Residency for Tuition Purposes

The Office of the Registrar determines residency for students. Residency determinations have a direct result on tuition charges.

Links below are maintained by the Registrar and can provide key information about residency. Questions regarding residency that are not addressed here should be directed to

NOTE: Some information within these links refers to students being "independent and self-supporting." This terminology and definition is used specifically for residency determination. It is not related to dependency determination on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (i.e., whether or not you are required to complete the FAFSA using parental information). Students who are self-supporting may meet the institutional or state residency definition for independent status, but financial self-support is not a criteria for the institutional, state or federal aid definitions of dependency.



In its assessment of a student's eligibility for classification as an Ohio resident for tuition purposes, University of Cincinnati is obliged to apply the residency eligibility criteria established by Ohio Revised Code 3333.31 and Ohio Administrative Code 3333-1-10

University of Cincinnati is not empowered to alter or waive these state regulations, and must enforce their provisions for all students under all personal and/or financial circumstances. 

Students who are classified as residents for tuition purposes receive the benefit of a state-supported education, funded largely by the taxpayers of Ohio. Therefore, the residency guidelines are meant to exclude from resident classification those people who are in the state of Ohio primarily for the purpose of receiving the benefit of a state-supported education.

The term "Ohio resident" for tuition purposes may differ from other definitions of Ohio residency.  A person who has an Ohio driver's license/vehicle registration or who is an Ohio resident for tax, voting, or welfare purposes may have established legal residence in the state but may not necessarily be considered a resident for tuition purposes.

The following information is provided to assist you in determining if you qualify for Ohio residency for tuition purposes.

Important Facts

  • Ohio residency for tuition purposes eligibility criteria are established by State of Ohio Law and Ohio Board of Regents regulations, not by University of Cincinnati.
  • University of Cincinnati cannot alter or waive these eligibility criteria for any reason.
  • Under Ohio law, if you have moved to Ohio primarily for the purpose of attending an Ohio institution of higher learning, then you are not eligible for in-state tuition.
  • Living in Ohio for a year or longer is not an automatic qualification for in-state tuition.
  • You must evidence an intent to remain permanently in Ohio.  You must prove through official and/or legal documents that you have moved to Ohio permanently and not merely living in Ohio temporarily while you attend University of Cincinnati, however long your course of study may take.
  • Financial hardship cannot be considered in evaluating Ohio residency for tuition purposes eligibility.
  • Legal ties that you have established to another state or country (e.g., state tax liability, a driver’s license, voter’s registration, etc.) will disqualify you from residency reclassification, regardless of your reason(s) for having established these ties.
  • Evidence that you are receiving out-of-state financial support in any way, either directly (e.g. tuition payments, parent PLUS loans, etc.) or indirectly (e.g., parent-purchased or co-purchased residences, parent-controlled financial portfolios), will disqualify you from Ohio residency for-tuition-purposes.
  • Despite the length of time you attend UC or live in Ohio, you may not qualify for Ohio residency for-tuition-purposes.

  • All male U.S. citizens, and male aliens residing in the United States, who were born in 1960 or later are required to register with Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthdays. Ohio law requires the Office of the Registrar to verify that eligible students have registered in order for those students to receive various state educational benefits. The law provides that those who have failed to certify their compliance with Selective Service registration requirements are ineligible for state financial aid programs and will be assessed a penalty equivalent to the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees. More information available here.

Special Tuition Rates

In addition to standard Ohio and non-Ohio rates, students from qualifying areas in Kentucky and Indiana may be eligible for Metropolitan (Metro) or Reciprocity tuition rates depending on their academic programs.

These special rates do require application and approval. Also, changes to your academic program could change your eligibility once approved since there are programs limits to specific rates.

Tuition-based scholarship students who could be eligible for these special tuition programs may be limited to the reduced rate in their scholarship coverage until such time they apply for the rate adjustment and are deemed ineligible.

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Financial aid budgets and award amounts can be affected by your residency classification. Changes can occur in awards with any change in residency. As well, acceptance of some aid programs such as the Parent PLUS Loan can directly affect your ability to apply for Ohio residency.

If you are in the process of changing your residency, you should contact One Stop Student Services (220 University Pavilion;; 513-556-1000) to understand how your aid package or specific aid awards may be related to the residency process.