Is residency right for me?
Establishing residency might seem simple. After all, you’ve likely seen that Missouri residents pay less in tuition at Mizzou than out-of-state residents do. But there’s more to residency than cheaper tuition.
The road to becoming a resident might require some sacrifices. We’re going to lay out what residency is and what it involves so that you can make the right decision for you.
What is residency?
Establishing residency in Missouri means you are going through the process to become a citizen of the state of Missouri. Think of it a little like passing a class. You get the syllabus, fully complete the assignments, and you pass. There’s no exam for you to take, but other than that it’s not so different.
Becoming a citizen of our state means you need to document that you’ve been here, that you’ve earned a certain amount of money here and that you have obtained certain state documents, such as a Missouri driver’s license.
It’s important to note that these requirements are not unique to Mizzou. They come to us from the state of Missouri. We’re here to help you through this process, should you decide that you wish to go through it.
Am I a resident?
You might be. There are some circumstances where you may already be considered to be a resident of Missouri and don’t need to apply for residency, or the application process is different due to your situation. For example, if you graduated high school in Missouri and have a Missouri address, you’re a Missouri resident already.
There are other ways you might already be considered a resident, or gain residency as well. These are:
- You and your family moved to Missouri so that your parents live and work in the state
- Your parents are divorced and one parent lives and works in Missouri
- Your parents have retired in Missouri
- You are a member of the military or a military family living in Missouri, or your family is from Missouri and your military family is stationed out of the state
- You are a full-time employee of MU
- You have a spouse working full time in Missouri
- You have moved to Missouri to work full time and have decided to enroll at Mizzou
Finally, you can become independent and meet qualifying standards for residency on your own. Most of the information on this site deals with this way of establishing residency in Missouri.
If one of the situations listed above applies to you, visit the Am I Already a Resident? page to learn what documents you’ll need to submit to our office to gain resident status.
Why you might want to establish residency
- Missouri residents pay a lower tuition rate than out-of-state students at state universities
- If you plan to live in Missouri after you graduate, you may already be well on your way to establishing residency
Why you might not want to establish residency
- Establishing Missouri residency will require some sacrifice when it comes to time, documentation, and travel. You’re officially changing your state of residence.
- During your establishing period, the time you can spend outside the state is limited. May through August, you are only allowed a maximum of 14 days outside of Missouri. More than 14 days outside of Missouri during this time will disqualify you from gaining residency. You can still travel out of state as much as you want during Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks.
- Establishing residency could change your financial aid and scholarship awards. Some aid is based on your current residency status, and a change in residency could reduce or cancel the amount of aid you receive. You’ll want to check with Student Financial Aid to make sure that residency is financially worthwhile for you. Learn more about scholarships and aid on the Student Financial Aid website.
Grace Period for Loss of Residency
Applicants and students who leave Missouri for more than a summer and apply for re-admission or admission to post-secondary work (medical school, graduate school, etc.) will be reviewed for residency status. Per State statute, if you have been gone from the state for 12 months or more and can no longer prove that you live in Missouri, then you may be classified as a non-resident for tuition and fee purposes.
For any questions or assistance, contact:
Office of the University Registrar
125 Jesse Hall