A Florida “resident for tuition purposes” is a person who has, or a dependent person whose parent or legal guardian has, established and maintained legal residence in Florida for at least twelve months. Residence in Florida must be as a bonafide domicile rather than for the purpose of maintaining a residence incident to enrollment at an institution of higher education. To qualify as a Florida resident for tuition purposes, you must be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident alien, or legal alien granted indefinite stay by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Other persons meeting the twelve-month legal residence requirement may be classified as Florida residents for tuition purposes only if they fall into one of the limited special categories authorized by the Florida Legislature and Florida Board of Education. All other persons are ineligible for classification as a Florida “resident for tuition purposes.” Living in or attending school in Florida will not, in itself, establish legal residence. Students who depend on out-of-state parents for support are presumed to be legal residents of the same state as their parents.
The determination of dependent or independent status is important because it is the basis for whether the student has to submit his/her own documentation of residency (as an independent) or his/her parent’s or guardian’s documentation of residency (as a dependent).
At least one item must be from this list:
Items listed below may be used in conjunction with one document from the above list:
A student, whether or not living with his or her parent, who is eligible to be claimed by his or her parent under the federal income tax code shall be classified as a dependent student.
Parent. “Parent” means either or both parents of a student, any guardian of a student, or any person in a parental relationship to the student.” [s. 1009.21(1)(f), F.S.]
In order to be considered a “qualifying child” or “dependent” for federal income tax code purposes, the following must be true:
Some individuals cannot be claimed as a dependent. Generally, a married person cannot be claimed as a dependent if they file a joint return with their spouse. Also, to claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year. There is an exception to this rule for certain adopted children. See IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information for additional tests to determine who can be claimed as a dependent.
A student who meets any one of the following criteria shall be classified as an independent student for the determination of residency for tuition purposes:
Evidence that the student meets one of these criteria will be requested by the higher education institution. A student who does not meet one of the criteria outlined in section 3.1 may be classified as an independent student only if he or she submits documentation that he or she provides more than fifty (50) percent of the cost of attendance for independent, in-state students as defined by the institution.