Registrar Services Location

North Foundation Hall, Room 160
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3450
Text: (248) 368-7944

Office Hours:
M-F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Feel free to visit us in-person, phone, text, email, instant message or web conference us during our office hours.

Office of the Registrar

O'Dowd Hall, Room 100
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
Fax: (248) 370-2586


Where you live will determine your classification as a resident or non-resident student, and will determine your tuition charges. Please read below to learn about OU's residency procedures. 



For University purposes, “domicile” is defined as the place where an individual intends his/her true, fixed and permanent home and principal establishment to be. Also, the individual intent to return whenever away. Upon admission to the University, a student is classified either as a Michigan resident or a nonresident based upon information relating to the student’s domicile. A determination of Michigan domicile is required for in-state tuition rates to apply, except as stated below. 

An individual whose activities and circumstances, as documented to and found by the University, demonstrate that the individual has established a Michigan domicile will be classified as a resident.  An individual whose presence in the state is based on activities or circumstances that are indeterminate or temporary, such as (but not limited to) educational pursuits, will be presumed not to be domiciled in Michigan and will be classified as a nonresident.  To overcome a presumption of nonresident status, a student must file an Application for Reclassification of Residence Status and document with clear and convincing evidence that a Michigan domicile has been established. The burden of proof is on the applicant.

Evidence of domicile: Certain circumstances, although not controlling, support a claim of domicile. Other circumstances create a presumption against domicile.  Circumstances supporting a claim of domicile include:

  • Dependence upon a parent domiciled in Michigan as demonstrated by permanent employment and establishment of a household in the state;
  • Employment of the student or the student’s spouse in Michigan in a full-time, permanent position, and that employment is the primary purpose for the student’s presence in Michigan;
  • Residence with Michigan relatives who provide more than half of the student’s support including educational costs. This necessarily means that no non-Michigan resident claims the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.

The fact that certain indications of domicile may apply to a student does not mean that the student automatically will be classified as a resident or that the student is relieved of the responsibility for filing an application.  See Residency application process below.

Circumstances that do not in themselves support a claim of domicile include:

  • enrollment in high school, community college or university;
  • employment that is temporary;
  • employment in a position normally held by a student;
  • ownership or lease of property;
  • presence of relatives in the state, except as described above;
  • possession of a Michigan driver’s license or voter’s registration;
  • payment of Michigan income or property taxes;
  • the applicant’s statement of intent to be domiciled in Michigan.

In cases where the University determines that an applicant has not demonstrated establishment of Michigan domicile, unless substantial and new information arises that clearly demonstrates the establishment of domicile, the University will require the applicant to document one year of continuous physical presence in the state as one of the criteria for determining eligibility for resident classification in any subsequent application.  The year of continuous presence is never the only criterion used for determining resident eligibility, and, in itself, will not qualify a student for resident status.  

In documenting the year of continuous physical presence in Michigan, the applicant will be expected to show actual physical presence by means of enrollment, employment, in-person financial transactions, health care appointments, etc.  Having a lease or permanent address in the state does not, in itself, qualify as physical presence. A short-term absence (summer vacation of 21 days or less, spring break and break between fall and winter term), of itself, will not jeopardize compliance with the one-year requirement.  In determining the effect of a short-term absence, the nature of the absence will be assessed to determine whether it is contrary to an intent to be domiciled in Michigan.

Presumption of domicile:  Certain circumstances create a presumption of domicile. However, the presence of such a circumstance does not mean that the student will be classified automatically as a Michigan resident or that the student is relieved of the responsibility to file an application.  These circumstances include:

Dependent students:  A student is presumed to be a dependent of his or her parents if the student is 24 years of age or younger and has been primarily involved in educational pursuits or has not been entirely financially self-supporting through employment.

(a)  Residents:  The following applies only if the student has not taken steps to establish a domicile outside of Michigan or any other action inconsistent with maintaining a Michigan domicile.

  • A dependent student whose parents are domiciled in Michigan is presumed to be eligible for resident classification.
  • A dependent student whose parents are divorced is presumed to be eligible for resident classification purposes if one parent is domiciled in Michigan.
  • A student who is living in Michigan and is permanently domiciled in Michigan does not lose residence status if the parents leave Michigan, provided: (i) that the student has completed at least the junior year of high school prior to the parents’ departure, and (ii) that the student remains in Michigan, enrolled as a full-time student in high school or an institution of higher education.

(b) Non-residents: A dependent student whose parents are domiciled outside the state of Michigan is presumed to be a nonresident.

Absences from the state: Individuals domiciled in Michigan immediately preceding certain types of absences from the state may retain their eligibility for resident classification under the following conditions:

  • An individual domiciled in Michigan for five years just prior to leaving the state for less than one year may return to the University as a resident for admission and tuition purposes.
  • An individual domiciled in Michigan at the time of entry into active missionary work, Peace Corps or similar philanthropic work does not lose eligibility for resident classification as long as he or she is actively and continuously performing philanthropic work and continuously claims Michigan as the state of legal residence for income tax purposes. Dependent children of such an individual also are eligible for resident classification provided: (i) that they are coming to the University directly from high school or they have been continuously enrolled in college since graduating from high school, and (ii) that they have not claimed residency elsewhere for tuition purposes.
  • An individual who is domiciled in Michigan immediately preceding an absence from the state for full-time enrollment in school or for a medical residency program, internship or fellowship does not lose eligibility for resident classification provided that the individual has maintained significant ties to the state during his or her absence (e.g., parents still in the state, payment of state taxes, active business accounts), and that the individual has not claimed residency for tuition purposes in another state.

Resident status of non-US citizens:  Those non-US citizens who have been granted permanent resident status in the United States, and those non-US citizens who are on a visa other than a student visa, and who are engaged in permanent employment in the United States and whose employer has filed or is in the process of filing for permanent resident status on behalf of the non-US citizen, are eligible for consideration for classification as a resident. A non-US citizen will be eligible for consideration if the non-US citizen’s parents or spouse meet(s) the alien requirements above and dependent status also exists. Students who receive in-state resident classification for any reason that supports their eligibility and later moves to an ineligible student visa will be moved to a nonresident status upon receipt of the visa status change.

Application of in-state tuition rates in special circumstances: Regardless of domicile, in-state tuition rates apply to the following persons:

  • Graduate students who hold an assistantship or fellowship awarded through Oakland University;
  • Students employed in Michigan in full-time, permanent positions;
  • Students admitted to approved on-line degree or certificate programs;
  • Students who are active duty members, or the spouse or dependent child of an active duty member, of the Armed Forces of the United States, while that active duty member is stationed in Michigan and during the student’s continuous enrollment in the academic degree program in which he or she is enrolled if that active duty member is transferred to an active duty location outside Michigan; or if the student is the child of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States who was stationed in Michigan but is transferred to an active duty location outside Michigan within the one year period preceding the student’s initial enrollment and the student continues to live in Michigan;
  • Students entitled to educational assistance under Title 38 of the United States Code and its promulgating regulations as amended from time to time.
  • Students able to demonstrate the following through documentary evidence acceptable to the University:
    (a) attendance at an accredited Michigan high school for at least three (3) years and thereafter (i) graduation from an accredited Michigan high school, or (ii) receipt of a Michigan General Educational Development High School Equivalency Certificate (GED); and (iii) commencement of education at the University within forty months of graduating from a Michigan high school or receipt of a GED.
    To establish eligibility for in-state tuition rates in this circumstance, students do not need be a legal resident of the State of Michigan or United States.

Appeal process: Any student desiring to challenge his or her initial residency classification may appeal by submitting a Residency Reclassification form with supporting documents. After initial review, the student may appeal, which is reviewed by the University Registrar or designee. A final appeal can be made to the Reclassification Appeals Committee. The committee convenes only as necessary. The determination of Residency Reclassification Appeals Committee is final.

Residency Reclassification


  1. Student Responsibilities and the Residency Application Process
    1. All students have the responsibility to apply for admission under the proper residency classification. If a student indicates Michigan resident status on the admissions application and the undergraduate or graduate admissions office questions that status, the student will be classified as a nonresident and notified of the need to file an Application for Reclassification of Residence Status with the Residency Reclassification Appeals Office. The fact that a student’s claim to residency for University purposes is questioned does not necessarily mean that he or she will be ineligible for resident status; it simply means that the student’s circumstances must be documented and reviewed. Failure on the part of admissions staff to question a student’s claim to resident eligibility does not relieve the student of the responsibility to apply and register under the proper residency classification. Furthermore, the University may audit enrolled or prospective students at any time with regard to eligibility for resident classification and may reclassify students who are registered under an improper residency classification.
    2. The presence of any of these factors will result in an initial classification as a non-resident:
      1. The individual is living out-of-state at the time of application to the University.
      2. The individual has attended or graduated from an out-of-state high school (applies if the individual is 24 years of age or younger).
      3. The individual has attended or graduated from an out-of-state high school and has been involved in educational pursuits for the majority of time since graduation from high school.
      4. The individual has had out-of-state employment or domicile within the last three years.
  2. Necessary Documentation for the Residency Reclassification Application
    1. When applying for reclassification, the following documentation must be included:
      1. A completed application.
      2. A written, signed statement explaining why Michigan is one’s permanent, true home.
      3. A letter from the employer of the student or family member providing the major support for the student that verifies the following:
        1. Full-time, permanent status
        2. Position title
        3. When the Michigan employment began (start date)
        4. For non-citizens of the US, the status of any application for permanent residency
      4. Documentation of the Michigan home residence (lease or home purchase agreement).
        1. A copy of the student’s marriage certificate will be required when the student’s name does not appear on the residence document and the student is applying on the basis of dependence on a spouse who can demonstrate permanent Michigan residence.
      5. Veterans must submit a copy of the DD-214 “Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty”
      6. For international students, a copy of the student’s visa or green card
        1. For international students applying as dependents of a spouse or parent who can demonstrate permanent Michigan residence, a copy of the visa or green card of the spouse or family member is also required.
        2. Please, note: per University policy as recorded in the Undergraduate catalog: “the only aliens eligible for consideration for classification as a resident are those who are on a visa other than a student visa (F1)”.
      7. Applicants also are responsible for providing any other documentation that may be required by the University to support their claim to resident eligibility.
  3. Misrepresentation and Falsification of Information
    1. Applicants or students who provide false or misleading information or who intentionally omit relevant information in any document relevant to residency eligibility may be subject to legal or disciplinary measures, including revocation of admission or expulsion. Students improperly classified as residents based on this type of information will have their residency classification changed and may be retroactively charged nonresident tuition for the period of time they were improperly classified.

Note: Oakland University residency guidelines can be found in the Catalog (search: ‘residency’ ‘other content’ > ‘general information’).

Filing for Residency Reclassification?
Please use the Residency Reclassification application. 
If you have any questions, please email or call (248) 370-3455.