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Residency Information

New students contact Admissions, Graduate School, or Law School.


Registrar's Office is responsible for residency classification of previously enrolled and currently enrolled students.

Be certain to secure the Board of Regents Residency Policy and questionnaire from the Board of Regents website.

It is beneficial for the student to print off the Residency Pre-Screening Form to ensure proper documentation is submitted with the residency questionnaire.  Click on the following link to obtain a PDF of this form. Residency Pre-Screening Form

Requests for residency classification changes will be accepted no earlier than 30 days prior to the one year anniversary of the initial action item taken by the individual. Example: you registered to vote on July 29, 2011; you can submit your request on or after June 29, 2012.

The Deadline to submit materials for review is always the first Friday of classes for that term.

Applications submitted with all required documentation will be reviewed first.  Incomplete applications will be delayed.  Please view Pre-screening form for the required application materials .

Please plan accordingly.

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The Montana University System classifies all students as either in-state or out-of-state. This classification affects admissions decisions and fee determinations. The basic rules for making the classification are found in the Board of Regents' Policy. It is each student's responsibility to secure and review a copy of the policy. Failure to be aware of the rules will not be a cause for granting any exceptions to them. A copy of the policy is available from the Admissions Office or the Registrar's Office. It is important to bear in mind that each residency determination is based on the unique set of facts found in each individual's case. Students participating in the Western Undergraduate Exchange or the National Student Exchange programs are not eligible to gain residency. If you have questions concerning your particular case, be sure to contact the unit to which you are applying for admission or at which you are already enrolled. Generally, the Admissions Office or the Registrar's Office will be able to assist you.

With certain exceptions, in order to be eligible for in-state status, a person must meet a 12-month durational residency test. You will have to demonstrate a bona fide intent to become a Montana resident. The 12-month period does not start until some act indicative of an intent to establish residency is taken. Mere presence in Montana or enrollment at a unit will not serve to start this period. Sufficient acts to start the period are registration to vote, obtaining a Montana driver's license, registration of a motor vehicle in Montana, purchase of home in Montana, or filing of a resident Montana tax return. An Affidavit of Intent to Establish Residency may be filed with the Registrar's Office.  The 12-months must be completed by the 15th instructional day to qualify for that term.

Your actions during the 12 month waiting period will be used to determine whether you are in the state as a bona fide resident or merely for educational purposes. The decision on your residency will not generally depend on just one factor. The following are some of the things you can do that will support a claim of bona fide residency.

A. Register to vote if you are a voter

B. License a vehicle if you operate one in Montana

C. Obtain a driver's license if you drive

D. Be physically present in Montana, not out of state, for more than a total of 30 days

E. Not be claimed as a tax exemption by residents of another state

F. Provide at least 51% of your own financial support (this means you will need to document to us that you have contributed approximately $6000 towards your support during the twelve month waiting period

G. File a Montana resident income tax return (this is important for all who claim residency in Montana, regardless of the amount of earnings)

H. Only register for six (6) credits or less per semester (including summer school) during the twelve month waiting period. Registering for more than 6 credits creates a strong presumption that you are here for education purposes, and may disqualify you from achieving in-state status.

At the end of your twelve month waiting period you must complete the residency questionnaire and attach copies of your driver's license, vehicle registration, voter's registration and your earnings for the twelve months and return it to the Registrar's Office for review. This documentation can be submitted to the Registrar's Office up to 30 days in advance of the petitioners start date and no later then the 15th instruction day of the semester for which the status is sought. When a student petitions or meets the requirements after the 15th instructional day, a change in classification, if granted, will not be retroactive and will become effective for the next term. Reclassification is not automatic and will not occur unless the individual so petitions. It is the students responsibility to meet any filing deadlines or requirements that are imposed by the appropriate unit of the System. The appeal process is given in the Regents' policy.

For more information please contact Matt Filer.