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Classification & Reclassification

Classification & Reclassification


Please note - If a person relocates to Massachusetts to attend a college or university, this action supports the intent to pursue an education, but it is not considered intent to establish residency for tuition and fees purposes. The regulations state "residency is not acquired by mere physical presence in Massachusetts while the person is enrolled in an institution of higher education." To be reclassified as a resident, an enrolled student must live in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student) for approximately 12 months immediately proceeding his/her enrollment or re-enrollment to attend the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Exceptions to these requirements are listed on the Residency Reclassification Worksheet.

Applicants are responsible to submit all documentation to support a claim. The final decision will be based solely on the submitted documentation.

As of December 2009, the University of Massachusetts Lowell uses five residency classifications:

Additional Categories

 In-State Classification

The initial determination of a student’s eligibility for classification/reclassification as a Massachusetts resident, and therefore qualification for In-State tuition and fees, is based on the following:

  • Residency/Citizenship Status – The applicant has to be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, legal immigrant in receipt of an I-485 (application to adjust to permanent resident status) stating it was received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - even if in possession of and I-485 the applicant has to meet all residency requirements, have refugee/asylum status or have a work permit through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • Financial Support Determination - For most emancipated persons (18 years of age and financially independent, or without parents/legal guardians, or legally married), our determination is based on the legal and financial situation of the applicant and/or his/her spouse. For most un-emancipated persons (financially dependent on parent(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s), our determination is based on the legal residency of the parent(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s). Income tax returns are primary indicators of financial support, but not exclusive, and exceptions may apply.

Upon determination of an applicant’s residency/citizenship and financial support status, a person would generally be eligible for classification as a Massachusetts resident:

  • If the applicant is a dependent student, and at least one parent(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s) has resided in Massachusetts for approximately 12 months immediately before enrollment. The student has to live with the parents(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s) residing in Massachusetts for approximately 12 months prior to enrollment and the Massachusetts parent(s)/custodial parent/legal guardian(s) has to have claimed the student in the prior and current year taxes. *Please note: once enrolled, the student will not be able to change their residency status based on living with the Massachusetts parent or being claimed on taxes at a later date; or
  • If the applicant is financially independent, and has lived in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student) for approximately 12 months immediately preceeding his/her enrollment or re-enrollment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

 Out-of-State Classification

A U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or the holder of an I-485 (pdf) who is not eligible for In-State residency classification, will be classified as Out-of-State, unless the person is eligible for Proximity Program or New England Regional Student Program (NERSP) classification.

 International Classification

Students on all visas are classified as International, unless they hold an I-485 (pdf) (application to adjust to permanent resident status). See “In-State Classification” above.

If you are an applicant with an out-of-status visa, or without any residency or citizenship documentation, visit our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for more information.

 Proximity Program Classification

Beginning with Fall 2008 enrollment, the Proximity Program will offer a reduced tuition, not fee, rate to New Hampshire students whose hometowns are listed on our website.  This program is based on zip code, not mileage. Please note that some towns have majors that do not qualify for this program. If a student qualifies for this program, he/she will remain in the Proximity Program if they move outside of the zip code area and/or change major.  Please note: In order to retain this status, the student must be continuously enrolled. The Proximity Program Overview provides a summary and fact sheet.

Please note the following exceptions:

  • Division of Online & Continuing Education students do not qualify for the Proximity Program classification.
  • Non-degree/non-matriculated students do not qualify for the Proximity Program classification. 

 New England Regxal Student Program  (NERSP) Classification

The New England Regional Student Program (NERSP) offers students enrolled in qualified programs the opportunity to attend a public college or university in a New England state other than the one in which they live. The student will receive a reduced tuition, not fee, rate (NERSP students with enrollments prior to Fall 2009 are grandfathered into the original tuition and fee determination formula). More details are found on the NERSP page. Since this program is based solely on major, changing to a major not within the program will result in the student being reclassified to out-of-state. Out-of-State tuition will be charged going forward.

For freshman/transfer undergraduate applicants, Undergraduate Admissions personnel make the initial determination of eligibility for NERSP. Please forward questions about NERSP eligibility to

For graduate applicants, the Director of Graduate Admissions determines the initial residency classification, including his/her eligibility for the New England Regional Student Program. Please forward questions about NERSP eligibility for graduate students to

Division of Online & Continuing Education students do not qualify for the NERSP program.

Additional Categories


We proudly welcome active duty members and veterans of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, National Guard and Reserves to UMass Lowell. We are here to assist you.

The following are the most common instances were active duty military and national guard members are eligible for In-State classification:

  • A member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed in Massachusetts on active duty, pursuant to military orders, his or her spouse and dependent children, are eligible for In-State classification. Separating/Discharged Members and Veterans - Eligibility for In-State classification also applies to members separating from the Armed Forces with Massachusetts as their "Home of Record" but before they establish residency in another state. Also, separating members may establish residency if they move to Massachusetts (before establishing residency in another state) – see residency classification worksheet for a list of documents.
  • Eligible participants in the Massachusetts National Guard 100% Tuition and Fee Waiver program and the Welcome Home Bonus are considered Massachusetts residents for tuition purposes (even if their home residence is in another state). However, this may not be the case for Financial Aid purposes; please contact the Financial Aid Office 978-934-4220 or for more information. 

The Residency Classification Worksheet (pdf) provides details on the documentation required. Please feel free to forward residency classification questions to

For assistance with military & veteran benefits or general questions, visit the Veterans Services and Military Benefits pages, or contact Linda Morabito, Veterans' Benefits Coordinator at 978-934-2461.   If you are applying for readmission, contact the Registrar's Office at 978-934-2550 for more information and an Application for Readmission (pdf) form.

 Division of Online & Continuing Education

For the Division of Online and Continuing Education students – tuition and fees are based on listed credit hour and/or contact hour and not on residency classification. However, a residency classification determination may be required if the student applies for financial aid or takes a day course.

All Summer courses are offered through the Division of Online & Continuing Education.  Tuition and fee charges are generally based on credit-hour.

Please note: Residency requirements for the Division of Online & Continuing Education programs refer to the completion of credits as a Division of Online & Continuing Education student at UMass Lowell.  More information is found on the Division of Online & Continuing Education website Academic Policies - Degree Requirements page. You may also contact the Student Support Center at 978-934-2474 or visit their webpage at

 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

In accordance with the change in federal policy, DACA beneficiaries are eligible to file an application to be considered for in-state tuition and fees at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Please see the Residency Classification Worksheet for a list of supporting documents to be submitted along with the application.

Approval / Denial 

If your application is approved, notification will be sent to you via email. Your status will be updated in SIS within a couple of business days. Financial Aid and Student Financial Services will be notified and the appropriate changes will be made to reflect your new residency status.

If your application is denied, notification will be sent to you via email. You may appeal the decision, in writing, within 30 calendar days of the date the decision is emailed. You may submit additional documentation along with the written appeal. The appeal will be given to the Residency Reclassification Appeal Committee for review, along with the original application, supporting documentation and decision. The decision will be based solely on submitted documentation. You will be notifed, by email, of the appeal committees' decision. This decision is final and cannot be appealed further.

Please send your appeal to:
University of Massachusetts Lowell
220 Pawtucket St., Suite 420
Lowell, MA  01854-5107
Enrollment & Student Success