Residency Regulations (old)

Residency Regulations For Tuition Purposes (Condensed)

Students who do not qualify as bona fide residents of the State of Hawaiʻi, according to the University of Hawaiʻi rules and regulations in effect at the time they register, must pay the nonresident tuition. An official determination of residency status will be made prior to enrollment. Applicants may be required to verify residency status. Once classified as a nonresident, a student continues to be so classified during his/her term at the college until he/she can present satisfactory evidence to the residency officer that proves otherwise.

Some of the more pertinent University residency regulations follow. The complete rules and regulations are available at Kekaulike Information and Service Center (KISC) in Ilima 102.

What is the definition of Hawaiʻi residency for tuition purposes?

A student is deemed a bona fide resident of the State of Hawaiʻi for tuition purposes if the student (19* or older) or the student (under 19*) and his/her parents or legal guardian have:

  1. Demonstrated intent to permanently reside in Hawaiʻi (see below for indicia);
  2. Been physically present in Hawaiʻi for 365 days/one (1) calendar year prior to the first day of instruction, and subsequent to the demonstration of intent to make Hawaiʻi their legal residency; and
  3. The student, whether adult or minor, has not been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes for at least 365 days/one (1) year prior to the first day of instruction by his/her parents or legal guardians who are not legal residents of Hawaiʻi.

What do you mean by bona fide residence?

Bona fide residence is similar to the legal concept of domicile.  A person’s domicile is the place where that person lives permanently and returns to after any absence.  To be a bona fide resident of Hawaiʻi, you must be physically present in the State and demonstrate for the 365 days/one (1) calendar year in question, that your intent is to make Hawaiʻi your permanent residence.

How can I demonstrate that my intent is to make Hawai’i my permanent home?

Intent for resident tuition purposes is not your future actions, but what you have done in the immediate past (prior to the semester that you want resident tuition status).  The following documents will be asked of you to determine resident tuition:

  • State of Hawaiʻi Personal Income Tax, filing as a resident (required in all cases)
  • State of Hawaiʻi Voter Certificate
  • State of Hawaiʻi General Excise License
  • Employment verification
  • Bank account that is active in Hawaiʻi
  • Lease agreement
  • Ownership of property
  • Other documents as needed

You may submit evidence of any other actions that you wish to have considered.  No single act is sufficient to establish residency in the State of Hawaiʻi.

What else should I know about the residency requirements?

  1. In order to be considered as a resident for tuition purposes, you must be a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident for a period of 365 days/one (1) calendar year.
  2. The 365 days/one (1) calendar year “clock” begins when you take the first action demonstrating your intent to make Hawaiʻi your permanent residence (i.e. start employment, register to vote, purchase property, or get a general excise license).
  3. Residence will be lost if it is interrupted during the 365 days/one (1) calendar year immediately preceding the first day of instruction. Absent any clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, a nonresident student may not satisfy the 365 days/one (1) calendar year durational requirement during any period in which the nonresident student:
    • Was enrolled for a total of 6 or more credits at all institutions of higher learning in Hawaiʻi;
    • Was absent from the state for more than thirty (30) days per year during school vacation periods;
    • Received student financial assistance based on residency in another state; or
    • Was a dependent of nonresident parent(s) or legal guardian.
  4. Residency in Hawaiʻi and residency in another place cannot be held simultaneously.
  5. Presence in Hawaiʻi primarily to attend an institution of higher learning does not create resident status. A nonresident student enrolled for 6 credits or more during any term within the 12-month period is presumed to be in Hawaiʻi primarily to attend college. Such periods of enrollment cannot be applied toward the physical presence requirement.
  6. The residency of unmarried students who are minors follows that of the parents or of the legal guardian. Marriage emancipates a minor.
  7. Resident status, once acquired, will be lost by future voluntary action of the resident inconsistent with such status. However, Hawaiʻi residency will not be lost solely because of absence from the state while a member of the United States Armed Forces, while engaged in navigation, or while a student at any institution of learning.

*The age of majority is 18 years. However, a person between the ages of 18 and 19, unless emancipated, cannot claim residency solely on the basis of himself/herself because he/she does not have the minimum 365 months/one (1) calendar year residency, which commences on his/her 18th birthday. Therefore, the applicant must claim a portion of the required 12 months on the basis of his/her parent or legal guardian

What are the categories of statutory exemptions?

Nonresidents may be allowed to pay resident tuition if they qualify as one of the following:

  • United States military personnel and their authorized dependents (as defined by the Armed Services) during the period such personnel are stationed in Hawaiʻi on active duty.
  • Members of the Hawaiʻi National Guard and Hawaiʻi-based Reserves.
  • Full-time employees of the University of Hawaiʻi and their spouses and legal dependents (as defined under Internal Revenue Service rules).
  • East-West Center student grantees pursuing baccalaureate or advanced degrees.
  • Hawaiians, descendents of the aboriginal peoples that inhabited the Hawaiian Islands and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.

Nonresidents may be allowed to pay 150% of the resident tuition if they qualify as one of the following:

  • Persons who are citizens of any Pacific island or Asian district, commonwealth, territory, or insular jurisdiction, state, or nation which does not provide public institutions of higher learning. These currently include the following: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Futuna, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Republic of Belau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis.

If I disagree with the determination, what recourse do I have?

There is an appeal process.  You may go to KISC in ‘Ilima 102 to pick up the appeal forms.

How can I learn more about the residency requirements which determine my tuition?

You will find detailed information in the Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules, Title 20, Chapter 4 – Determination of Residency As Applied to Tuition and Admission:


You may also call KISC at (808) 734-9555, email us at, or visit us in ‘Ilima 102 if you have further questions about your residency determination.


A student or prospective student who provides incorrect information on any form or document intended for use in determination of residency status for tuition purposes will be subject to the requirements and/or disciplinary measures provided for in the rules and regulations governing residency status.

Nonresident applicant must pay a $25.00 nonrefundable, nontransferable application fee. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in Hawaiʻi, on active military duty, and their authorized dependents are exempt from this fee. The Nonresident Application Fee Payment Form below is available for printing. Attach a money order or check payable to Kapiolani Community College to your application and submit to KISC.

  • Nonresident Application Fee Payment Form, Honda International Center (PDF Form)

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