For more information, please contact a UH Residency Counselor in the Office of Admissions and Records at (808) 956-8975. They will help you determine what action to take and what documents to provide when you become eligible for resident tuition.
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 [manoa.hawaii.edu]). For more information, please contact a UH Residency Counselor in the Office of Admissions and Records at (808) 956-8975. 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:
- Demonstrated intent to permanently reside in Hawaiʻi (see below for evidences);
- 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
- 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;
F. Non-resident veterans who were honorably discharged within 3 years of enrollment and are eligible for GI Bill® education benefits.
For more information on what documents you will need to prepare, please see the upper campus Non-Resident Tuition Exemption[manoa.hawaii.edu] webpage. Please do not send any supporting documents to the law school admissions office until after you have completed your residency declaration form.
2. Selected admitted JD students who are residents of WICHE member states may pay 150% of the resident tuition for the JD program at the Richardson School of Law for the entire length of their law school careers (as long as they maintain their residency in a WUE state) through the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) [www.wiche.edu]. All admitted JD applicants from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam will be considered for the program. They do not need to complete a separate form or application to apply for the WRGP tuition exemption. Both full-time and part-time JD students are eligible for the program. Selected recipients will be notified by the Admissions Office when they are admitted. Current JD students who were not initially selected to participate in the WRGP are not eligible for the WRGP tuition exemption.
3. 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
- Republic of Marshall Islands
- Republic of Palau
- Solomon Islands
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.
Undocumented or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Students
Those who are undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are eligible for resident tuition status. See also External Scholarships for Undocumented Students/DACA Recipients.
If I you are admitted to the Law School, you will be asked to submit a residency declaration form. You may be asked to attach additional documents. Please see below.
|Claiming Hawai‘i residency for fewer than two years prior to the first day of classes||Hawai‘i tax, employment, and voter registration documents.|
If you are claimed as a dependent on your parents’ or legal guardians’ tax returns, they will also need to submit these documents.
|Pacific Island Citizen (as defined under Residency Exemptions)||Official Certification of Domicile Form [PDF, 133KB]|
|Current military service member or dependent assigned to Hawai‘i||Verification of Military Assignment in Hawai‘i Form [PDF, 185KB] and a copy of your military orders|
|Member of the Hawai‘i-based Reserves or Hawai‘i National Guard||Hawai‘i Based Guard/Reserve Assignment Form [PDF, 34KB] and a copy of your enlistment contract or transfer orders|
|Non-resident veteran who was honorably discharged within 3 years of enrollment and am eligible for GI Bill® education benefits||Veteran Exemption to Non-Resident Tuition Rate Form [manoa.hawaii.edu] and your DD-214 and VA Certificate of Eligibility|
|Not a Hawai‘i resident, but have Native Hawaiian Ancestry||Copies of your birth certificate, and if necessary, those of your parents and/or grandparents documenting your Hawaiian ancestry. See Office of Hawaiian Affairs Genealogy Resources [www.oha.org]|
|Undocumented Students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients||Undocumented Student Residency Tuition Request Form [PDF, 89KB]|
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.
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.