State-run colleges and universities often charge significantly lower tuition to residents of the state than to students coming from out of state. Each state has different laws regarding residency for tuition purposes. Alabama considers both work history and the time a person has lived in the state when evaluating residency. While you are welcome to submit voter registration papers or your driver's license to support your claim of residency, these documents must accompany proof of employment or address.
Live in Alabama
Alabama requires students to live in Alabama for at least 12 months prior to applying for school to qualify for residency. If a person has lived in Alabama for a long period of time but moved to another state, they no longer qualify as an Alabama resident. The person must reside in Alabama for reasons other than education. Moving to the state solely to go to school in Alabama doesn't qualify as a requirement.
If a person works in Alabama for at least 90 days prior to applying for school, he is considered an Alabama resident for tuition purposes. He must be employed in a permanent capacity; temporary employment does not count. Spouses of employees are considered residents even if they do not work in Alabama or have not lived there for more than 12 months. Military persons stationed in Alabama and their spouses qualify as residents, although members of the National Guard or Reserves do not.
Rules for Minors
Minors—persons under the age of 19—must live with an adult who is a resident of Alabama. The adult must have lived in Alabama for at least 12 months. The minor must live with parents or guardians to qualify for residency and must live with the parent or guardian for at least 12 months prior to applying to school. If the minor's parents are divorced, the minor must live with the parent who has legal custody unless she can prove that the non-custodial parent provides a greater amount of financial support for her than the custodial parent.
The college or university of an applicant evaluates whether he qualifies as an Alabama resident by examining employment, address or other records. If the college determines the student is not a resident, the student can appeal the decision by filling out a residency application and returning it to the appropriate school office before its deadline for the year. You can get a residency application at your school's office of admissions. Attach records such as income tax returns or a letter of verification from your employer to prove your residency.
Jack Ori has been a writer since 2009. He has worked with clients in the legal, financial and nonprofit industries, as well as contributed self-help articles to various publications.