The New Mexico Higher Education Department defines rules and regulations for establishing residency for tuition purposes. It is authorized by the Constitution of the State of New Mexico and state statues (chapter 235, IE, NMSA 1971 and Section 21-1-4E NMSA 1978) to provide classification for a tuition differential between resident and non-resident students.
An individual must establish legal residency in New Mexico before he or she is entitled to pay in-state tuition rates.The requirements to establish residency for tuition purposes are independent from those of other types of residency such as voting and holding public office. A brochure that details residency requirements is available from the Office of the Registrar, or from the New Mexico Higher Education Department website.
Residency for tuition purposes is determined by information you provide on your application to UNM for admission or for readmission. A continuing student classified as a non-resident who has satisfied the requirements to establish residency may submit a Petition for In-State Residency Tuition Classification with the Office of the Registrar. The deadline to file a residency petition is the second Friday of each term.
Are you eligible for residency for tuition purposes?
If you live in New Mexico solely to attend school and reside out-of-state the rest of the year, you are a resident of that state and not eligible for New Mexico residency for tuition purposes.
If you are financially dependent (i.e. claimed by parents or guardians on federal income tax return) on out-of-state parents or guardians, you are a resident of the state in which the parents or guardians reside.
If you are financially independent (i.e. not claimed by parents or guardians on federal income tax return), and can provide documentation of having resided in New Mexico for the past 12 consecutive months, you may be eligible to petition for residency for in-state tuition purposes.
How do you establish New Mexico residency for tuition purposes?
In general, you must meet the following basic requirements:
- U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent residency
- The12-Month Consecutive Presence Requirement: You must physically reside in New Mexico for the 12 months immediately preceding the term in which you request resident classification. You cannot begin to establish the 12-month physical presence requirement until your 18th birthday.
- The Financial Independence Requirement: If you are under the age of 23 at the time you apply for residency, you must be financially independent (i.e. not claimed on the Federal income tax return for the previous tax year) of parents or legal guardian who are not residents of New Mexico.
- The Written Declaration of Intent Requirement: You must sign a written declaration of intent to relinquish residency in any other state and to establish residency in New Mexico.
- The Overt Acts Requirement: New Mexico requires the completion of several overt acts to support your written declaration of intent to become a resident for tuition purposes.
Note: Any act considered inconsistent with New Mexico residency, such as voter registration in another state, holding and/or maintaining a driver’s license in another state, or holding and/or maintaining a motor vehicle registration in another state, or paying in-state tuition at a college or university in another state, will cause your request for resident classification to be denied.
All requirements must be met before the first day of classes for the semester in which you petition.
How do you petition for New Mexico residency for tuition purposes?
Acquire the Petition for In-State Tuition Classification and the checklist of required supporting documentation. All supporting documents are kept confidential. Petitions are accepted for the Fall term beginning the first week of August, and for the Spring term beginning the first week of December. Your completed petition and required supporting documentation must be submitted to the Mesa Vista Hall North One-Stop, no later than the second Friday of the term.