When students are admitted to the university, the Office of Admissions (for undergraduates) or the Graduate School (for graduates) render the initial residence classification determination. Decisions made in these offices are based on the information provided by students during the admission application process.

The two ways to qualify for classification as a resident for tuition purposes are:

  1. You are an unemancipated student (financially dependent) and your parent establishes a domicile in Indiana prior to the first day of the academic session for which resident classification is sought. The move to Indiana must be predominantly for reasons other than to enable you to gain resident status for tuition purposes (such as moving because of a job transfer for a job located in Indiana).

  2. You are an emancipated student (financially independent) and have been domiciled in Indiana for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the academic session for which resident classification is sought. Your domicile must be established for a predominant purpose other than attending an institution of higher education.

If the student files a FAFSA form, the information on the form will be used to determine whether a student is financially independent. With no FAFSA, the student would need to provide a notarized statement from the parents indicating the level of financial support provided to the student and the date when the parents last claimed the student as a dependent on their federal income tax returns.

In addition, this student would need to provide a financial statement indicating all sources and amounts of income sufficient for self-support. This student would then have to be physically present in Indiana for 12 consecutive months without the predominate purpose of education in order to become eligible for resident student status.

Yes. The state of Indiana determines for specific purposes (driver’s license, voter registration, etc.) the requirements for becoming a legal resident of the state. However, the state legislature has delegated to Indiana’s institutions of higher education the responsibility of determining when a person becomes eligible for resident student status. Many nonresident students are considered legal residents of the state. These individuals are eligible to carry an Indiana driver’s license, register to vote, and serve as members of a jury. However, persons who reside in Indiana for the predominant purpose of education are considered nonresidents for tuition and fee-paying purposes at Ball State University.

No. Persons who are in Indiana for the predominate purpose of education do not become eligible for resident student status on the basis of paying taxes to the state.

No. The alumni status of a parent or relative is not a factor in determining residence classification.

No. Once a person has been properly classified as a resident student, that person shall remain a resident student so long as remaining continuously enrolled (each fall and spring semester) in the university until earning the degree in progress.

No. Once you leave the state for employment or personal reasons, your residency is determined to be in the state to which you have moved.

No. Although marriage to a resident of Indiana is one of the factors considered in the determination of predominant purpose, the existence of this factor does not require a finding of resident status.

A nonresident student may be eligible for reclassification to resident student status 12 months after the date of marriage to an Indiana resident. It is necessary to file an Application for Classification as a Resident Student at Ball State University for Fee-Paying Purposes and provide documentation, including a valid marriage license, to the Office of the Registrar.

Students with immigration statuses which permit the establishment of a domicile in the United States may be eligible to pay resident fees provided the individuals have otherwise satisfied the conditions for resident student status. Current eligible classifications are: A-1, A-2, A-3, E-1, E-2, E-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, H-1B, H-4, I, L-1, L-2, O-1, O-3, V-1, V-2, and V-3. Continuing eligibility to remain classified as a resident student for fee-paying purpose depends upon the continued maintenance of eligible immigration status. Students with eligible classifications who feel they may be eligible for a change in status should contact the Office of the Registrar for more information.

As Indiana House and Senate bills become law, approved legislation can be found on the Indiana General Assembly website. IC21-14-12.2 (including Senate Bill 207; HB1402; SB590), addresses residency equivalent tuition for veterans, the Veterans Affairs area of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will assist veterans with their educational goals. Federal and state legislation is routinely reviewed for impact on student enrollment. Please be advised the provisions for institutional aid are unchanged – non-U.S. citizens in the U.S. without a lawful visa or immigration status cannot be granted institutional financial aid assistance. At this time, the DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a ruling by the federal government that gives undocumented persons permission to live and work in the U.S. only for a period of two years. Persons under the DACA Program are not eligible for federal financial aid and do not receive in-state tuition.

Military families from Indiana are eligible for in-state fees as long as they maintain their Indiana domicile by continuing to file their personal income tax returns in Indiana as residents of the state.

Non-resident, full-time, active duty United States military members assigned to active duty in Indiana qualify for in-state tuition immediately. Dependents of active duty military members stationed in Indiana are also entitled to resident student tuition. Federal laws, like the Choice Act, provide benefits for military members who have separated from active duty within the past three years and for their dependents if benefits are transferred.

Military personnel in the United States armed forces who enter the service from a state other than Indiana and who are stationed on active duty for more than 90 days in a calendar year within the state of Indiana may enroll without the nonresident free being assessed. The spouses and children of such service personnel also may enroll without the nonresident fee being assessed. Learn more about the Higher Education Opportunity Act (PL 110-315) 2008.

IC21-14-12.2 (SEA177) allows a qualified veteran (one who served in the U.S. armed forces or the Indiana National Guard and received an honorable discharge; or is currently serving in the Indiana National Guard), who enrolls as a degree-seeking undergraduate at Ball State not later than 12 months after the date of the qualified veteran’s discharge or separation from the armed forces of the Unites States of the Indiana National Guard is eligible to pay the resident tuition rate. Ball State University additionally defines a qualified veteran as an individual who is currently serving as a reservist in a branch of the United States military (Army National Guard, Air National Guard, or as a reserve for service in the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, or Coast Guard Reserve) provided that (a) such individual’s reserve unit or duty station is located in Indiana and (b) such individual previously served on active duty (as defined in IC21-14-12.2) in the armed forces of the United States for a period of not less than two calendar years prior to enrolling at Ball State.

Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 – Section 702 allows “covered individuals” receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33 Benefits) and Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (Chapter 30 Benefits) at public universities to receive resident tuition rates. A “covered individual” is defined in the Choice Act as:

i. A veteran who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

ii. A spouse or child using transferred benefits who lives in the state in which the institution of higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the transferor’s discharge from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

iii. A spouse or child using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship who lives in the state in which the institution or higher learning is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and enrolls in the school within three years of the service member’s death in the line of duty following a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.

No. It is necessary to file an Application for Classification as a Resident Student at Ball State University for Fee-Paying Purposes and provide the required supporting documents to the Office of the Registrar. Once the form and documents have been evaluated, if a student’s status needs to be updated, the system will be corrected immediately and the proper offices notified.

Examples of documentation that may be required during the residence classification process include, but are not limited to, an Indiana driver’s license or state identification card, Indiana car registration, Indiana voter registration, state and federal income tax returns, W-2s, lease/mortgage for the past 12 months, permanent resident card/temporary visa (if applicable), most recent pay stub, a statement from your employer indicating the beginning dates of your employment, military leave and earnings statement(s) (if applicable), military orders or other documents specifically stationing a person to active duty in Indiana (if applicable).

Refunds are not retroactive to prior terms. However, a nonresident portion of the fees already paid for that term of enrollment will be refunded if the student applies for resident student status before the deadline, and if a decision to classify the student as a resident for tuition purposes is rendered for the current term of registration activity. Note that the “effective date” for determining the student’s eligibility is the day before the first day of classes of the effective semester or session.

Yes. A student not satisfied with the initial written determination concerning his/her residence classification may appeal the decision to the Residency Appeals Board. The appeal must be filed within 30 calendar days of the previous decision. Any arguments supporting the original determination may be presented in writing or in person to the appeals board. Your written request to appeal should be mailed to the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services as listed below.

Ball State University
Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services
Attn: Residency Appeals Board
Muncie, IN 47306

The student is notified in writing of the decision by the chair of the appeals board.