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Financially Independent

You are an independent student if you are no longer financially dependent upon your parents or legal guardians. Residency is determined by several factors.

  1. Physical presence - You may be eligible for classification as a resident if you can provide clear and convincing evidence of physical presence in Washington with the intent to establish a domicile (residency) for purposes other than educational for 12 full months preceding the official start date of the quarter of enrollment.

  2. Intent to establish a domicile - The documents listed below may be required to provide clear and convincing evidence for establishing domicile primarily for other than education.

  3. Financial independence - You must also provide evidence of sufficient income (earnings) to pay the majority (51%) of annual estimated expenses as published by the Spokane Community College Financial Aid office for the current and previous calendar years.
    Note: Married students under the age of 25 must provide a copy of federal income tax return.

What documents will I need to provide?

  • Completed residency status questionnaire

  • Immigration documents (if you are not a U.S. Citizen)

  • Rental/lease agreement (first and signature page only), or home purchase agreement

  • Verification of current employment and year-to-date earnings

  • Washington State driver’s license or Washington State identification card.
    Note: Residents of the state are required to replace their previous state’s driver’s licenses within 30 days of becoming a resident.

  • Washington State vehicle registration(s)

  • Washington voter registration or Certificate of Voter Registration

  • First and signature page of federal income tax returns for the most recent tax year. You may also provide W-2 forms, financial aid award letters, irrevocable trust funds with documentation that you are withdrawing funds from the trust, and/or paycheck stubs showing year-to-date income. You must demonstrate financial independence for the previous and current calendar year.

  • A copy of your parent's most recent federal income tax return, demonstrating that you are not named as a dependent, may also be required if you were claimed as a dependent the prior tax year.

RCW 28B.15.013: Standards for Determining Domicile in the State

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WAC 250-18-030: Presumption of Move to Washington for Educational Purposes

A nonresident student who enrolls for more than six hours per quarter shall be presumed to be in the state of Washington for primarily educational purposes. Such period of enrollment shall not be counted toward the establishment of a bona fide domicile of one year in this state unless such student proves that he or she has, in fact, established a bona fide domicile in this state primarily for purposes other than educational. Therefore, the 12-month count will begin when ALL duties required of Washington residents have been completed.

Note: Presumption does not apply to students who have been transferred to the state for employment, moved to Washington with parents, or who have moved with their spouse.

Residency documents may be mailed to the Residency Office at 1810 N Greene St, MS 2151, Spokane, WA 99217. Completed questionnaires and all supporting documentation must be received by the 30th calendar day of the quarter for which application is made. Documentation received after the 30th calendar day will be considered for the following quarter. You will be contacted by the residency office once your documents have been reviewed and a decision rendered.

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Frequently Asked Questions