increased over time.

If you are a “domestic” student (U.S. citizen or permanent resident) who was not already a resident of California at admission, the Linguistics Department will pay the nonresident tuition for you for a period of one academic year (three quarters).  However, this is the limit of our commitment.  If you do not manage to make yourself into a legal California resident by the beginning of Fall Quarter of your second year, you will be expected to pay the non-resident tuition yourself in order to remain in the program. The policy just stated is included in the offer letter you received at admission.

This means, of course, that the task of becoming a California resident should be undertaken with care, with strict attention to deadlines. This page is not the place to explain how this process works, but there are two chief resources on which you should rely:

Please feel very free to consult your SAO on your progress in becoming a California resident. Your SAO in turn can refer you to experts for the most tricky issues.

Leaves of absence

 Leaves of absence, medical or otherwise, will not be counted against the total of three quarters that the department will cover nonresident tuition for first-year out-of-state students, provided that the department is not paying nonresident tuition during such quarters. However, any extensions made for academic deadlines, such as completing coursework, will not increase the total number of NRT quarters awarded. In addition, as noted above, failing to become a California resident in your first year will not result in the Department giving you any additional quarters of NTR support.

 COVID Exceptions

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, regulations concerning qualification for exemption for nonresident tuition have been relaxed. Please keep in close contact with the Student Affairs Officer, to make sure you are updated with changing policy and do not receive an unanticipated tuition bill once the pandemic finally ends.