New Mexico Residency for Tuition Purposes
According to the UNM tuition policy, students enrolling for six hours or less during a regular semester will be charged resident tuition rates regardless of residency classification. Students enrolling for the summer session will be charged resident tuition rates regardless of residency classification.
A student who enters and remains in this state principally to obtain an education is presumed to continue to reside outside this state and such presumption remains in effect until rebutted by clear and convincing evidence of bona fide residence. The burden of proof is on the student. A student determined to be financially dependent on a parent or guardian also assumes the residency of that parent or guardian. Nonresident students who believe they have satisfied requirements for establishing New Mexico residency must file a petition with the Office of Admissions accompanied by the appropriate documents of evidence in the manner described in the petition. The petition must be submitted no later than Friday of the third week of classes in a regular semester to be considered for in-state tuition in that semester. All documents submitted for this purpose will be kept confidential. State law establishes residency requirements for tuition purposes. To become a legal resident of New Mexico for tuition purposes, four basic requirements must be completed by the student. Each person must meet the requirements individually.
- Twelve-Month Consecutive Presence Requirement
A person must physically reside in the state for the twelve consecutive months immediately preceeding the term for which classification is requested. NOTE: A student cannot begin to complete the twelve-month requirement until his/her eighteenth birthday.
- Financial Independence Requirement
Only persons who are financially independent may establish residency apart from parents or guardians regardless of age. A student cannot be approved for residency who is financially dependent upon his/her parents or legal guardians who are nonresidents of New Mexico. Dependency will be determined according to the 1954 Internal Revenue Service Code, Section 152 and is always based on the previous tax year for residency purposes. If under the age of 23 at the time the student applies for residency, a copy of his/her parents or guardians' 1040 or 1040A U.S. income tax form for the previous tax year may be required. If the student is shown to be a dependent on this tax form, he/she will not be considered financially independent or eligible for residency during the current year.
- Written Declaration of "Intent" Requirement
The student must sign a written declaration of intent to relinquish residency in another state and to establish it in New Mexico.
- Overt Acts Requirement
New Mexico requires the completion of several "overt" acts which support the student's written declaration of intent to become a permanent resident. The required overt acts are:
- If employed, evidence of employment within the State of New Mexico;
- If employed in New Mexico, evidence of payment of New Mexico state income tax;
- A New Mexico driver's license;
- A New Mexico vehicle registration; and
- Voter registration in New Mexico;
- Any act considered inconsistent with being a New Mexico resident will cause the request for resident classification to be denied. As such, other relevant factors may be considered in addition to the items listed above. For example, additional documentation which may be requested of the student may include: 1. Evidence of a long established bank account of at least six months in New Mexico; 2. evidence of residential property ownership in New Mexico, or 3) evidence of a rental agreement within the State.
Other Residency Requirements / Exceptions
- Federal service employees and military personnel who were legal residents of New Mexico prior to entering federal service or the armed forces may retain their New Mexico residency while assigned out of the state so long as they take no action inconsistent with legal residence in New Mexico. Examples of such inconsistent actions are voting in another state, remaining outside New Mexico for an unreasonable time after separation from government service, or establishing another residence.
- Nonresident members of the armed forces of the United States while stationed on active duty within New Mexico, their spouses, and dependent children are exempt from nonresident tuition by statute. A certification form must be submitted when the student initially enrolls for this waiver. This waiver of nonresident tuition remains in effect for as long as the student enrolls continuously at the same institution.
- Part-time students enrolling for six hours or less during a regular semester may be charged resident tuition rates according to the institution's tuition policy.
- Assessment of nonresident tuition is made for summer session attendance according to the institution's tuition policy.
- The spouse and dependent children of a person who has moved to New Mexico and has obtained permanent full-time employment (sufficient documentation is required) shall not be required to complete the twelve month durational requirement.
However, all other requirements must be satisfied.
- Persons, their spouses and dependents, who move to New Mexico for retirement purposes and who provide appropriate evidence of formal retirement shall not be required to complete the twelve month durational requirement. They must, however, satisfy the other requirements of residency.
- An individual married to a legal resident of New Mexico and providing appropriate evidence of marriage shall not be required to complete the twelve month durational requirement but must satisfy all other requirements.
- All enrolled members of the Navajo Tribe who reside on the Navajo Reservation, as certified by the Navajo Department of Higher Education, will be assessed in-state tuition rates.
- Active participating members of the New Mexico National Guard shall be deemed in-state residents and will be assessed in-state tuition rates.
- Certain residents of Texas may be eligible for in-state tuition.
- Any student receiving a state-funded athletic scholarship from a New Mexico public postsecondary educational institution. A brochure explaining all requirements for establishing New Mexico residency and residency petitions are available from the Office of Admissions.