Wildcat Statue

Residency Policy for Tuition Purposes

Residency Policy for Tuition Purposes

Among the obligations of Northern Michigan University to the State of Michigan and its taxpayers is the provision of educational opportunity to residents of the state and their spouses and children at lower tuition rates than those charged to nonresidents.

All students. 

Resident Status
The status as a resident for tuition purposes is dependent on domicile in the state of Michigan. Resident students are defined as students domiciled in the state of Michigan. Nonresident students are defined as those whose domicile is elsewhere. Thus, for a nonresident student to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes, he or she must demonstrate that their previous domicile has been abandoned and a Michigan domicile established, and show intent, on the part of the student or his or her parent or spouse, to make Michigan his or her permanent home, not only while the student is attending the university, but thereafter as well.

Each student is responsible for correctly reporting the state of her or his domicile at application for admission. The admissions office shall administer the regulations prior to a student’s first enrollment. Thereafter, the regulations shall be administered by the registrar. If there are any possible questions as to a student's domicile, the student is required to advise the director of admissions or registrar of possible changes in residence and to furnish all requested information pertinent thereto.

No students shall be eligible for reclassification as residents unless they shall be domiciled in the State of Michigan, and have resided in Michigan continuously for not less than six months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the semester for which reclassification is sought.

For purposes of these regulations, the age of majority is 18 years. A minor does not have the capacity to establish his or her own domicile. Normally, the domicile of a minor follows that of the parents or legal guardian.

Circumstances that Support Residency
Each individual case must be determined on its own particular facts. The following facts and circumstances, although not necessarily conclusive evidence of domicile, have probative value in support of a claim for Michigan residency:

  • graduation from a Michigan high school
  • length of continuous presence in Michigan during periods when not enrolled as a student
  • reliance on Michigan sources of income
  • selective service registration
  • ownership of a home in Michigan
  • acceptance of an offer of permanent employment in the State of Michigan
  • former domicile in the state and maintenance of significant connections therein while absent
  • domicile in Michigan of family, guardian or other relatives or persons legally responsible for the student
  • commitments to further education in Michigan indicating an intent to stay here permanently
  • other factors indicating an intent to make Michigan the student’s domicile will be considered

A person who is not a citizen of the United States and his or her spouse and children shall be eligible for classification as Michigan residents for tuition purposes if such person has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States, has received a permanent visa, and fulfills other requirements for Michigan residency specified in this policy

Circumstances That May Not Support Residency
The following facts and circumstances, standing alone, shall not constitute sufficient evidence of domicile to effect classification of a student as a resident under these regulations:

  • voting or voting registration
  • automobile registration and/or driver's license
  • a statement of intention to acquire a domicile in Michigan
  • employment in any position normally filled by a student
  • the lease of living quarters
  • other public records (e.g., birth record)

Changes in Status
Residence in the State of Michigan while enrolled at Northern Michigan University is not an indication of domicile in Michigan. However, resident status may be gained, without the six month domicile requirement, in accordance with the following rules:

  • the domicile of a married student follows that of his or her spouse, if such spouse has established a domicile in Michigan
  • persons participating in United States Olympic Center approved programs
  • a person who has participated in the United States Olympic Education Committee in programs under the auspices of the United States Olympic Center, who has departed from the program in good standing, and who has obtained state of Michigan residency, may be classified a resident
  • dependent children and grandchildren of Northern Michigan University graduates who have received an associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree
  • university employees, including graduate assistants, and their dependents. Student employees are excluded from this section

Resident-equivalent Rates
Tuition rates equivalent to resident rates for the same programs are available to students in the following categories:

  • holders of associate degrees from Northern Michigan University who have not been enrolled at Northern Michigan University for twelve or more months
  • holders of baccalaureate degrees from Northern Michigan University
  • veterans or those currently serving in the United States Armed Forces and their covered individuals
    • this includes, but is not limited to, any individual using educational assistance under either Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill® – Active Duty Program), Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 GI Bill®), of title 38, United States Code, and/or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) while attending Northern Michigan University.
  • If you graduated from a Michigan high school (or earned a GED) after having attended a Michigan high school for at least three years and enroll at NMU within 28 months after graduation or GED completion, you are eligible for in-state tuition. Students are eligible to receive in-state tuition under this section regardless of whether they are domiciled in Michigan, residents of Michigan, or citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.

Requesting Changes
The responsibility for requesting a change in residency classification rests with the student. Application forms for reclassification shall be filed not later than 10 calendar days following the first day of classes of the semester for which such reclassification is sought. Such application shall be filed with the appropriate office (Admissions or Registrar) and shall set forth in writing a complete statement of the facts upon which the application is based, together with affidavits or other supporting documentary evidence. Failure to file a timely application shall constitute a waiver of all claims to reclassification or rebates for said semester.

Residency Reclassification Effective Date
Reclassification shall be effective for the semester in which the application was timely filed in accordance with this section and for each semester thereafter so long as the circumstances upon which the reclassification was based shall remain unchanged. Appropriate refunds shall be made within a reasonable time following such reclassification.

Appealing Residency Decisions
Any student may appeal the decision of the Admissions Office or registrar made pursuant to the above by filing with the Registrar’s Office a written notice of appeal within 10 calendar days after notice of such decision was given in person or by mail. The director of admissions will act on the appeal. Failure to timely comply shall constitute a waiver of all claims to reclassification or rebates for the applicable semester or semesters.

Any student may appeal the decision of the director of admissions made pursuant to the above by filing with the Residency Determination Appeals Committee a written notice within 10 calendar days after notice of such decision was given in person or by mail. Failure to timely comply with this paragraph shall constitute a waiver of all claims to reclassification or rebates for the applicable semester or semesters.

The initial application for change and first appeal will be in the form of written documentation only. In the second reclassification appeal step, the student shall attend a personal conference before the appeals committee after which a decision shall be made by the committee, based on the evidence.

Discretion to adjust individual cases within the spirit of this policy is vested in the registrar.

Inquiries and appeals should be addressed to (whichever is appropriate):

  • director of admissions (new students)
  • registrar (currently enrolled students)
  • Residency Determination Appeals Committee c/o registrar


Date Approved:8-16-1996
Last Revision:6-17-2016
Last Reviewed:6-17-2016
Approved By:Board of Trustees
Oversight Unit:REGISTRAR