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Washington residents pay less for college

Students who are Washington residents: 

  • Pay resident (in-state) tuition and fees.
  • Are eligible for state financial aid programs like the Washington College Grant and College Bound.
  • In most cases, a Washington resident is someone who lives in the state for one year immediately prior to starting their college or program.  

 

But there are other ways to be a resident. The state has rules for how certain groups of people — like military veterans and students in Oregon border counties — can get residency. 

 

students at desk

Student Residency page on the Washington Student Achievement Council website

Learn about more information about other ways to qualify as a Washington resident.


How residency is determined

When a student applies to Lower Columbia College, they are classified as a resident or nonresident based on how they answer questions on the LCC admission application and financial aid application (FAFSA/WASFA).

There are two different kinds of residency. Sometimes they don’t match, because they have different rules:

  • Residency for tuition purposes determines whether a student pays in-state, out-of-state, or international rates.
    • You can see whether you have been classified as a resident or nonresident for tuition purposes by checking your charges in ctcLink. Your tuition charges will either  say “Non-Resident” or “Resident.” 
  • Residency for financial aid purposes determines whether a student is eligible for Washington State financial aid programs like the Washington College Grant, College Bound,Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, and others.

You may need to update your residency if…

  • You are being charged higher nonresident tuition rates and you believe you should be classified as a resident. 
  •  You see a Residency Mismatch notification in ctcLink -- this means there is a conflict between your tuition residency and your financial aid residency. To resolve this, you either need to either change your financial aid residency classification or your tuition residency classification.
  • You were a Running Start or Transitional Studies student. These students may have an “Undetermined” residency status and will be charged international rates until their residency is updated.

Residency Affidavit

In July 2021, Washington passed a new law  making it easier for all Washingtonians to get resident tuition and state financial aid.  Eligible students can submit a form called a Residency Affidavit and no other evidence will be required. This is open to all students regardless of citizenship or immigration status. 

 

Under the new law, you qualify for resident tuition and state financial aid if you meet these three requirements:

  1. Earn a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent before your first term at LCC
  2. Maintain a primary residence in Washington for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before your first term at LCC
  3. Sign an affidavit swearing that you meet the above requirements and that one of the following is true:
    1. You are a US citizen/permanent resident, OR
    2. You will apply to become a permanent US resident as soon as you are eligible, and you are willing to engage in activities designed to prepare you for citizenship, including citizenship or civics review course.

You can sign the Residency Affidavit electronically from any device by clicking the button below:

 

Residency Questionnaire

If you do not meet the requirements for the Residency Affidavit, you may need to submit a Residency Questionnaire. All portions of the residency questionnaire must be completed and you must include documentation to verify the information you are submitting. 

Click here for more information about the Residency Questionnaire

You can sign the Residency Questionnaire electronically from any device by clicking the button below:

There are other ways to qualify as a resident. For more information, visit the Washington Student Achievement Council website.

 


Frequently asked questions about residency

Anyone who meets the three requirements, including students in any immigration status, of any age, regardless of financial dependency or parent residency, driver’s license, living situation, purpose of moving to the state, etc.

“First term at LCC” will include:

  • A student taking their first classes at LCC
  • A student who is returning to LCC after not attending for a year or more
  • A previous Running Start student in their first quarter as a non-RS student
  • A previous Transitional Studies student in their first quarter as a non-TS student
  • Any student in their first quarter as a BAS student

Washington state law sets the processes and requirements LCC must follow when determining student residency. All public colleges must follow these laws and regulations:

 


Contact Registration & One-Stop Center

Registration and the One-Stop Center are located in the Admissions Center building. Walk-ins welcome during regular business hours. 

  One-Stop Center

  (360) 442-2322
  onestop@lowercolumbia.edu

  Registration Office

  (360) 442-2370
  registration@lowercolumbia.edu

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