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Residency for Tuition Purposes

Residency for tuition purposes is determined by information you provide on your application to NMSU for admission or for readmission.  A continuing student classified as a non-resident who has satisfied the requirements to establish residency may submit a Petition for In-State Residency Tuition Classification along with the required supporting documentation to the Office of University Student Records.  Petitions must be filed on or before the third Friday of the beginning of the semester.

An individual must establish legal residency in New Mexico before he or she is entitled to pay in-state tuition rates.  The requirements to establish residency for tuition purposes are independent from those of other types of residency such as voting and holding public office.

A brochure that details residency requirements is available from the Office of University Student Records, or from the New Mexico Higher Education Department website.

Who IS eligible for residency for tuition purposes

U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents who are financially independent, those that are not claimed by parents or guardians on federal income tax return, and can provide documentation of having resided in New Mexico for the past 12 consecutive months may be eligible to petition for residency for in-state tuition purposes.

The following individuals may also receive a waiver of non‐resident tuition and are not required to complete the 12 month duration requirement. Sufficient documentation will be required for each:

  • An individual married to a legal resident of NM.
  • Spouse and dependent children of a person who has moved to NM and has obtained permanent full‐time employment.
  • Non‐resident members of the U.S. armed forces, and their spouse and dependent children stationed on active duty in NM.
  • Active participating members of the New Mexico National Guard and their spouse and dependents.
  • A spouse or child of a veteran of the armed forces, provided the spouse or child is eligible for benefits pursuant to the federal Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 or any other federal law authorizing educational benefits for a veteran and the dependents of a veteran.
  • Active service members of the U.S. armed forces who were legal residents of New Mexico prior to entering service may retain their NM residency.
  • Individuals, their spouses and dependents who move to NM for retirement purposes.
  • Members of an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo located wholly or partially in NM, regardless of residence.
  • Part‐time students enrolled for six hours or less during a regular semester.
  • During summer sessions, non‐resident tuition may be waived according to the institution’s tuition policy. Texas residents who reside within a 135 mile radius of an institution.
  • Colorado and Arizona residents tuition reciprocity participants selected by eligible institutions based on criteria set by each eligible institution.
  • Any student receiving a state‐funded athletic scholarship from a NM public post-secondary institution. Graduate assistants employed at least one‐fourth time (10 hours weekly).

Source:  Establishing New Mexico Residency, Eligibility for Reduced Tuition Rates or In‐State Tuition Published 2015.  Retrieved from

Ready to petition for New Mexico residency for tuition purposes?

Download the packet containing instructions, required supporting documentation, and FAQs.

Download Residency Packet

Note:  Any act considered inconsistent with New Mexico residency, such as a voter registration in a different state, holding and/or maintaining a driver’s license in a different state, or holding and/or maintaining motor vehicle registration in a different state, or paying in-state tuition at a college or university in a different state will cause your resident classification to denied.