​Residency Procedures

Students only have up to a specified date to prove "Residency" (see dates below). Failure to clear up Residency status within that time frame will result with non-resident fees that the student is responsible for. We will no longer allow retroactive proofs of residency.

Deadlines to Prove Residency

  • Winter Session & Spring Semester: June 15 of that calendar year.
  • Summer Session & Fall Semester: December 15 of that calendar year.

How to Prove Residency

Acceptable and Unacceptable Proofs of Residency 

Residency for tuition purposes at a California Community College has three basic components:

  • Physical presence in the state of California (this alone is not proof of intent to establish residency)

  • Immigration status (must be a status under which immigration allows a person to establish residency)

  • 2 proofs of intent (necessary to show the student had intent to specifically make California their home as opposed to some other state)

All of these must be in the student’s name and have dates that are one year and one day prior to the official starting date of the semester the student is proving residency for.

  • Students under 19 years of age must satisfy component 2 (above) but will derive the time (one year and a day) from their parents and the 2 proofs of intent must be in the parent’s name.

  • Non-resident continuing students between the ages of 19 and 23 that want to reclassify to resident status must fill out and submit a Reclassification form to the Admissions Office. (See the section concerning this process in the text below).

  • Read the Residence Rules and Exceptions fully for a more specific summary of Santa Monica College’s residency rules and their exceptions.

Due to the complexity of determining residency, we reserve the right to ask for any additional documentation as may be needed on a case by case basis (To be determined by a Residency Specialist)

Residency Determination Dates

**All documents must be dated on or before these dates for the following semesters:

Winter 2018 Session: 01/01/2017
Spring 2018 Semester
: 02/11/2017
Summer 2018 Session
: 06/17/2016

Fall 2018 Semester
: 08/26/2016

Residence Rules and Exceptions

The following is a summary of Santa Monica College’s residence rules and their exceptions. These apply for tuition purposes only. For more detailed information, please contact the residence clerk in the Admissions Office. (This information does not relate to housing or accommodation issues.)

  • Each person applying for admission to or enrolled in a California community college is classified as either a “resident” or a “nonresident.”

  • A “resident” is defined as a citizen of the United States or a person who holds a status which allows him or her to establish residency in the United States, who has proof of physical presence in the State of California for one year and a day, and who presents evidence of intention to make California his or her permanent home. Dates on any documentary evidence should correspond to dates of physical presence in California.

  • A “nonresident” is a person who does not meet the residency requirements of the State of California or who is a citizen of a foreign country and holds only temporary status in the U.S.

  • Fees: Students classified as nonresidents must pay tuition in addition to enrollment fees. Please see the FEES website for more details.

  • Assembly Bill 947 (Cal. Ed. CODE 76141 Exemption) creates a partial exemption from payment of non resident tuition for certain nonresident students who can demonstrate economic hardship, or who are victims of persecution or discrimination in the country in which the student is a citizen and resident. The amount of the partial exemption is limited to that portion of the nonresident tuition fee allowed under section 76141 which provides for a fee for capital outlay, maintenance, and equipment. Students qualifying for this exemption may pay a nonresident tuition fee per semester unit and be exempt from paying the capital outlay portion of the fee.

    For purposes of this exemption, economic hardship encompasses the financial circumstances of a person who is a recipient of benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program describes in Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Secs. 601 et seq.), the Supplemental Income/State Supplementary Program, or a general assistance program.

  • If you meet the above criteria for an exception, contact the Residency Specialists at the Admissions office (see contact information below).

  • A student classified as a resident will be admitted to the College without tuition but they must pay the mandatory fees listed above.

A nonresident continuing student, between the ages of 19 and 23 inclusive, requesting reclassification to resident status must do the following:

  • Submit a petition for change of residency status (Reclassification Form, obtained from the residence clerk in the Admissions Office),

  • Show proof of financial independence by providing documents that show the student was not claimed as a dependent for income tax purposes by parents in the past year,

  • Present evidence of intent to establish California as his or her place of residence.

Residence of an Adult

A student who is 19 years of age or older and who has maintained a home in California continuously for the last two years shall be presumed to have the intent to make California his or her home.

A student under 19 years of age shall be presumed to have the intent to make California his or her home if both the student and his or her parent(s) have lived in California continuously for the last two years.

A student who is 19 years of age or older applying for admission with less than two years, but more than one year, of residence in California should be prepared to show proof of residence.

Examples of evidence that aid the College admissions officer in identifying intent include, but are not limited to, these documentable activities:

  1. Registering to vote and voting in California;

  2. Holding a California state license for professional practice;

  3. Paying California state income tax as a resident;

  4. Possessing California motor vehicle license plates;

  5. Possessing a California driver’s license or a California Identification Card;

  6. Maintaining a permanent military address or home of record in California while in the armed forces;

  7. Establishing and maintaining active California bank accounts; and Petitioning for a divorce in California.

  8. Any two or more of the above items will give some indication of a student’s intent to the Admissions Office. Dates on documents must correspond with physical presence of one year and one day prior to the start of the term.

Residence of a Minor

Unmarried minors (those younger than 18 years of age) are, by law, incapable of establishing their own residences, notwithstanding their physical presence within California.

The Admissions Office will use the following guidelines for determining a minor’s residence:

  • A minor’s residence is the residence of the parent with whom the minor is living;

  • If the minor is not living with either parent, then the residence of the parent with whom the minor last lived will be the residence of the minor.

  • When the residence of a minor student is derived from the parent, the durational requirement (one year in California) must be met by the parent, but is not required of the student.

A minor whose parents are not living and who does not have a legal guardian may establish his or her own residence.


Exceptions to the above guidelines will be made under certain circumstances. If a student would otherwise be classified as a nonresident, but fits within one of the following exceptions, he or she may be granted resident classification provided he or she has resided in California for one year with the intent of establishing residence (documentation required):

  • A student who was not an adult for more than one year before the start of the semester may add the amount of time lived in California prior to his or her eighteenth birthday (provided the student’s parent was a California resident during the period), if any, to the length of residence in California since that date to obtain the durational requirement of one year;

  • Adult aliens who are in the process of adjusting their status to a permanent resident or who have been lawfully admitted as a permanent resident for one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester (documentation required) and who has resided in California for one year;

  • A student 19 years of age or older who can document refugee or asylee status with the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) (dated one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester) and who has resided in California for one year (students younger than 19 years of age should review the first item above);

  • An adult aliens who is in the process of adjusting visa status to, or possesses one of the following visas: A, E, G, H-1, H-4, I, K, L, O-1, R, T, or V dated at least one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester and who meets California residence criteria;

  • A student who is a minor (under the age of 18) and who, immediately before enrolling at a California educational institution, has lived with and was under the continuous direct care and control for at least two years of any adult or adults (other than a parent) who had established residence in California at least one year and one day prior to beginning date of the semester (documentation required).

For more information regarding residence classification, exceptions, and examples of evidence showing intent, please contact the residence clerk in the Admissions Office.

Residency Contact

Alma Nevarez: (310) 434-4595
Sandra Franco: (310)  434-4461
Email: Admissions@smc.edu
Fax: (310)  434-3645
Make sure include your Student ID number and ATTN: RESIDENCY STAFF on any correspondences.