Students enrolling in a West Virginia public institution of higher education shall be classified as resident or nonresident for admission, tuition and fee purposes by the institutional officer designated by the President. The decision shall be based upon information furnished by the student and all other relevant information. The designated officer is authorized to require such written documents, affidavits, verifications, or other evidence as are deemed necessary to establish the domicile of a student. The burden of establishing residency for tuition and fee purposes is upon the student.
If there is a question as to residence, the matter must be brought to the attention of the designated officer and acted upon at least two weeks prior to registration and payment of tuition and fees. Students found to have made false or misleading statements concerning their residence shall be subject to disciplinary action and will be charged the nonresident fees for each session therefore attended.
Residence Determined by Domicile
Domicile within the State means adoption of the State as a fixed permanent home and involves personal presence within the State with no intent on the part of the person to return to another state or country. West Virginia domicile may be established upon the completion of at least 12 months of continued residence within the State prior to the date of registration, provided that such residence is not primarily for the purpose of attendance at any institution of learning in West Virginia.
Establishment of West Virginia domicile with less than 12 months’ residence prior to the date of registration must be supported by proof of positive and unequivocal action, including but not limited to the purchase of a West Virginia home, full-time employment within the state, paying West Virginia property tax, filing West Virginia income tax returns, registering to vote in West Virginia and the actual exercise of such right, registering of motor vehicles in West Virginia, and/or possessing a valid West Virginia driver’s license. Additional items of lesser importance include transferring or establishing local church membership, involvement in local community activities, affiliation with local social, civic, fraternal or service organizations, and various other acts which may give evidence of intent to remain indefinitely within the State. Proof of a number of these actions shall be considered only as evidence which may be used in determining whether or not a domicile has been established.
Minors are defined by the West Virginia Code ß2-2-10 as persons under 18 years of age. The residence of minors shall follow that of the parents at all times, except in extremely rare cases where emancipation can be proved beyond question. The residence of the father, or the residence of the mother if the father is deceased, is the residence of unmarried and unemancipated minors. If the father and the mother have separate places of residence, minors take the residence of the parent with whom they live or to whom they have been assigned by court order. The parents of minors will be considered residents of West Virginia if their domicile is within the State.
Minor students who are properly admitted to an institution as resident students shall retain that classification as long as they enroll each successive semester.
Emancipated minors may be considered as adults in determining residence, provided satisfactory evidence is presented that neither of their parents, if living, contributes to their support nor claims them as dependents for federal or State income tax purposes. Emancipated minors assume all of the responsibilities of adults to establish residence for tuition and fee purposes. Proof must be provided that emancipation was not achieved principally for the purpose of establishing residence for attendance at an institution of higher education.
Students Eighteen Years of Age or Over
Students 18 years of age or over may be classified as residents if (1) the parents were domiciled in the State at the time the students reached majority and such students have not acquired a domicile in another state, or (2) while adults, students have established a bona fide domicile in the State of West Virginia. Bona fide domicile in West Virginia means that students must not be in the State primarily to attend an educational institution and they must be in the State for purposes other than to attempt to qualify for resident status.
Nonresident students who reach the age of 18 years while students at any educational institution in West Virginia do not by virtue of such fact alone attain residence in this state for admission or tuition and fee payment purposes.
Students who are properly classified as residents at the time they reach the age of 18 shall continue to be classified as residents as long as they enroll each successive semester and do not establish a domicile, or legal residence, in another state.
Adult students who have been classified as out-of-state residents and who seek resident status in West Virginia must prove conclusively that they have established domicile in West Virginia with the intention of making their permanent home in this state. The intent to remain indefinitely in West Virginia is evidenced not only by persons’ statements but also by their actions. The designated institutional officer shall consider actions including but not limited to those described above in Section Two, “Residence Determined by Domicile.” Proof of a number of these actions shall be considered only as evidence which may be used in determining whether or not a domicile has been established. Factors militating against a change in residence classification may include such considerations as the fact that students are not self-supporting, that they are carried as dependents on their parents’ federal or state income tax returns or their parents’ health insurance policy, or that they customarily do not remain in the State when school is not in session.
Students may get the necessary paperwork for a change of residence from the Registrar’s Office.
Individuals who are on active military duty or employees of the federal government may be classified as residents for the purpose of payment of tuition and fees, provided that they established a domicile in West Virginia prior to entrance into federal service, entered the federal service from West Virginia, and have at no time while in federal service claimed or established a domicile in another state. Sworn statements attesting to these conditions may be required. The spouse and dependent children of such individuals shall also be classified as residents of the State of West Virginia for tuition and fee purposes. Persons assigned to full-time active military service and residing in West Virginia may be classified as instate residents for tuition and fee purposes.