How to Apply for Residency 

Resident and nonresident classification for enrollment purposes are determined at the time of application to Hartnell College. If your residency classification is incorrect, students must submit a residency reclassification and supporting documents for review. 

Residents:  A resident student is one who has been a legal resident in California for more than a year immediately preceding the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to enroll and who demonstrates the intent to remain a permanent California resident.

Non-Residents: A non-resident student is one who has not had a legal residency in California for more than one year immediately preceding the beginning of the semester.  Non-resident students are required to pay non-resident tuition in addition to enrollment fees.

Eligible students that intend to become residents of California must fulfill both the Physical Presence and Intent requirements listed below. Please note that if you are claimed as a dependent on your parents’ income tax returns filed in a state other than California, you are NOT eligible to establish California residency.

Physical Presence

The eligible student must be physically present in the State of California for one (1) year prior to the start of the term for which the student is applying or enrolling for. The one-year period begins when the student is not only present in California but also has demonstrated clear intent to become a permanent resident of California. Students will be required to provide proof of continuous presence in California for the past (12) months. This may be accomplished by providing a rental/lease agreement, utility bills, employment pay stubs, etc. for the past (12) months in the student's name.


Eligible students must clearly verify intent to make California their permanent place of residency by (no one factor is controlling):

  • Living in California for two consecutive years
  • Paying California State tax as a resident
  • Establishing and maintaining an active California bank account
  • Registered to vote in the State of California
  • Owning residential property
  • Possessing a California ID or Drivers License

Non-resident students that wish to change their status or students that feel they have been classified as non-residents in error will need to apply for reclassification of residency status. To change status, students must complete the Residency Reclassification Form and submit it along with supporting documentation to the Admissions & Records office; incomplete forms will not be accepted.

Supporting documentation consists of three proofs of residency demonstrating physical presence and intent. Two items must be dated at least one year and one day prior to the start of the term for which you are applying for. These items must not be older than two years prior to the start of the term. The third item must show that the student is currently a resident of California.

To be considered for resident classification students must:

  • provide clear and convincing evidence that you have satisfied all residency requirements.
  • complete a residency reclassification request before the deadline; if you miss the deadline, you will be classified as a nonresident and will be responsible for all nonresident fees.

Examples of acceptable documentation are:

  • California Driver's License or California ID
  • A resident California Tax Form (540)
  • California Vehicle Registration
  • Rental/Lease agreement
  • Bank Statement

Fill out the Residency Reclassification Form and gather your supporting documentation that meets the 1 year and 1 day requirement. Submit completed packet to the Office of Admissions & Records in person or via email at

Important deadlines

Completed residency reclassification packets must be submitted by the below dates and meet the 1 year and 1 day requirement for consideration. Packets submitted after these dates will be considered for the following term.

Term applying for   Deadline
Fall   2nd Friday in August
Spring   1st Friday in January
Summer   2nd Friday in May

Active duty military, veterans, and their dependents may also qualify for residency or a non-resident tuition exemption. Documentation could include active duty orders, Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), DD214 discharge papers, and/or Certificate of Eligibility.

Important deadlines

Fill out the Residency Reclassification Form, supporting documentation and submit them to the Office of Admissions & Records in person or via email at

Term applying for   Deadline
Fall   2nd Friday in August
Spring   1st Friday in January
Summer   2nd Friday in May

California Non-Resident Tuition Exemption (AB 540) as amended by Education Code section 68130.5

Under the provisions of AB 540 (2001), certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California are exempted from payment of nonresident tuition at public colleges and universities in California, including Hartnell. 

SB 68 expands AB540 requirements and enables students to count years spent at a California Community College and Adult School towards AB 540 eligibility.

Any student, other than one with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) non-immigrant visa status (see exception below for students who have been granted T or U visa status), who meets all of the following requirements, shall be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University (all public colleges and universities in California).

If you are an undocumented individual, hold a T and U visa, are a U.S. citizen, and are a lawfully present immigrant that meet the eligibility criteria, you are eligible. 

To be considered for the nonresident tuition exemption under AB 540/SB 68, students must meet 2 requirements:

  1. Length of time & coursework completed per school; and
  2. Degree Completion, Unit Requirements, GED, or other

AB 540 Requirements

Instructions for completing and submitting the CA Non-resident tuition exemption request form:

If you feel you are eligible for this exemption: 

  1. Fill out the California Nonresident Tuition Exemption Request Form (AB 540 form)
  2. Gather your transcripts /attendance records
  3. Submit form along with your official transcripts/attendance records to Admissions and Records Office in person at the Student Services Building B or via email at


Important deadlines

Term applying for   Deadline
Fall   3rd Friday in August
Spring   2nd Friday in January
Summer   3rd Friday in May


If you are an undocumented student, there might be state financial aid available to help you pay for your tuition, visit the Financial Aid website for more information. 

For additional information on resources to undocumented students, please go to our UndocuScholar Resource Center website.

Students that are in the United States with a visa that allows establishment of residency must fulfill the one year physical presence and intent requirements listed above. Students with a visa that precludes establishment of residency, will be charged the California enrollment fee plus non-resident fees and an out-of-country surcharge. International Student in F-1 visa status must contact the International Student Program to obtain critical admission requirements.




Who To Contact

  • Admissions and Records
    Phone: Phone: (831) 755-6711 Fax: (831) 759-6014
    Building: Hartnell College Main Campus
    Office: Building B, Room B-121
    411 Central Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901


  • B - Student Services

    B - Student Services B-121