Residency Requirements for Tuition Purposes

If you are admitted, we will determine your residency status before you matriculate.

Some of the more pertinent UH Mānoa residency regulations follow. For frequently asked questions about residency, please see Establishing Residency in the State of Hawaiʻi for Tuition Purposes. For more information, please contact a UH Residency Counselor in the Office of Admissions and Records at (808) 956-8975 or 1-800-823-9771. He or she will help you determine what action to take and what documents to provide when you become eligible for resident tuition.

Definition of Hawai‘i Residency

A student is deemed a 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 guardians, have:

  1. Demonstrated intent to permanently reside in Hawaiʻi (see below for evidences);
  2. Been physically present in Hawaiʻi for the 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction and subsequent to the demonstration of intent to make Hawaiʻi his/her legal residency; and
  3. The student, whether adult or minor, has not been claimed as a dependent for tax purposes for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of instruction by his/her parents or legal guardians who are not legal residents of Hawaiʻi.

To demonstrate the intent to make Hawaiʻi your legal residency, the following evidence apply, but no single act is sufficient to establish residency for tuition purposes:

A. Filing Hawaiʻi resident personal income tax return;

B. Voting/registering to vote in the state of Hawaiʻi.

Other evidence, such as permanent employment and ownership or continuous leasing of a dwelling in Hawaiʻi, may apply but no single act is sufficient to establish residency in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Other Legal Factors

Other legal factors involved in making a residency determination include the following:

A. The 12 months of continuous residency in Hawaiʻi shall begin on the date upon which the first overt action (see evidences) is taken to make Hawaiʻi the permanent residence. Resident status will be lost if it is interrupted during the 12 months immediately preceding the first day of instruction;

B. Residency in Hawaiʻi and residency in another place cannot be held simultaneously;

C. 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;

D. The residency of unmarried students who are minors follows that of the parents or legal guardian. Marriage emancipates a minor;

E. Resident status, once acquired, will be lost by future voluntary action of the resident inconsistent with such status. However, Hawai‘i residency will not be lost solely because of absence from the State while a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, while engaged in navigation, or while a student at any institution of learning, provided that Hawai‘i is claimed and maintained as the person's legal residence.

Board of Regents Exemptions

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

A. United States military personnel and their authorized dependents (as defined by the Armed Services) during the period such personnel are stationed in Hawai‘i on active duty;

B. Members of the Hawai‘i National Guard and Hawai‘i-based Reserves;

C. Full-time employees of UH Mānoa and their spouses and legal dependents (as defined under Internal Revenue Service rules);

D. East-West Center student grantees pursuing baccalaureate or advanced degrees;

E. Hawaiians, descendants of the aboriginal peoples that inhabited the Hawaiian Islands and exercised sovereignty in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.

2. Citizens of an eligible Hawai‘i Pacific island district, commonwealth, territory, or insular jurisdiction, state, or nation which does not provide public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees may be allowed to pay 150% of the resident tuition. These categories currently include the following places:

  • American Sāmoa
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Futuna
  • Kiribati
  • Nauru
  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Republic of Marshall Islands
  • Republic of Palau
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis

This list is subject to change. For a current list, eligibility and documentation requirements, please contact the Admissions Office of the campus you are applying to.


A student or prospective student who provides incorrect information on any form or document intended for use in determining 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.

Appeal Process

Residency decisions may be appealed by contacting the residency officer for information on how to initiate an appeal.

*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 or herself because he or she does not have the minimum 12 months residency, which commences on his or her 18th birthday.


Elisabeth Steele Hutchison

Director of Admissions
Office phone
(808) 956-5557