Students gathering in front of the North Entrance of the Cascade Building

Residency Guidelines

The State of Washington has established specific criteria for defining students' residency status for tuition-paying purposes. Pierce College offers credit classes at three different tuition rates based on the following residency designations:

  • Washington state residents. Residents of Washington state include:
    • Any U.S. citizen or permanent resident (immigrant) who has lived continuously in Washington for at least 12 months prior to the start of the academic quarter AND who does not maintain attachments in another state, such as a driver's license or vehicle registration.
    • Students classified as refugees (proper identification required).
    • Students who meet specific eligibility requirements (see the Forms page for the Residency Verification Affidavit).
    • Members of the military and their families (proper identification required). This includes:
      • Active duty military personnel, as well as their spouses and dependents, stationed in Washington.
      • Spouses and dependents of active duty military personnel whose sponsor has been reassigned out of state.
      • All Washington National Guard members, regardless of where they are stationed.
      • Spouses and dependents of Washington National Guard members, if they reside in Washington.
  • Non-residents (U.S. citizens or immigrants). This category includes students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who have not lived continuously in Washington for the 12 months prior to the start of the academic quarter.
  • Other non-residents. This category includes students with non-immigrant visas and non-U.S. citizens without immigration documentation.

Changing Residency Status

Students may request a change to their official residency status only until the 30th calendar day of the instructional quarter. All information received after the 30th day will be reviewed for the following quarter.

To change your residency status, submit a residency questionnaire (on the Forms page) and provide the required documentation. Any handwritten or typed statements must be notarized. Notaries are available in the admissions offices at both Pierce College Fort Steilacoom and Pierce College Puyallup.