How to Establish Florida Residency for Tuition

Difference Between In and Out-of-State Tuition Rates

If you attend or plan on attending a Florida public college or university, you’ll definitely want to qualify for Florida residency for tuition purposes. The difference between tuition rates for residents and non-residents, as in most states, varies substantially. At state universities the average yearly tuition for Florida residents is about $4,800 per year, but $19,400 per year for out-of-state students. Assuming you’re in school for four years the total tuition difference will be a whopping $58,400. At community and state colleges the difference is less, about $2,400 per year in-state and $9,000 out-of-state, and since most programs at community colleges and state colleges are only two years, the total difference amounts to $13,200, still a hefty sum.

Begin Establishing Residency as Early as Possible

florida residency for tuition 1In order to keep as much of this money to yourself as you can, you obviously need to start establishing Florida residency as soon as possible. So as soon as you’re sure you’ll be attending school in Florida do what you can to start establishing residency. Even if you end up going to private school in Florida where everybody pays the same tuition, Florida residency still has its benefits, such as deep discounts at theme parks and voting in the biggest swing state. If you know someone with a Florida address, use that to begin establishing residency as soon as you know you’ll be going to school in Florida and you might not need to pay any out-of-state tuition rates.

The way that the statute that outlines what is required for obtaining in state tuition reads is that you need two or more certain types of documents that prove that you have a Florida address and have had a Florida address for the last 12 months.

Among these documents one must be one of the below

  • florida residency for tuition 2A Florida voter’s registration card.
  • A Florida driver’s license.
  • A State of Florida identification card.
  • A Florida vehicle registration.
  • Proof of a permanent home in Florida which is occupied as a primary residence by the individual or by the individual’s parent if the individual is a dependent child.
  • Proof of a homestead exemption in Florida.
  • Transcripts from a Florida high school for multiple years if the Florida high school diploma or GED was earned within the last 12 months.
  • Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for a 12-month period.
Of these, I would guess that the voter’s registration card would be the easiest to get before you actually move to Florida, as long as you know someone in Florida who would be comfortable receiving mail for you.
The documents of which you may use one to establish residency are:
  • A declaration of domicile in Florida.
  • A Florida professional or occupational license.
  • Florida incorporation.
  • A document evidencing family ties in Florida.
  • Proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable or professional organization.
  • Any other documentation that supports the student’s request for resident status, including, but not limited to, utility bills and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; a lease agreement and proof of 12 consecutive months of payments; or an official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida.
Of these I would guess that the proof of membership in a Florida-based charitable organization would be the easiest for you to obtain early.
As soon as you have two of the above documents, you can submit them to your school and begin paying tuition at the in-state rate.


  • Tony

    I live in NY and would like to establish residency in Florida for my daughter..if she works on books in NY would that affect her residency claim?

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