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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Residency Classification

This an on-going list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about residency classification and reclassification at UMass Lowell.  New answers are added regularly. Please send inquiries to

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  • I joined the Air Force while living in Lawrence, Massachusetts. I am now stationed in Alabama due to be discharged in one year. I am planning on returning to Massachusetts. Will I be considered a Massachusetts resident?

    In-State residency classification will be granted as long as your separation orders show Massachusetts as your “Home of Record." However, this does not apply if you establish residency in another state before returning to Massachusetts. Documentation requirements are listed on the Residency Classification Worksheet.

  • I was a resident of Massachusetts five years ago when I enrolled as a Continuing Studies Corporate Education (CSCE) student in the B.S. in Civil Engineering Technology program. Now, I live in New Hampshire (NH), and file taxes as a NH resident. I may apply to a Masters program. What would my residency classification be?

    The University considers CSCE, undergraduate and graduate programs as separate academic “careers."  Your residency classification is established at the time of your application to the new academic career. Based on your information, you would be classified as Out-of-State, Proximity or New England Regional. As a graduate school applicant, the Director of Graduate Admissions will make this determination.

  • I am from Connecticut, and entered UMass Lowell in the Sound Recording Technology program. Therefore, I was classified as Regional Exchange under the New England Regional Student Program. If I change my major to Biology, will my residency classification change?

    Yes, your residency will be changed to Out-of-State. You may also be eligible for the Proximity Program depending on your permanent address (this program applies to New Hampshire residents only).

  • As a Division of Online & Continuing Education student, what impact does my residency status for tuition classification have on the tuition that I would pay?

    If you register for courses through the Division of Online & Continuing Education, your tuition and fees will be based on credit-hours (click here).  However, if you take a day-program course, your residency will determine how much you will pay for the specific source. Visit the Division of Online and Continuing Education on the residency status main webpage.

  • I just graduated from Pelham High School in New Hampshire. My parents are divorced. I live with my mom in Pelham, but my dad lives in Massachusetts. Will I be eligible for In-State classification?

    No. In order to be eligible for in-state residency, you must live with the Massachusetts parent 12 months prior to beginning classes and that parent must claim you on the previous and current year taxes.

  • I have a work permit; does this make me eligible for in-state residency?

    That will depend on your status:

    1.    If you were given a work permit due to your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, then you may apply for residency reclassification.  However, you must meet all other Massachusetts residency requirements (see the Residency Classification Worksheet for a list of supporting documents to be submitted along with the application).

    2.    If your work permit was not obtained by qualifying for the DACA status, then you would not be eligible for in-state residency under this policy.

  • I have attended UMass Lowell for two years on an H-4 visa, and just received my I-485 from the USCIS. Am I eligible for In-State classification?

    It depends. Relocating from another state or country to Massachusetts, to attend a college or university, is not considered intent to establish residency in the State. In order to be considered for immediate eligibility for In-State classification, you would have to:

    • If emancipated (legally independent) and married, document that your spouse lived in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student) for approximately 12 months immediately preceding the semester for which the request is made; or
    • If unemancipated (dependent of parents/legal guardians), document that your parent/legal guardian lived in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student) for approximately 12 months immediately preceding the semester for which the request is made; or
    • If emancipated (legally independent) and single, document that your primary reason to relocate to Massachusetts was to establish residency and not to attend a college or university; or
    • Document one of the exceptions listed on the Residency Classification Worksheet.

    If none of these apply, you are not eligible for In-State classification.  More information is listed on the Residency Classification Determination page.

  • I am graduating from High School in New Hampshire this year, but I am living with my friend/relative in Massachusetts. Would I be eligible for In-State tuition?

    Probably not. Informal living arrangements do not support the claim of residency unless legal documentation can support an exception.  If you are an unemancipated person, and claimed by your parents on their most recent income tax returns, your parents’ residency will determine your residency classification.

  • I have lived in Massachusetts for the last 12 months, while attending school, when does my residency status change to in-state? I have a Massachusetts driver's license, I live and have a job off-campus.

    Your residency will not change to in-state. If you relocate to Massachusetts to attend a college or university, this action supports the intent to pursue and 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".

  • I have worked and lived in Massachusetts for 3 years. Am I eligible for In-State classification with an H1-B visa?

    No. To be eligible for In-State residency classification, a person has to be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, hold a Form I-797C (Notice of Action) confirming that the I-485 was received, or holder of another legal immigration status (including those on refugee/asylum status) to be eligible for In-State residency status.  An H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, and therefore not eligible.  This applies to all non-immigrant visas accepted at the University, such as F-1, J-1, etc.  Contact the International Students & Scholars Office with questions about visas – 978-934-2386 or

  • I moved with my parents from Brazil to Massachusetts when I was 2 years old. I just graduated from a Massachusetts high school, but my visa has expired/is out of status. Will I be considered a Massachusetts resident?

    No, you will be classified as Out-of-State upon acceptance into the University.  We are also unable to award financial aid until you receive permanent residency, citizenship, asylum or refugee status. If you are undocumented (you have no visa/citizenship documentation at all), the acceptance of your admissions application will be decided by a committee of Admissions and Enrollment Management representatives. If admitted, you will be classified as Out-of-State for tuition purposes. The TERI College Planning website provides online resources to out-of-status and undocumented students -

  • I attend a Prep school in New Hampshire, but my parents live in Massachusetts, will I be eligible for In-State classification?

    As long as you are a legal dependent of your parents, you will be classified as a Massachusetts resident.   Additional documentation may be requested to support this claim.

  • I am a Senior in High School in New York State and am considering applying to UMass Lowell, what would my residency classification be?

    If you are financially dependent on your parents, your residency classification will be based on their residency status. Exceptions are listed on the Residency Classification Worksheet.

  • When I first enrolled at UMass Lowell, four years ago, I paid In-State tuition. I was placed on academic warning two years ago. Meanwhile, I relocated to New Hampshire. Now, I am applying for readmission with my New Hampshire address, and wonder what my residency classification will be?

    For purposes of residency classification, readmission is considered a new application. Your residency classification will depend on how long ago you relocated to New Hampshire:

    • If you relocated to New Hampshire less than a year ago, and you filed your most recent income tax returns as a Massachusetts resident, then you will maintain your In-State classification.  However, this classification will change if you interrupt your continuous attendance to the University (spring and fall semesters) until graduation.
    • If you relocated to New Hampshire over a year ago, or if you filed your most recent income tax returns as a New Hampshire resident, then your residency classification will change to Out-of-State, Proximity, or New England Regional.
  • I/My Family live out-of-state but own property in Massachusetts. I/My family pay Massachusetts taxes on this property. Does this qualify me to receive in-state tution?

    No. Your residency is based on your/your family's permanent address. A good indicator is your Federal Income Taxes. The address you list on those tax forms will be your permanent address.