The following is a summary of Santa Monica College’s residency rules and their exceptions. For more detailed information, please visit the Residency webpage (go to www.smc.edu/admissions and click on the “Residency” link in the Policies & Programs section of the webpage), see the College Policies section of the Schedule of Classes, or contact the residence clerk in the Admissions Office.
• Each person applying for admission to, or enrolled in, a California Community College is classified for tuition purposes as either a “resident” or a “nonresident” of the State of California.
• A “resident” is defined as a citizen of the United States or a person who holds a status that allows him or her to establish residency in the United States for a minimum of one year and one day, who has proof of physical presence in the State of California for one year and one day PRIOR TO the start of the semester for which California residency is being claimed, and who presents evidence of intention to make California his or her permanent home. Dates on any documentary evidence should correspond to dates of physical presence in California.
• A “nonresident” is a person who does not meet the residency requirements of the State of California or who is a citizen of a foreign country and holds only temporary status in the US.
• A student classified as a resident will be admitted to the College and be exempt from paying nonresident tuition. Enrollment fees ($46 per unit; subject to change) still apply.
• A student classified as a nonresident is required to pay a tuition fee of $249 or $230 (with AB 947 exemption) per semester unit in addition to the enrollment fee of $46 per unit (subject to change). A student classified as a nonresident, with an out of status citizenship, and/or a nonresident US citizen who attended three years and graduated from a California high school may apply for AB 540 exemption. An official, sealed transcript must be submitted with the exemption form.
• All nonresident students between the ages of 19 and 23 (inclusive) requesting reclassification to resident status must submit a petition for change of residency status (Reclassification Form, obtained from a residence clerk in the Admissions Office), show proof of financial independence, provide documents that show the students were not claimed as dependents for income tax purposes by their parents in the past year, and present evidence of intent to establish California as their place of residence. Please see the Admissions website at www.smc.edu/admissions for helpful tips on establishing California residency.
Residence of an Adult
A student who is 19 years of age or older and who has lived in California continuously for the last two years shall be presumed to have the intent to make California his or her home.
A student under 19 years of age shall be presumed to have the intent to make California his or her home if both the student and his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have lived in California continuously for the last two years.
A student who is 19 years of age or older applying for admission who has less than two years, but more than one year, of residence in California should be prepared to show proof of residence. Examples of evidence that aid the College admissions officer in identifying intent include, but are not limited to, the following documents:
• Paycheck stub OR letter of employment verification on company letterhead (signed by a manager of the personnel department);
• California bank account (checking or savings account statements);
• Marriage license or divorce decree issued in California (with acceptable dates);
• License or certificate issued by the State (with acceptable issue and expiration dates);
• California utility bill (one ONLY of the following: DWP, gas, telephone, cable, or other utility);
• California State aid or social welfare;
• Vehicle registration and/or vehicle insurance (California company);
• California-based health insurance OR Medi-Cal ID;
• Military discharge papers (DD214) OR Leave and Earnings statement indicating California as State of Record;
• California property taxes (in student’s name ONLY);
• Union membership in a California local; and
• California public library membership (verified by letter or printout with letterhead or branch stamp).
Any two or more of the above items will give some indication of a student’s intent to make California his or her permanent residence. Dates on documents must correspond with physical presence of one year and one day prior to the start of the semester/session being attended. Bring documentation to the Admissions Office. Restrictions apply. Please go to www.smc.edu/admissions and click on the “Residency” link in the Policies & Programs section of the webpage for further details.
Residence of a Minor
Unmarried minors (those younger than 18 years of age) are, by law, incapable of establishing their own residences, notwithstanding their physical presence within California. The Admissions Office will use the following guidelines for determining a minor’s residence:
• A minor’s residence is the residence of the parent or legal guardian with whom the minor is living;
• If the minor is not living with a parent or legal guardian, then the residence of the parent or legal guardian with whom the minor last lived will be the residence of the minor.
When the residence of a minor student is derived from the parent or legal guardian, the durational requirement (one year in California) must be met by the parent or guardian, but is not required of the student.
A minor whose parents are not living and who does not have a legal guardian may establish his or her own residence.
Exceptions to the above guidelines will be made under certain circumstances. If a student would otherwise be classified as a nonresident, but fits within one of the following exceptions, he or she may be granted resident classification, provided he or she has resided in California for one year with the intent of establishing residence (documentation required):
• A student who was not an adult for more than one year before the start of the semester may add the amount of time lived in California prior to his or her eighteenth birthday (provided the student’s parent or legal guardian was a California resident during the period), if any, to the length of residence in California since that date to obtain the durational requirement of one year;
• An adult alien who is in the process of adjusting his or her status to permanent resident or who has been lawfully admitted as a permanent resident for one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester (documentation required) and who has resided in California for one year;
• A student 19 years of age or older who can document refugee or asylee status (dated one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and who has resided in California for one year (students younger than 19 years of age should review the first item above);
• An adult alien who is in the process of adjusting visa status to, or possesses one of the following visas dated at least one year and one day prior to the beginning date of the semester: A, E, G, H-1, H-4 (if dependent of H-1 visa holder), I, K, L, N, O-1, O-3, R, T (but NOT TN or TD), or V, and who meets California residence criteria;
• A student who is a minor (under the age of 18) and who, immediately before enrolling at a California educational institution, has lived with and was under the continuous direct care and control for at least two years of any adult or adults (other than a parent) who had established residence in California at least one year and one day prior to beginning date of the semester (documentation required). Students who are minors must complete a Care and Control Form, obtained from the Residence Clerk.
For more information regarding residence classification, exceptions, and examples of evidence showing intent, please contact the residence clerk in the Admissions Office.
Assembly Bill 540 (Cal. Ed. Code 68130.5 Exemption)
Assembly Bill 540 created an exemption from payment of nonresident tuition for certain nonresident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent in California. You will qualify for this tuition exemption if you meet ALL of the following conditions:
1. Attended a California high school for three or more years;
2. Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent thereof (e.g., passed the GED in California or the California High School Proficiency exam); and
3. If you do not have lawful immigration status, file an affidavit with the College that indicates you have applied for legalization, or will do so as soon as you are eligible to do so. The affidavit form is available online and may be downloaded at www.smc.edu/forms (requires Acrobat Reader).
In order to qualify, you must submit ALL of the following documentation:
• A signed affidavit indicating you have either applied for lawful immigration status or intend to apply as soon as you are eligible; and
• Your “official” California high school transcript (in a sealed envelope) showing your attendance for three or more years and date of graduation. NOTE: Adult School does not count toward years of attendance.
• If you did not graduate from a California high school, but obtained instead a GED or California High School Proficiency Certificate, you must also submit your official GED certificate or California High School Proficiency certificate with the score report.
This benefit is available to all US citizens, permanent residents of the US, and aliens (including those who are undocumented) who are not categorized as nonimmigrants, who meet all of the above criteria. AB 540 does NOT grant residency; however, it does allow students to pay the same fees as California residents.
For more details or to obtain an application, please contact the Admissions Office.
Assembly Bill 947 (Cal. Ed. Code 76141 Exemption)
Students classified as nonresidents are required to pay a tuition fee of $269 per semester unit (plus $46 enrollment fee, for a total of $315 per semester unit). However, Assembly Bill 947 creates a partial exemption from payment of nonresident tuition for certain nonresident students who can demonstrate economic hardship, or who are victims of persecution or discrimination in the country in which the students are a citizen and resident. The amount of the partial exemption is limited to that portion of the nonresident tuition fee allowed under Section 76141, which provides for a fee for capital outlay, maintenance, and equipment. Students qualifying for this exemption may pay a nonresident tuition fee of $239 per semester unit (plus $46 enrollment fee, for a total of $285 per semester unit).
For purposes of this exemption, economic hardship encompasses the financial circumstances of a person who is a recipient of benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program described in Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act (42 USC §§601 et seq.), the Supplemental Income/State Supplementary Program, or a general assistance program.
For more details, please contact the Admissions Office.
Selective Service Notice to Male Students
Federal law requires men age 18-25 to be registered with the Selective Service System (SSS) if they are US citizens or immigrant aliens (international students who hold valid student visas are exempt from this requirement). Men must be registered before they can receive federal or state financial aid (including loans and grants) for their education. Registration forms are available online at www.sss.gov and at any post office.