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Residency Requirements

Residency Determination
Tuition for attending Leeward Community College is based on whether you are a resident or non-resident of the State of Hawaii. Residency for tuition purposes is based on a specific set of regulations and not only on whether you live in the state. A condensed version of the residency regulations is included in the UH System Application Form.

Nonresident applicants must pay a $25.00 nonrefundable, nontransferable application fee. See International Programs for details.

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in Hawaii, on active military duty, and their authorized dependents are exempt from this fee.

Admission Residency Regulations
Leeward Community College, like all public institutions of higher learning, has residency requirements for payment of resident tuition. These requirements are very complex, and students often have questions about their residency status as it applies to tuition. Hawaii state law has determined residency to be established by an independent adult, an emancipated minor, or a minor’s parents/guardian, who:

  • Has been physically present in the State of Hawaii for at least twelve months prior to the first day of the semester.
  • Has demonstrated an intent to make Hawaii a permanent residence/domicile.

Related Information:

Nonresidents: To Change Residency Status for Tuition Purposes
If you are currently a nonresident but have established permanent residency in Hawai‘i, you may petition for a change in residence status. Inquire at the Admissions and Records Office, room AD 220 (during renovations located at DH-A 108), for details and deadline information.

To apply for a change in residency status:

  • Complete the Leeward Community College Petition for In-State Tuition form and provide as much of the following information as possible. Any of the following documents can assist in determining your residency status:
    • Either a Tax Clearance Certificate from the Hawaii State Tax Office certifying the year(s) in which you filed Hawaii resident income tax returns or a copy of your last professionally prepared Hawaii State income tax return.
    • Affidavit of Hawaii Voter Registration.
    • An employment contract or letter verifying the dates of employment.
    • Copy of your parent’s/guardian’s latest Hawaii personal income tax forms.
    • Long-term lease, rental, or home purchase agreement.
    • Statement from public and/or private agencies attesting to your residency for a specific period of time.

Special Notice to Currently Enrolled Nonresident Students at All UH Campuses
All nonresident students who are newly admitted in the Fall 2005 semester, and thereafter, may be affected by a change in the University of Hawaii’s policy regarding nonresident status for tuition purposes. Nonresident students who enter any campus of the University of Hawaiʻi may not be allowed to change his/her residency status from nonresident to resident during any period in which he/she:

  • enrolled for 6 credits or more at any UH campus;
  • was absent from Hawaiʻi for more than 30 days per year during school vacation periods;
  • received student financial assistance based on residency in another state; or
  • was a dependent of nonresident parent(s) or legal guardian.

The newly-adopted policy is in accordance with Chapter 20-4-8, Hawaii Administrative Rules:

Presence in Hawaiʻi primarily to attend an institution of higher learning shall not create resident status. A nonresident student enrolled for six credits or more per term shall be presumed to be in Hawaiʻi primarily for educational purposes. Such period of enrollment shall not be counted toward the establishment of a bona fide domicile of one year in Hawaiʻi. A student may rebut this presumption of nonresidence if clear and convincing evidence is provided that the student has abandoned the student’s previous residence and has established a bona fide residence in Hawaiʻi primarily for purposes other than education.

To demonstrate the intent to make Hawaiʻi your legal residency, filing a Hawaiʻi resident personal income tax return is the primary indicia.

Appeals Concerning Residency Status
Each UH campus has one Residency Officer. Their determination is final and appealable only to a UH system committee composed of other Residency Officers that meets twice annually. If you would like to appeal the Residency Status determined for you, please contact the Admissions & Records Office at leeapply@hawaii.edu or at (808) 455-0642.