WHAT IS RESIDENCY?
Residency is the process of determining your status as a Florida resident for tuition purposes. Living in Florida alone is not sufficient to gain in-state tuition. The process can feel daunting, but we are here to help you interpret the law and find acceptable ways to demonstrate you meet the requirements of the statute. Out-of-state tuition is nearly four times the cost of in-state tuition. So residency is important! See seven-minute detailed video here.
WHERE DO I FIND THE RULES ABOUT RESIDENCY?
- Florida Statute 1009.21.
- The Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-10.044 expounds on the Florida Statute by providing more detailed information. This rule also contains information on visa categories that qualify for residency.
- The Florida College System provides a Guideline that details best practices and answers many questions. Polk State uses this reference extensively to help students qualify for in-state residency.
- Contact the Admission and Registrar Office on your campus or email us at email@example.com.
I know I am not a resident. What do I do?
On the application, you will mark the statement that you are not claiming Florida residency.
I am Dual-Enrolled. Does Residency apply to me?
No. You will show as out-of-state and will not be charged for any tuition and fees. When you graduate from high school and continue your college education, you will need to provide proof of residency.
I want to claim residency, what do I do?
- When you apply, you will complete a residency form that will guide you through the process.
- If you meet the requirements in Florida law, you will qualify.
- Proof has to be provided to Polk State. If you supply driver’s license, voter card, or vehicle information, Polk State can verify that proof for you and we will not ask for a copy.
I want to challenge the college’s residency decision, what do I do?
Students who feel the College has not followed the Florida Statutes or Administrative Rule on making an initial residency determination have the right to challenge that decision. The student may petition to the Residency Committee. The student’s petition packet to the committee must include:
- Completed Residency Declaration marking the qualification on the declaration that qualifies the student for residency.
- Written Statement describing which area of the statute or rule you are petitioning the committee to review on your behalf and a short explanation of your documentation. (Use the links above to view the Florida Statute and the Administrative Rule)
- Documentation that proves your claim.
Submit the packet to the Admission and Registrar’s office on any campus or center. You will receive a response within a week of your submission. The decisions of the Residency Committee are final per statute.
I attended Polk State College in the past. Do I need to provide proof of residency again?
- If it has been more than a year since you attended, you will need to provide proof of residency again and reapply.
Why does my PASSPORT account call me an out-of-state resident when I completed the residency form?
- The documentation you provided must be audited and verified by the College before we can mark you as “in-state”. Auditing is done daily. You will be charged the out-of-state rate until your residency has been verified. Once this is done and your status changed to in-state, your charges will be reduced to the in-state tuition fees.
- Verification may take up to five days. If you are within one week of classes starting, we recommend you visit the Admission and Registrar’s office on your campus or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The student is responsible for ensuring residency is met. Residency cannot be adjusted after the drop deadline.
I need to bring in my proof of Florida residency because my parents are the claimant; do my parents need to be present?
- Parents or guardians do not need to be present when submitting residency documentation in person. The parent’s signature is required on the residency declaration as the claimant.
I need more information on documents that I can use to establish residency.
- Complete the residency declaration. The Admission and Registrar’s office will use this document to assist you in overcoming challenges to establishing residency. You may discuss possible documentation with the Assistant Registrar on the campus you attend.
Where is the residency declaration?
- You can submit the Residency Declaration as an electronic form through our Etrieve system or you can visit any of our Admission and Registrar offices to obtain the paper form. When using Polk State’s electronic forms through Etrieve for the first time, please see our Etrieve Activation and Documentation Instructions.
SPECIAL HELP FOR UNDOCUMENTED OR DACA STUDENTS ON RESIDENCY
Below are special helps for students who are undocumented, whose parents are undocumented, or who are DACA students.