Step 3: Read the Frequently Asked Residency Questions

Answers to our most frequent questions are provided below. Please select a topic to explore.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • General
  • What if I believe I was incorrectly classified as a non- resident upon admission?
    Refer to the “Ohio State University Application” email that you received informing you of your residency classification status. Log into your Applicant Center to review and update your personal information. When your record reflects your current information, complete the Online Residency Form. Detailed instructions can be found on Step 4.

    How do I change my residency status?
    You will need to apply online through your My Buckeye Link (current student) or Applicant Center (applicant to Ohio State). Detailed instructions can be found on Step 4.

    Can I request reclassification to change my residency status prior to enrolling for the term?
    If you are applying for a term in which you are enrolled, you may be able to apply early depending on your path to residency. If you are applying as a “Forever Buckeye” or "Military Veteran/Dependent (not active duty)" you are able to apply for residency reclassification prior to the application being available. Students pursuing "independent," "dependent" or "active military" must apply no earlier than the date the online residency application becomes available.

    Where do I find the status of my residency application?

    • Current students use My Buckeye Link. Follow steps 1-3 of the current student instructions. This will take you to your document list for the requested term. Your "Student Residency Status" will appear at the top of the page. See below for the status definitions.
    • Applicants to The Ohio State University use the Applicant Center will follow steps 1-3 of the applicant student instructions. This will take you to your document list for the requested term. Your "Student Residency Status" will appear at the top of the page. See below for the status definitions.

    What do the different application status types mean?

    Status Definitions are available on Step 5: Residency Application Status and Decisions.

    What is the definition of domicile for residency purposes?
    Domicile establishes that a legal tenancy exists (your name on a lease, closing statement from a home purchase, or campus housing contract.).

    How important is it that I obtain an Ohio driver license or register to vote in Ohio?
    Obtaining an Ohio driver license and registering to vote in Ohio demonstrates your intent to make Ohio your state of residence.

    Will I automatically become a resident for the tuition subsidy once I have lived in Ohio for a year?
    No. Any student who has been classified as a non-resident must request reclassification as a resident and meet the established requirements.

    If I am currently working full-time in Ohio, am I eligible for the tuition subsidy?
    If you are employed on a full-time or part-time basis AND are financially self-sustaining, you may be eligible under one of the financially independent guidelines. We cannot confirm eligibility until your completed application has been reviewed.

    Where can I find a notary?
    If you require notary services, please contact Student Legal Services or Buckeye Link for further assistance. Off-campus notary services may be available at your local bank, post office, or UPS store.

    What income sources are ineligible for helping me establish in-state residency as a financially independent student?
    The following are examples of income sources, if used within the 12-month period preceding the semester residency reclassification is desired, that would make a student ineligible for residency: 

    • Gifts from family or friends received during or up to 12 months prior to the review period that assist with living or tuition expenses regardless of the person being an Ohio resident
    • Any direct or indirect support from persons or entities (including family members) for living expenses or a reduction to living cost that is not commensurate to fair market value including cell phones, health insurance and vehicle expenses.
    • Savings that have not been in an account, in your name, for at least 24 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of the term in which you desire reclassification.
    • Employment income made during or up to 12 months prior to the review period that has not been subjected to Ohio taxation.
    • PLUS loan money taken out by the student’s parents 
    • "Personal loans" or monies that do not come from: 
    • grants or scholarships 
    • loans from legitimate financial institutions
    • loans from the federal government
    • Financial aid that required you to be a resident of another state, including the National Buckeye Scholar Award from The Ohio State University

    If I am employed and being paid cash (IE: tip income, babysitting), is this income eligible for residency?
    Employment income earned as cash is only eligible for residency if it is subject to Ohio taxation. It is the responsibility of the student to provide proof that the income has been subject to Ohio taxation, otherwise it is ineligible income.

    If I am paying Ohio taxes, does this automatically qualify me for the tuition subsidy?
    Not necessarily. If you are trying to establish residency in Ohio, paying taxes in Ohio is an indicator of your intent to become an Ohio resident. However, you must meet all of the residency criteria to be eligible for residency for tuition purposes.

    If I own property or a business in Ohio, but live in another state, does that make me (or my dependents) eligible for the tuition subsidy?
    No. The state guidelines do not grant residency to individuals or their dependents solely on the basis that they own property or a business in Ohio.

    Can I leave Ohio?
    Please visit the Residency and Your Time Out of State page for clarification regarding financially independent students applying for Ohio residency and for information regarding COVID-19.

  • Graduate of an Ohio High School (Forever Buckeye)
  • I received a GED in Ohio, does Forever Buckeye apply to me?
    No, you must have graduated from an Ohio high school or completed the final year of instruction at home as authorized under section 3321.04 of the revised code.

  • Military Member (including spouses / dependents)
  • How does being in the military affect my (or my dependents) residency?
    With the implementation of the “Ohio Promise” there are a number of opportunities for service members and their families. Please review the various classifications.

    For more information on Ohio’s commitments, please visit the Ohio Department of Higher Education website.

  • Financially Independent Students
  • What income sources are ineligible for helping me establish in-state residency as a financially independent student?
    The following are examples of income sources, if used within the 12-month period preceding the semester residency reclassification is desired, that would make a student ineligible for residency: 

    • Gifts from family or friends received during or up to 12 months prior to the review period that assist with living or tuition expenses regardless if the person is an Ohio resident, or not
    • Any direct or indirect support from persons or entities (including family members) for living expenses or a reduction to living cost that is not commensurate to fair market value
    • Savings that have not been in an account, in your name, for at least 24 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of the term in which you desire reclassification.
    • Employment income made during or up to 12 months prior to the review period that has not been subjected to Ohio taxation.
    • PLUS loan money taken out by the student’s parents 
    • "Personal loans" or monies that do not come from: 
    • grants or scholarships 
    • loans from legitimate financial institutions 
    • loans from the federal government 
    • Financial aid that required you to be a resident of another state, including the National Buckeye Scholar Award from The Ohio State University

    If I am employed and being paid cash (IE: tip income, babysitting), is this income eligible for residency?
    Employment income earned as cash is only eligible for residency if it is subject to Ohio taxation. It is the responsibility of the student to provide proof that the income has been subject to Ohio taxation, otherwise it is ineligible income.

    If I am paying Ohio taxes, does this automatically qualify me for the tuition subsidy?
    Not necessarily. If you are trying to establish residency in Ohio, paying taxes in Ohio is an indicator of your intent to become an Ohio resident. However, you must meet all of the residency criteria to be eligible for residency for tuition purposes.

    If I own property or a business in Ohio, but live in another state, does that make me (or my dependents) eligible for the tuition subsidy?
    No. The state guidelines do not grant residency to individuals or their dependents solely on the basis that they own property or a business in Ohio.

  • Financially Dependent Students
  • I have lived in Ohio my entire life except for the past couple of years. Do my dependents and I still qualify for the tuition subsidy?
    The cumulative time a person has lived in Ohio is not relevant. If the person has been away from Ohio for more than the twelve months immediately preceding enrollment, he or she will not maintain his or her residency status for the tuition subsidy. However, a student may qualify if he or she graduated from an Ohio high school. (See Residency Classification C-8.)

    My parents are divorced, but one of them lives in Ohio. Would I still qualify for the tuition subsidy?
    As long as a dependent student has one parent who has been an Ohio resident for at least the 12 months immediately preceding enrollment, he or she will be considered a resident whether or not the student actually lived in Ohio. (See Residency Classification C-1.)

    Can I qualify as a dependent if my total income is greater than my parent’s income?
    No. Your parent must provide, at a minimum, 51% of your financial support.

    Does marrying an Ohio resident automatically make me a resident?
    Marriage to a person living in Ohio does not automatically make you an Ohio resident for tuition purposes. The person you marry must qualify as a resident for all legal purposes. You would need to complete the Online Residency Form to update this information.

    Can I qualify under someone other than my parent, legal guardian or spouse?
    No. A student cannot base dependency on another relative, fiancée, in-laws, etc. A dependent student may only be reviewed under a guideline through their dependency upon a parent, legal guardian or spouse.

    If I am moving to Ohio to attend The Ohio State University as a graduate student and will be on a fellowship or assistantship, does my spouse qualify under Residency Classification C-3?
    No. To be eligible for instant residency, a student must be dependent upon a spouse or parent who has full-time employment in Ohio. A graduate fellowship or assistantship is not considered full-time employment.

    The student could request reclassification for residency once they have lived in Ohio for twelve consecutive months. At that time, the income earned by the spouse through a fellowship or assistantship could be considered eligible income. (See Residency Classification C-2.)

    If my parents move out of Ohio, how is my residency affected?
    The state residency guidelines have two clauses that potentially address this:

    1. If your parents are Ohio residents and move out of the state while you are an enrolled resident student at The Ohio State University, you will continue to be classified as a resident through the completion of one degree program, provided that you maintain continuous full-time enrollment (at least autumn and spring terms). If you apply for a second degree program (i.e., graduate or professional school), your residency status will be reviewed, and you will have to meet the residency criteria on your own.
    2. If you are a dependent student applying for admission to The Ohio State University and your Ohio resident parents move out of the state, you will be considered a resident as long as you enroll within 12 months of the date your parents physically moved out of Ohio. A student would then have to maintain continuous full-time enrollment (at least autumn and spring terms). Students will be required to submit proof of when their parents sold their home in Ohio (or ended an apartment lease) and physically left Ohio in addition to when their employment ended in Ohio. When a parent physically leaves Ohio and also ends his or her employment are both factors in determining when a parent has left Ohio and the 12-month period begins for which a student must enroll.
  • Immigration Status and Visa Types
  • How do I know if I hold an eligible visa status?
    Please see the Immigration Status - Eligible/Non-eligible Visa Types handout for detailed information.

  • Resources
  • Ohio Administrative Code

    Ohio Revised Code