Apply for Residency

Verifying Missouri residency

Out-of-state or non-resident students are considered temporary residents of the state of Missouri while attending MSU for college. In some cases, students may apply for reclassification to a resident student during their time at the University.

Examples of situations where students initially come to Missouri as non-residents but qualify for reclassification to resident status for fee purposes include:

  • Parents move to Missouri while attending MSU
  • Marriage to a Missouri resident
  • Discontinuing of education for a year or more while living and working in Missouri

Residency application

To apply for residency, you must complete and submit the residency application to the office of admissions before the end of the first week of classes of the semester for which you are applying for residence. Be sure to read the Residency Policy (provided below) before beginning the application process.

Download the application

Residency policy

G5.04 Residency Policy

  1. Definitions
    1. "Domicile" shall mean presence within a state with an intent of making said state a permanent home for an indefinite period.
    2. "Residency" or "Resident Status" shall mean that status which is achieved when sufficient proof of a domicile within a state is presented.
    3. "Adult Student" shall mean any student having attained the age of twenty-one (21) years.
    4. "Unemancipated Minor Student" shall mean any student not having attained the age of twenty-one (21) years, and under the care, custody, or support of the individual or individuals having legal custody of said students.
    5. "Emancipated Minor Student" shall mean any student not having attained the age of twenty-one (21) years and who is not under the care, custody and support of an individual or individuals having legal custody.
  2. Adult Students
    If an adult student, not a resident, shall present sufficient proof of the establishment of a domicile within the State of Missouri, said student shall be granted resident status at the first enrollment following the establishment of said domicile.
  3. Unemancipated Minor Students
    The domicile of an unemancipated minor is presumed to be that of the individual or individuals having legal custody of said student. If those having legal custody of the student establish a Missouri domicile, that student shall be granted resident status at the first enrollment following the establishment of the Missouri domicile. Once unemancipated minor students have established resident status under this rule, they may continue to qualify for resident status so long as they remain continuously enrolled, excluding summer terms, in a Missouri institution of higher education, even if the individual or individuals having legal custody of the unemancipated minor students cease to hold Missouri resident status.
  4. Emancipated Minor Students
    The domicile of emancipated minor students shall be determined as if they were adults. A minor may become emancipated through marriage, formal court action, abandonment or positive action of alienation on the part of the minor. In all instances, alienation from care, custody and support shall be complete and the burden of satisfactory proof of emancipation shall be that of the minor student. Mere absence of the student from the domicile of the individual or individuals having legal custody of that minor student shall not constitute proof of emancipation. In no instance shall a minor student be eligible for emancipation when that student is taken as an income tax deduction by a second party other than a spouse.
  5. Members of the Military Forces
    Students shall neither gain nor lose resident status solely as a consequence of military service. For the purposes of student resident status, military personnel, when stationed within the State of Missouri pursuant to military orders, their spouses and unemancipated minor children shall be regarded as holding Missouri resident status. However, a member of the military forces who is specifically assigned, under orders, to attend a Missouri institution of higher education as a full-time student, shall be classified, along with their spouses and unemancipated minor children, as if they had no connection with the military forces.
  6. Non-citizens of the United States
    Students who are not citizens of the United States must possess resident alien status, as determined by federal authority, prior to consideration for resident status. Aliens present within Missouri as representatives of a foreign government or at the convenience of the United States or Missouri governments and holding G visas shall be entitled to resident status, except for those who are government funded students. Aliens and their dependents holding A or L visas may be granted resident status if determined to be individually designated as representatives of their governments and whose education is not government funded.
  7. Factual Criteria in Determination of Resident Status
    1. Attendance at an institution of higher education shall be regarded as a temporary presence within the State of Missouri; therefore, a student neither gains nor loses resident status solely by such attendance.

    2. The burden of proof of establishing eligibility for Missouri resident status shall rest with the student.

    3. In determining resident status for the State of Missouri, either of the following shall be sufficient proof of domicile of individuals and their dependents within the State of Missouri:

      1. Presence within the State of Missouri for a period of twelve (12) months and sufficient proof of an intent to make the State of Missouri a permanent home for an indefinite period; or

      2. Presence within the State of Missouri for the purposes of retirement, full-time employment, professional practice or to conduct a business full-time.

    4. In determining whether a student holds an intent to make the State of Missouri a permanent home for an indefinite period, the following factors, although not conclusive, shall be given heavy weight: continuous presence in the State of Missouri during those periods not enrolled as a student; presence within the State of Missouri upon marriage to a Missouri resident and the maintenance of a common domicile with the resident spouse; substantial reliance on sources within the State of Missouri for financial support; former domicile within the state and maintenance of significant connections while absent; and ownership of a home within the State of Missouri.

    5. The following factors indicating an intent to make the State of Missouri a permanent home for an indefinite period shall be given less weight than those in subsection 7(d) above and include: voting or registration for voting; part-time employment; lease of living quarters; a statement of intention to establish a domicile in Missouri; automobile registration or operator's license obtained in Missouri; and payment of income, personal and property taxes in Missouri. Only in borderline cases shall these factors become determinative.

    6. The waiver or forgiveness of a non-resident student fee, in full or in part, shall have no bearing on the residency status of a student and shall not be a basis for classification of a non-resident student as a resident.

    7. Nonresident students may offset against nonresident fees any income taxes paid to the State of Missouri. Dependent students may utilize Missouri income tax paid by their parents. (NOTE: Student must be shown as a dependent on the tax return.) No tax other than Missouri income tax will be taken into account and no credit will be given for income tax withheld or paid in connection with an estimated tax return during the current year. Offsetting a paid income tax against nonresident fees must occur within one year after the tax is paid. For example, income tax paid for the current year must be offset against nonresident fees for the fall and/or spring semester and/ or summer semester. The tax credit will be offset against the nonresident portion of incidental fees only and will not be offset against any other fees or charges. The tax credit may be used only once, except that credit in excess of current nonresident fees may be carried forward to subsequent semesters subject to the one year limitation stated previously. Questions regarding the above procedure or policy should be directed to:

      Financial Services Director of Accounting
      901 South National Avenue
      Springfield, MO 65897

  8. Review Procedure
    Residency will be determined at the time of admission by the admissions office according to the above policy. All students who indicate legal residence in Missouri on their admission applications but who are classified as non-residents on the basis of other available information will be sent a copy of the residency policy. Any questions concerning the policy or its interpretation should be directed to the Assistant Director - Office Operations in the Office of Admissions. If such case should arise where a student is dissatisfied with the interpretation, the student may appeal to the Director of Admissions. In such cases where dissatisfaction still persists, an appeal may be made to the Committee on Residence. If a determination is made by this committee, the results will be considered final and will be communicated to the student in writing.

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to:
Office of Admissions
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897

Fee Schedule

For information on resident and non-resident fees please refer to the Detailed Costs and Fees website.

Fees are subject to change by the Board of Governors. 

Owning Missouri property

Simply owning property in Missouri does not qualify you as a Missouri resident for fee purposes.

Current military, veterans, and dependents

You may qualify for an out of state fee waiver. This waiver is not guaranteed and is based on a number of factors outlined in the MSU policy library. View the Veteran Student Services Tuition, Cost and Fees web page for more information.

Working in Missouri

People who work in Missouri but live in another state potentially qualify for a tax credit, not residency.

Spouse works in Missouri

If your spouse is taking a job in Missouri and you plan to attend school, you must provide the following to qualify for residency:

  • Letter from your spouse’s employer showing date of employment, that s/he is currently employed there and that s/he is employed there full-time
  • Marriage certificate
  • Optional items: Missouri driver’s license, proof of vehicle tags in Missouri and voter registration card

Divorced parents

You may be able to qualify for residency if one of your parents lives in Missouri. We would need proof of that parent’s financial support and residency in Missouri.

Out-of-state fee waiver for Missouri high school graduates

Missouri high school graduates who do not qualify for classification as residents for fee purposes may possibly qualify for the Out-of-State Fee Waiver. Read more about the out-of-state fee waiver for Missouri high school graduates policy.