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Rhode Island Residency Guidelines

For policies pertaining to New England Regional Residency, click here.

RHODE ISLAND BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION ANNOUNCES IN-STATE TUITION PROGRAM FOR VETERANS

RESIDENCY POLICY - BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS

Policies used in determining residency for tuition purposes at the University of Rhode Island have been established by the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education (RIBGHE). Tuition rates for students from outside the state or country differ from those for students who are Rhode Island residents.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR RHODE ISLAND RESIDENCY?

For an incoming graduate student to be considered a Rhode Island resident, s/he must be a United States citizen or Permanent Resident and have established a bona fide permanent residence in the state for at least one full year prior to the first class day of the first term of his/her registration, OR be legally married to an individual who has been a Rhode Island resident for at least one full year prior to the first class day of the first term of registration.

Members of the Armed Forces (and spouses) on active duty stationed in Rhode Island on military orders qualify for classification as a Rhode Island resident student during any semester in which the first class day is encompassed by the orders.

WHAT IF I COMPLETED MY BACHELOR'S STUDIES IN RI AS AN OUT-OF-STATE STUDENT?

If you attended a public university in Rhode Island (either URI or RIC) and were registered as an out-of-state student during your previous academic program, you are considered as being in the state for educational purposes only, and you ARE NOT ELIGIBLE for in-state tuition unless you take at least 12 months off from school and establish a bona fide residence in the state for one full year prior to the first class day of the first term of your graduate program registration. You must prove that your permanent home is in Rhode Island and that you plan to remain a resident of Rhode Island. Otherwise, you are considered an out-of-state student because you have come into the state to complete your education.

If you attended a private university in Rhode Island as an undergraduate student, you may qualify for in-state tuition if you meet all the requirements for Rhode Island residency.

WHAT DOCUMENTS SHOULD I PROVIDE TO PROVE MY RESIDENCY?

Complete the top portion of the Certificate of Residence with the information requested. Have your town clerk fill in the bottom portion with your first day of residence and apply an official signature and the raised seal of the town. The form is not valid for residency unless stamped, this form is only official if it is mailed or brought to the Graduate School. We do not accept scanned or faxed copies.

If you are not a registered voter, you should still complete the top portion of the form and submit it to the Graduate School with other documents. We can use the following to establish residency:

  • Deed (in your name) to your home in Rhode Island; date of settlement must be 

prior to the start of classes for the term in which you are seeking classification

as a RI resident (Please note: if the deed is in the name of your spouse, you

must provide a copy of your marriage license).

-OR-

  • Proof of ownership of a free-standing business (outside the home) in Rhode

Island. Ownership of an online or "virtual" business is not sufficient for resident

status.


Additional documents that you should provide to aid us in establishing your residency, but which alone are not proof of residency:

  • RI Income Tax return from previous year showing one year's residency in RI.
  • Utility bills in your name, addressed to your RI address, with billing date at  

least one full year prior to the first class day of the first term of enrollment.

  • Bank statements in your name, addressed to your RI address, with statement

date at least one full year prior to the first class day of the first term of   

enrollment.

  • Letter from employer, if applicable, indicating your start date and the 

employer's intentions for keeping you on as an employee in Rhode Island.

  • RI driver's license showing issue date at least one year prior to start of

classes.

  • Lease or rental agreement (in your name) to your home in Rhode Island; date 

of occupancy must be at least one full year prior to the first class day of the

first term of enrollment. (Please note: if the lease is in the name of your

spouse, you must provide a copy of your marriage license).

  • Voter Registration card showing at least one year's residency in RI.

I AM A LEGAL ALIEN. CAN I QUALIFY FOR RHODE ISLAND RESIDENCY?

Legal aliens may be eligible for Rhode Island residency and in-state tuition IF they (1) meet all the other requirements for Rhode Island residency and (2) possess a current, valid Permanent Resident ("Green") Card. To apply for in-state residency status, you must provide the items listed under "What documents should I provide to prove my residency?" along with a copy of the Green Card.

I AM (OR MY SPOUSE IS) STATIONED IN RHODE ISLAND ON A U.S. MILITARY ASSIGNMENT. WHAT DOCUMENTATION DO I NEED TO PROVIDE?

Military students must complete the Certificate of Residence and provide a copy of their military orders. A military spouse must also provide a copy of the marriage license.

I ENTERED URI AS AN OUT-OF-STATE GRADUATE STUDENT BUT BELIEVE I NOW QUALIFY FOR IN-STATE RESIDENCY STATUS. HOW DO I APPLY FOR RE-CLASSIFICATION?

The Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education has set a high bar for changing from out-of-state to in-state residency for tuition purposes. To effect this change you must show clear and compelling evidence that you intend to have Rhode Island be your permanent place of residence following the completion of your studies. Such evidence may include one of the following:

1) Purchase of your primary home in Rhode Island before the first day of classes

    for the term in which you seek re-classification as an in-state resident  

    student.


2) Marriage to a Rhode Island resident (your spouse must have been a legal

    resident for at least one year prior to your marriage) before the first day of

    classes for the term in which you seek re-classification as an in-state resident

    student.


3) Starting a free-standing business in Rhode Island as an in-state resident

    student. Ownership of an online or "virtual" business is not sufficient for

    resident status.

To apply for re-classification, complete the Residency Application and the Certificate of Residence and submit them to the Graduate School along with all supporting documentation. You will be notified of the outcome of your request after the Graduate Dean has reviewed your request. Please note; the Certificate of Residence can not be scanned, faxed or uploaded to the online application. In order for it to be official we must have it mailed or brought in to the Graduate School.