Entire family moving to CA after graduation - OOS tuition for how long?

Hi, first post here. I’ve searched but haven’t found anything specific on our unique situation.

We’re parents to a HS freshman and just dipping our toes in the college planning world. We live in Seattle now, but are from California and are thinking about moving back to CA after our daughter graduates. The tentative plan is to move to CA the summer after she graduates (from a Seattle area school). There are a lot more colleges in CA than WA and we’re wondering what is required for her to establish residency and get in-state tuition rates in CA, if she decides to go to a CA school. Is the residency determined by each college, or is there a standard for all CA colleges? I read that she might be eligible for in-state after one year (366 days) of our entire family living in CA; do I have that right? In other words, we would pay 1 year OOS and 3 years in-state tuition.

My quick review shows that CA is a hard state to establish residency in, so I’m curious if it is even possible for folks like us who do make a full move of the entire family, buy a house in CA, etc. etc. Appreciate any insight or suggestions for further research.


@Gumbymom can likely give you a brief and quick summary.

I know there is a time requirement, but you also have to demonstrate a couple of other things:

  1. You cannot be making this move for the purpose of getting instate college tuition.

  2. You must show that you are intending to remain in CA for the long term.

You are correct that you as parents plus your daughter need to have a physical presence in California for at least 365 days prior to your CA residency determination. So if she is accepted to a California public University, then you would be paying OOS fees for the first year and then she can be re-evaluated for California residency after the 365 days.

@MWolf has sent you link for the UCOP residency policies.

UC’s and CSU’s will use this policy. Some community colleges in California may have different residency policies. Private California universities will not consider California residency for tuition purposes.

@thumper is correct that you have to show that you plan to make California your permanent home and need to show documentation to prove this. It is all stated in the UCOP residency link.

I think it’s hard to establish residency in California for anything other than paying tax. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Thank you everyone, this is exactly what I was looking for.

Lol. Isn’t that the truth!?!

Edit: Sorry, I was trying to reply to Rivet2000. Haven’t figured out how to quote yet!

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not a residency expert but, as a I thought you might look at WUE schools, It is a program that offers discounts to includes many public colleges to students from Western states - WA and CA included.