In-State Tuition Residency Requirements
For tuition purposes, Texas state law classifies all applicants to El Paso Community College as either (1) Residents
of Texas, (2) Non-residents of Texas, or (3) foreign students. This is important since this determines whether
students pay in-state or out-of-state tuition, and whether or not a student might qualify for state-based financial
aid. Please understand that residency for admission and tuition purposes at EPCC is different from residency
for voting or tax purposes, and will be based on the information provided on the ApplyTexas application in accordance
with the rules established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
A student’s residency status is determined at the time of application by the answers given on the Core Residency
section of the application. If a student would like to have EPCC to review their residency status as determined
by the application the student can resubmit their EPCC Core Questions and request that Admissions and Registration
complete a Residency Classification Review. Students will be contacted as to the documentation needed to support
this request for review. Students will also need to submit a new application anytime that there has been an interruption
in their enrollment equal to or longer than a consecutive fall and spring semester.
In order to qualify as a Texas resident an individual must both (1) reside in Texas for one year and (2) establish
a domicile in Texas prior to enrollment. An applicant or student who is claimed as a dependent on a parent’s
most recent federal tax return will be classified based on the parent’s qualifications for residency. An applicant
(or the applicant’s parent, in the case of dependent students) are considered to have established a domicile
in Texas if at least one of the following conditions has been met for at least twelve consecutive months immediately
preceding the census date of the semester in which a person seeks to enroll:
- Sole or joint marital ownership of residential real property in Texas having established and maintained domicile
at that residence,
- Ownership and customary management of a business which is regularly operated without the intent of liquidation
in the foreseeable future
- Gainful employment that provides for at least one-half of the individual's expenses or employment of at least
twenty hours per week. For gainful employment purposes, wages earned cannot include funds received from employment
that is conditional upon a person’s status as a student. So earnings received from work study, stipends,
fellowships, teaching assistantships, etc., do not qualify as gainful employment.
- Marriage for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the census date of the semester in which
a person seeks to enroll to a person who has established and maintained a domicile by one of the above three
methods detailed above.
Again – Texas residency requires that the individual both live in Texas for at 12 consecutive months and that they
establish a domicile (as outlined above) in the state of Texas.
The establishment and/or update of a student’s residency status will always require a new application with the Core
Residency Questions completed. Students who wish their residency status to be reviewed my submit an updated Residency
Core Questions. The Office of Admissions & Registration will contact the student after reviewing their Residency
Core Questions and determining what type of documentation is needed to support their residency claim. It should
be understood that a student’s residency status can never be established or updated merely by presenting documentation.
A new application or an updated Residency Core Questions form will always be need to update a student’s residency
The rules established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board provide several options to establish Texas
Residency. These options are detailed below. A student may be asked to provide documentation that provides proof
that they have both lived in Texas for the last year and established a domicile in the state. The type of documentation
requested may differ according to the student’s individual circumstances.
Eligibility through High School
Students that meet all of the following criteria qualify for in-state tuition:
- Graduated from a public or accredited private high school in Texas or received the equivalent of a high school
diploma in the state, and
- Lived in Texas for the 36 months immediately preceding the date of graduation, and
- Lived and established domicile in Texas the 12 months preceding the census date of the academic semester
in which the student enrolls at EPCC.
If a student meets the above criteria, but is not a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident they qualify
for in-state tuition under Senate Bill 1528. The Senate Bill 1528 Residency Affidavit must be notarized and
returned to the Office of Admissions and Registration.
If a student does not meet the Texas high school requirement, there are additional ways to qualify for Texas
residency by meeting one of the following:
- An individual who provides more than one half of their own financial support, and is not eligible to be claimed
as a dependent for income tax purposes, and
- Has established and maintained their domicile (according to the criteria outlined above) in Texas for the 12
consecutive months preceding the census date of the academic semester in which they enroll at EPCC.
- An individual whose parent or court-appointed legal guardian claims the student as a dependent for federal income
tax purposes (or provides more than half of the student's financial support for those not subject to
US federal income taxes), and
- Has established a domicile (according to the criteria outlined above) in Texas not less than 12 months before
the census date of the academic semester in which they enroll at EPCC, and
- Has maintained a residence continuously in the state for the 12 months immediately preceding the census date
of the academic semester in which the person enrolls in the institution.
Active Military and their Spouses and Dependents
Students who are active members of the Military – as well as their spouses and dependents – can be classified
as residents of Texas if (1) the service member’s Home of Record with the military is Texas, or (2) if they
provide EPCC with Leave and Earning Statements that show that they have claimed Texas as their place of residence.
Active duty military students (as well as their spouses and dependents) may also have their out-of-state tuition
waived to in-state tuition if the service member is stationed with a unit in Texas. To obtain this waiver
the student must submit a completed Military Waiver Request that includes the signature of the service member’s
commanding officer. The waiver will remain in effect for one year. A new waiver will need to be resubmitted
each academic year or after any interruption in the student’s enrollment that exceeds one semester.
Veterans and their Spouses and Dependents
Veterans of the Military who have been honorably discharged (as well as their spouses and dependents) are classified
for tuition purposes as Texas residents if the military member’s home of record on their DD 214 indicates
Texas, and the issue date of this form is within one year of the student’s enrollment at EPCC.
Veterans can also qualify for a waiver allowing them (and their spouses and dependents) to pay the equivalent
of in-state tuition by submitting an “Intent to Establish Residence in Texas” form to EPCC. In order for
this waiver to be granted the student will need to be in compliance with all of the provisions detailed in
section 54.058 of the Texas Education Code.
Students who submit these waivers should understand that they will continue to be listed as non-residents with
a waiver to pay the resident tuition as prescribed by Section 54.058 (k and l) of the Texas Education Code.
Qualifying Veterans (and their spouses and dependents) are also eligible to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition
and fees in accordance with section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 (the
“Choice Act”). This law prescribes that schools that have students using benefits under the Post-9/11 GI
Bill® and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty charge qualifying veterans, spouses and dependents tuition and fees
at the rate for resident students starting for terms beginning after July 1, 2015. For the purposes of the
“Choice Act” a person qualifies if they are:
- A Veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her
formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of
active duty service of 90 days or more.
- A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning
is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within 3 years
of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
- A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in
the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state
of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the Service member’s death in the line
of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
Students who plan to use veteran’s benefits to fund their education should contact EPCC’s Office of Veteran’s
affairs for more information.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education
benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at
New Mexico Bordering County Waiver
Students who are residents of counties in New Mexico that share a border with Texas are classified as non-residents
but may be able to receive the benefit of paying in-state tuition as authorized by the Texas Education Code
54.213(g). To apply for this waiver students should submit the New Mexico Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request
to EPCC’s Office of Admissions and Registration and provide proof that they have resided in one of eligible
New Mexican counties for the last 12 consecutive months.
Residency Classification Review
Sometimes students submit incorrect information or information that makes it appear as though they are non-residents
when they actually do qualify for Texas residency. In other cases, students initially ineligible for residency
later become eligible. Furthermore, if a student has not registered for classes at EPCC during the preceding
fall and spring semesters, they will need to reestablish their residency status.
If a student wants to have their residency status reviewed they need to complete and submit the Residency Core
Questions to EPCC’s Office of Admissions and Registration for review. Students will be contacted as to the
documentation needed to support this request for review.
Documentation That Might Be Requested
Depending on the individual’s response to the core residency questions, a number of different types of documents
might be requested to support a student’s residency status. These include but are not limited to:
- Texas high school transcript
- Transcript from a Texas institution
- Texas driver’s license or Texas ID card showing origination date
- Texas voter registration card showing origination date
- Pay stubs
- Utility bills in name of the person
- Bank statements
- Written statements from one or more social service agencies
- Lease or rental of residential real property in the name of the person
- Tax returns for most recent tax year
- Visa, passport, or other pertinent immigration documents
- Lease and Earnings Statement (LES)
- License to conduct business in Texas
- Employer-provided employment verification, proof of self-employment or living off earnings statement
- Ownership in real property sole or joint
- Marriage to a person who has established and maintained domicile in Texas
- Ownership in a Business in part or whole in Texas.
Again, it should be understood that a person’s residency status cannot be established by merely supplying documentation.
A completed application or Residency Core Questions form will always need to be submitted in order to establish
or update a residency status.
Please contact the Office of Admissions and Registration to inquire as to what type of documents will need to
provide to prove that you have established residency in the State of Texas.