Posted in HS4CC

Advising 101: Residency Requirement

Residency requirement is a phrase used 3 different ways depending on the department at the college you’re talking to! This Advising 101 post will help you decipher what the college is talking about.

Topic #1: Residency Requirement

What is it?

Simply put, the phrase “residency requirement” means different things to different departments at the college.

  • Residency #1: To admissions, on your college application your residency refers to the state you live in and how long you have to have lived there to be considered “in-state” vs “out of state.”
  • Residency #2: To the registrar, your residency requirement is how many credits (or a percentage of a credential) you need to earn at a college in order to graduate from that college.
  • Residential #3: For class registration, residential format / in residence is in contrast to online or remote. This means classes are taken physically on campus. Sometimes degrees are offered as “residential” to distinguish them from online degrees.

Why is it important?

  • Residency #1: The state where you live. If your state has free dual enrollment, this benefit will only serve that state’s residents. Often proof of residency is required. After high school graduation, residency may be used to calculate the cost of your student’s tuition. PRO TIP: Never lie. Six states and Washington DC have laws that allow them to charge you with a crime for doing so.
  • Residency #2: Knowing how many credits you will need to take at the college will help you plan for effectively. If the college requires a “25% residency” that means 25% of the credits in that credential must be taken at that college. If the college requires “90 credit residency” that means 90 credits in that credential must be take at that college. PRO TIP: Always know the residency requirement because the converse of the requirement is what you can outsource! If 30% of a credential must be taken in residency, then 70% doesn’t!
  • Residential #3: For high school students, parents will want to consider the many pros and cons of taking courses on campus vs. remotely. Some key considerations include the family’s schedule, transpiration needs, parking, mix of adults in class, safety and class times, technology for remote learning, and the student’s learning style. For college attendance after high school, it’s not unusual for a college to have different policies (admissions, transfer credit, CLEP, etc.) for residential students vs remote students.

Where do I find it?

  • Residency #1: The college admissions department.
  • Residency #2: The official college catalog. Search term “graduation.” If you can’t find it, the college’s Registrar Office can provide the document that outlines residency requirements.
  • Residency #3: The college admissions department


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