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Establishing Graduate Residency

Establishing Residency in New Mexico

As you have probably noticed, tuition costs less for New Mexico residents than non-residents. This inevitably leads to the question, "How can I establish residency in New Mexico?"

For full legal details, please request the booklet Establishing Residency for In-State Tuition Purposes from the Admission Office at 1-800-428-TECH or admission@admin.nmt.edu.

While we can't cover all details here, we can give you a few guidelines.

If your parents declare you a dependent on their tax return, their state of residency is your state of residency. If they are residents of New Mexico, so are you.

If you are a registered member of the Navajo Tribe and you live on the Navajo Reservation, you are considered a resident of New Mexico for tuition purposes.

If your parents are residents of another state, you must establish financial independence of them by (among other things) proving they did not claim you on their last tax return. (Important note: just because your parents don't declare you on their taxes doesn't mean they have to stop giving you money for college. It just means they can't take a tax deduction for it.)

You must reside in New Mexico for 12 consecutive months before Registration Day of the semester in which you want to pay resident tuition. (In other words, if you move to New Mexico on Aug. 24 and the next year Registration is on Aug. 23, you still have to pay non-resident tuition. It may pay you to move to the state a week early!)

You must complete several overt acts, which indicate you plan to become a resident: pay state income tax, get a driver's license, register your car, and register to vote in New Mexico.

You must sign a written declaration of intent to become a resident. (See the Office of the Registrar at New Mexico Tech to do this.)

Deadline: you must meet the requirements for residency by the first day of classes of the semester. Otherwise, you will be charged out-of-state tuition for that semester (even if you become a resident shortly after).

If you move to New Mexico and join the National Guard, you become a resident immediately. While this is not for everyone, some Tech students who have had previous military service find that this is a convenient route for them.

If your spouse is a resident of New Mexico, or gets a full-time job and starts paying New Mexico taxes, you both count as New Mexico residents.