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Idaho Residency

On this page:
Procedures to have Your Residency Status Reviewed
Initial Determination of Residency Status
How does a Student Establish Domicile in Idaho?
Idaho Residency Laws
Idaho Residency FAQs

Procedures to have Your Residency Status Reviewed

The legal residence of a student for fee purposes is determined at the time of initial application for admission to Boise State and remains unchanged in the absence of satisfactory written evidence to the contrary. The burden of proof in requesting reclassification to resident status rests with the individual in providing clear and convincing evidence of residency for tuition purposes as defined by the law. Individuals applying to change a nonresident classification from the point of application or are requesting consideration for reclassification based upon satisfying state law criteria must follow the procedure outlined below:

  1. Contact the Residency Coordinator in the Registrar’s Office, Room 110, Administration Building.
  2. Complete the Idaho Residency Determination Worksheet and return it to the Residency Coordinator with supporting documentation. A form requesting reclassification to resident status may be filed after qualifying criteria have been satisfied but no later than 10 school days after the opening of the semester for which the change in status is requested.
  3. The Residency Coordinator will determine if the individual meets the criteria for residency and will notify the individual in writing of the decision.
  4. The applicant may appeal the decision of the Residency Coordinator in writing to the Residency Appeals Committee. To file an appeal the applicant must specify in writing why they believe they have met the criteria and on what basis they should be given residency. The appeal should be turned in to the Residency Coordinator. The applicant will be notified in writing of the decision of the Residency Appeals Committee.
  5. If an applicant contests the determination of the Residency Appeals Committee that the applicant is not a qualified resident, the applicant may petition the State Board of Education for review. The petition must be submitted to the President of Boise State University in writing and must set forth the applicant’s reasons for contesting the decision. The President will submit the petition to the Executive Director of the Office of the state Board of Education who will determine whether the Board or the Board’s designated representatives will hear the appeal. If the Board decides to hear the appeal, it will set forth the scope of review and notify the applicant of the time, date, and place of the hearing. The decision of the Board is final and binding on all parties concerned. The student must agree to the release of information to the review body and must comply with deadlines established by the institution for requesting an appeal.

Initial Determination of Residency Status

When you apply to Boise State, Admissions determines your status as a resident or nonresident for tuition purposes. For questions about your residency status, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (208) 426-4249.

Relevant Law and Regulations

The statutory and regulatory provisions relevant to residency determinations may be found at:

  • Idaho Code Section 33-3717B (institutions other than community colleges)
  • Idaho Code Section 33-2110A (community colleges)
  • IDAPA 08.01.04

A student enrolling at Boise State may prove classification as an Idaho resident for tuition purposes by meeting the criteria for one of the following options.

  1. Dependent Student: Any student who has one or more parent(s)/legal guardian(s) who is domiciled in Idaho and provides at least 50% of the student’s financial support. The parent/guardian must have maintained a bona fide domicile in Idaho for at least 12 months prior to the term in which the student is applying for residency.
  2. Independent Student: Any student that receives less than 50% financial support from parent/guardian and has continuously resided in, and maintained a bona fide domicile in Idaho for purposes other than education for at least 12 months prior to the term in which the student is applying for residency.
  3. Graduate of an Idaho High School: Any student who is a graduate from an accredited Idaho high school, is domiciled in Idaho, and who enrolls in an institution within six years immediately following secondary school graduation regardless of the domicile of the student’s parent or guardian (except if a non-US citizen (see, definition of non-resident below)).
  4. Completed 6 Years of Elementary and Secondary Education in Idaho: Any student who completed 6 years of elementary and secondary education in Idaho, is domiciled in Idaho, and matriculates at an institution within 6 years following completion of secondary education.
  5. Married to an Idaho Resident: Any student who is married to a person who is classified, or eligible for classification, as an Idaho resident for the purpose of attending an Institution, except that a student who was enrolled as a full-time student in any term during the 12 month period before the term in which the student proposes to enroll as a resident student must independently establish domicile.
  6. Armed Forces: Any student, the spouse of the student, or the parent/guardian of a dependent student who meets one of the following criteria:
    1. Member of the Armed Forces who entered service as an Idaho resident, has maintained Idaho resident status, but is stationed outside of Idaho on military orders.
    2. Member of the Armed Forces stationed in Idaho on military orders.
    3. Officer or enlisted member of the Idaho National Guard.
    4. Member who has been separated, under honorable conditions, from the Armed Forces after at least 2 years of service.
      1. Who at the time of separation designated Idaho as the intended domicile, and within 1 year of the date of separation enters an institution; or
      2. Who listed Idaho as the home of record in service, and within 1 year of the date of separation enters an institution; or
      3. Who moves to Idaho for the purpose of establishing domicile; provided however, to maintain status as a resident student, such person must actively establish domicile in Idaho within 1 year of registration at an institution.
  7. Member of the following Idaho Native American Indian Tribes: Members of the following Idaho Native American Indian Tribes whose traditional and customary tribal boundaries included portions of the state of Idaho, or whose Indian tribe was granted reserved lands within the state of Idaho:
    1. Coeur d’Alene
    2. Shoshone-Paiute
    3. Nez Perce
    4. Shoshone-Bannock
    5. Kootenai
    6. Eastern Shoshone

Becoming an Idaho Resident.

The establishment of domicile in Idaho by a person formerly domiciled outside of Idaho has occurred for residency purposes if the person is present in Idaho primarily for purposes other than educational.

If a student has been enrolled at an institution full time during the prior 12 months, the student is presumed to be in Idaho primarily for educational purposes and is a non-resident. Such period of enrollment is not counted toward the establishment of a domicile in Idaho unless the student can provide proof of full-time employment in Idaho for the prior 12 month period and the filing of an Idaho state resident income tax return for the prior tax year.

How Does a Student Establish Domicile in Idaho?

A domicile is an individual’s true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation; it is the place where the individual intends to remain and expects to return to when leaving without establishing a new domicile elsewhere. Residency for a dependent student is based on the domicile of the student’s parent/guardian. Residency for an independent student is based on the domicile of the independent student or the student’s spouse.

Domicile may be proved by:

  1. If you were attending school full-time, the filing of Idaho state income tax return covering a period of at least 12 months before the term in which the student proposes to enroll as a resident student and permanent full-time employment (30 hours per week, or 120 hours per month) or the hourly equivalent in Idaho for a period of at least 12 months before the term in which the student proposes to enroll as a resident student.
  2. If you weren’t attending school full-time in the prior year, proving at least five of the following type of criteria for 12 months before the term for which residency is sought:
    1. Ownership or leasing of a residence in Idaho
    2. Registration and payment of Idaho taxes or fees, other than sales or income tax
    3. Registration to vote in Idaho
    4. Holding an Idaho driver’s license or ID card
    5. Evidence of abandonment of a previous domicile
    6. Establishment of accounts with Idaho financial institutions
    7. Other similar factors such as:
      1. Enrollment of dependent children in Idaho elementary or secondary schools
      2. Acceptance of permanent employment in Idaho
      3. Documentation of need to care for relative in Idaho
      4. Utility statements
      5. Employment documentation


  • Non-resident: A non-resident student is any student who:
    1. Does not qualify for residency under the above options; or
    2. Attends an Institution with financial assistance from another country or governmental unit or agency thereof, such non-residency continuing for 1 year after completion of the term for which such assistance is last provided; or
    3. Is not a citizen of the United States, unless the student can provide verification of lawful presence in the United States. “Lawful presence” is verified through the means set forth in Idaho Code, 67-7903. A non-citizen student who can provide verification of lawful presence in the United States must meet one of the seven pathways to establish residency set forth above.
  • Continuously Resided means has maintained a physical presence in Idaho for 12 consecutive months. An independent student must have continuously resided in Idaho for the 12 months prior to the term for which residency is sought. Evidence of physical presence in Idaho might include: utility statements, rental agreement, bank statements, documentation from an Idaho employer, etc.
  • Primarily Educational Purposes means enrollment in 12 or more credit hours in any term during the past 12 months.
  • Armed Forces means the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and the reserve forces of those groups and does not include the National Guard or any other reserve force.

Idaho Residency Laws

The residency laws can be found on the Idaho State Board of Education website.

Idaho Residency FAQs


How does accepting the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) affect establishing Idaho residency?

If you are offered and accept the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) scholarship, you cannot count the time you receive the WUE toward establishing residency.  The WUE is a program for inter-state tuition exchange among the western states.  It requires you to maintain residency in your home state while receiving assistance. You must be domiciled in Idaho for 12 consecutive months prior to the opening day of the semester while not receiving the WUE to be eligible to gain residency status for fee paying purposes.

How does my enrollment at Boise State affect my ability to establish residency?

A student who is enrolled for more than eight (8) hours in any semester or quarter during a twelve (12) month period shall be presumed to be in Idaho for primarily educational purposes. Such period of enrollment shall not be counted toward the establishment of a bona fide domicile in this state unless the student proves, in fact, establishment of a bona fide domicile in this state primarily for purposes other than educational.

How does the GEM scholarship affect establishing my Idaho residency?

The GEM scholarship does not affect your ability to establish Idaho residency for fee paying purposes.  However, you will want to check with our Financial Aid office about how actively establishing residency in Idaho might affect your scholarship.

How is financial support defined?

“Support” means financial support given to the student during the twelve (12) months preceding the opening date of the term for which resident status is requested, but shall not include educational scholarships or grants provided to the student to attend a post-secondary educational institution. Any student who receives less than fifty percent (50%) support may demonstrate this by showing that he is not claimed as a dependent by a parent or guardian for income tax purposes or that a parent or guardian provides less than fifty percent (50%) of the cost of attending an institution according to the financial aid office of that institution or that other similar evidence exists of parental support such as dental bills, medical bills, etc.

What does domicile mean?

Domicile refers to an individual’s permanent home where personal household belongings are located.  It is the place where the individual intends to remain and expects to return to when leaving without establishing a new home elsewhere.

Who do I contact with Idaho Residency Questions?

Josh Wilkins
Senior Coordinator, Customer Service and Residency
Boise State Registrar’s Office