The policy for determining resident and non-resident tuition classifications for students enrolling at public postsecondary institutions in New Mexico.
For more information or interpretation, you may contact the New Mexico Higher Education Department or the admissions office or registrar’s office at your institution.
If a student has met the requirements of one of the following exceptions, and is granted residency status, the student shall continue to be classified and reported as a resident for subsequent, continuing enrollment.
If a student has met the requirement of one of the following waivers, the student shall continue to be considered a non-resident for reporting purposes but will receive the benefit of the in-state tuition rates. In receiving such a waiver, the student does not become eligible for state funded student financial aid, unless the regulations for a particular aid program allow for such eligibility.
Participating students may not begin to establish residency (i.e., 12-month durational requirement) until discontinuing from such a program.
The department recognizes that there may be circumstances in which a student would not be able to fulfill the requirements of an overt act as listed above. In such instances, the institution will afford the student an opportunity to provide other documentary evidence or reasonable explanation which demonstrates that permanent residency in New Mexico has been established by the student.
A person's residency classification for tuition purposes shall be determined at time of admission and must be completed by the census date of that first enrollment in a given public postsecondary educational institution. A person not meeting the residency requirements shall be classified as a nonresident for purposes of tuition charges. The student's classification at time of admission remains in effect unless the individual is re-admitted to the institution or until the individual petitions to become a New Mexico resident.
Once determined a nonresident at the time of census date, a student can petition to be classified as a New Mexico resident by completing the "petition for resident tuition classification" form from the appropriate educational institution. The form should be completed and returned to the institution, along with appropriate documentation listed in this brochure. A change in residency classification is never automatic and it is always the student’s responsibility to initiate the process.
Once a petition has been submitted, the petition is reviewed and a decision is made as quickly as possible.
1. How is the residency status determined for my parent or guardian when my classification depends upon my parent or guardians residence? The residency status of a parent or guardian is determined according to the same requirements outlined above for individuals.
2. Are there any programs I might be participating in that have special restrictions concerning residency eligibility? Yes. Students participating in tuition reciprocity, competitive scholarship, WRGP or WICHE student exchange programs are ineligible to establish residency. Students may not begin to establish residency until after discontinuing any of these programs.
3. What if I am not a U.S. citizen? Immigrants, refugees, and international students, who are lawfully in the U.S., have obtained permanent status from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or non-citizens serving active duty in the armed forces of the U.S may establish residency for tuition purposes. Any non-citizen entering an institution of higher education on a non-immigrant visa (i.e. student, diplomatic, visitor, or visiting scholar), including spouses and dependents, are classified as non-residents.
4. Must all these requirements be met before the semester starts in order to qualify for resident tuition that semester? Yes. Petitions for resident status will not be approved unless all requirements are met before the first day of classes for that term. Until you are officially classified as a resident, you must proceed as a non-resident. Tuition and fees must be paid on time at the non-resident rates.
5. If I fail to petition and I am charged non-resident tuition after I am eligible for a change of status, can I receive a refund of the difference between non-resident and resident tuition retroactive to the date I was eligible? No. It is the student’s responsibility to petition for a change of resident status. By not petitioning, you waive your right to recover the difference.
6. Can I lose my classification as a resident and be reclassified as a non-resident? Yes. You can lose your status in the following two ways: 1) acting to establish legal residence in another state or 2) the institution finds that resident status was granted on the basis of false or misleading information.
7. What if I am a minor? Persons under the age of 18 are considered minors under the law. A minor’s residence is presumed to be the same as his/her parents’ or legal guardian’s. The residence decision for students under 18 is based upon the legal residence of the parents or legal guardian. In the event that a non-custodial parent is a legal resident of New Mexico, the minor student will be classified as a resident.
You must be at least 19 years old to establish residency apart from your parents or guardians. With the sole exception of automatic legal emancipation upon marriage, a minor is presumed to share his parents’ or legal guardian’s residence, unless the minor presents to the appropriate institution official written evidence sufficient to justify (as a conclusion of law) a finding of the minor’s emancipation.
CONTACT US: If you require additional guidance on how to direct your question or are not able to locate the information you are looking for on the New Mexico Higher Education Department's website, please send us a message.