When you are admitted to the university, you are classified as either a resident of Wisconsin for tuition purposes or a nonresident, based on the provisions of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) and the information you supplied with your application. A portion of Wisconsin residents’ tuition is subsidized by the state of Wisconsin. Nonresident tuition does not include that subsidy, so students who are Wisconsin residents are assessed a lower tuition rate than nonresidents.
Please be aware that there has been a change to Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2). Section (cr), the provision that provided an exemption from non-resident tuition for a “person who is a citizen of a country other than the United States,” has been repealed, effective July 1, 2011. Therefore, the exemption from non-resident tuition based on Section (cr) is no longer available to any student.
In general, you must be a bona fide resident of Wisconsin for at least 12 continuous months prior to enrollment to be eligible for resident tuition. Students who come to and remain in Wisconsin primarily for educational purposes are presumed to continue to reside outside the state. If you move to Wisconsin to attend school, you will not automatically become a resident of Wisconsin for tuition purposes, even after living in Wisconsin for a year or more. In determining residence for tuition purposes, different standards are used than those which may be used for voting, paying taxes, etc.
If you do not qualify as a Wisconsin resident or the university lacks sufficient information to determine that you qualify as a Wisconsin resident, you will be assessed nonresident tuition.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for resident tuition under Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2), please contact a Residency Specialist by calling 414-229-4672 or in person at Room 212 Mellencamp Hall, 2442 E. Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee WI 53211. The mailing address to send documents for residency determinations is:
Residency Specialist UW-Milwaukee
PO Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 53201
Special Note to Minnesota Residents:
A tuition reciprocity agreement exists between Wisconsin and Minnesota. This agreement stipulates that residents of Minnesota can attend Wisconsin institutions in approved programs and be assessed the approved reciprocity tuition rate, plus segregated fees assessed to all students. If you wish to take advantage of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement, you should apply for certification as a Minnesota resident to:
State of Minnesota Office of Higher Education Reciprocity Program
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
651-355-0613 or 800-657-3866
Appealing a Residency Decision
If you still have questions about your residence classification after reading the extract of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2), or you feel that your classification is incorrect or that you have important extenuating or mitigating factors, we encourage you to discuss your nonresident status with a Residency Specialist.
It is our goal to make students residents whenever possible in accordance with the state law. While every student has the right to submit an appeal, consulting with a Residency Specialist can help you determine whether moving forward with an appeal is a practical decision. The Specialist will provide guidance and will give a professional opinion about the likelihood of a successful appeal based on the circumstances of your situation. Having a clear understanding of the law and the appeals process could save you a good deal of time and energy. You must contact a Residency Specialist to obtain the Nonresident Tuition Appeal form. Appeal forms are available no earlier than the semester prior to the semester for which you want to appeal. Completed appeals with supporting documentation must be received no later than the date tuition is due for the semester for which you are appealing. You must be a registered student to have your appeal heard by the Nonresident Tuition Appeals Committee. To avoid cancellation of your registration for nonpayment of tuition and fees, you must pay at least the minimum balance due while your appeal is pending.
To obtain a nonresident tuition appeal form, please call or make an appointment with a Residency Specialist at 414-229-4672.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I graduated from a Wisconsin high school and my parents are permanent residents of Wisconsin?
If you graduated from a Wisconsin high school and one or both of your parents have lived continuously as residents in Wisconsin for at least the twelve months prior to the beginning of any term for which you enroll at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, or your last surviving parent was a resident of the State for the year before death, your classification is resident under Section (c) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2). There is no age limitation on claiming residence under this section of the Statute.
To claim legal Wisconsin residence for tuition purposes under the provisions of Section (c) of the Statute, you should check “yes” for the question on the application asking whether you claim Wisconsin residence, then complete the information requested regarding your high school, city, state and date of graduation, as well as the information about your parents’ residence.
What if I have one parent who lives in Wisconsin and I am claimed as a federal tax dependent?
You may qualify as a resident in accordance with Section (a)(3) of the Statute if:
- one of your parents is a resident of Wisconsin for at least the twelve months prior to the beginning of any semester, and
- you are claimed as a tax dependent for Federal income tax purposes by one of your parents, and
- you will continue to be claimed as a dependent by one of your parents.
On your application to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, you should claim legal Wisconsin residence. A Residency Specialist will contact you to obtain additional information. If you do not receive a request for more information, please contact a Residency Specialist at 414-229-4672.
What if I, or my parents, or my spouse recently moved to Wisconsin because of employment?
Section (cm) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) allows the following persons–and their spouses and dependents–to qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition immediately upon moving to Wisconsin, without having to wait a twelve month period to be eligible to be classified as a resident:
- Individuals who have been relocated to Wisconsin for employment purposes by their current employer and who remain continuously employed full-time by that employer;
- Individuals who accepted their current full-time employment with a new employer before moving to Wisconsin and before filing an application for admission to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition, such individuals must have moved to Wisconsin for employment purposes and must have remained continuously employed full-time by that same employer since their arrival in order to continue to qualify under this section of the Statute.
If you are not a United States citizen, you must be on a visa that permits indefinite residence in the United States by the time you enroll at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to qualify for residence under Section 36.27(2)(cm).
Note on your application for admission that you are claiming residence and that you, your spouse or parent recently moved to Wisconsin for employment. A Residency Specialist will contact you to obtain additional information. If you do not receive a request for more information, please contact a Residency Specialist at 414-229-4672.
What if I moved to Wisconsin as a refugee?
An exception to residing in Wisconsin for twelve months prior to enrollment applies if you are a student on refugee status as defined under 8 USC 1101(a)(42); you moved to Wisconsin immediately upon arrival in the United States; and you have resided in this State continuously since moving here. If you are in this situation, you need to demonstrate intent to establish and maintain a permanent home in Wisconsin according to the criteria under Section (e) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2).
What if I am not a citizen of the United States?
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you need to be in possession of a visa that permits indefinite residence in the United States or have been approved as a Resident Alien of the United States, for the twelve months immediately prior to the beginning of your intended term of enrollment and qualify for residency under some part of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) in order to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes at the UW-Milwaukee.
Visas allowing individuals to be considered for residence for tuition purposes include the H-1 and related H-4, E, K, and certain L visas. A student on one of these visas is not required to affirm a domicile in his/her country of origin.
A student who holds a visa such as the F, J, M, TN, TD and B, has as a condition of the visa, a requirement to affirm a permanent and unrelinquished domicile in another country, and is not eligible to be classified as a resident for tuition purposes at the University.
Providing you are on a visa that allows indefinite residence in the United States, your residence for tuition purposes will be determined in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2).
Asylees see refugee info above.
What if I am a member of the U.S. military?
Under Section (b)1 of the Statute, you may be able to pay tuition at the resident rate even though your legal classification will remain nonresident at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, if you are a member of the Armed Forces stationed in Wisconsin on active duty or if you are the spouse or child of a person in the military under those conditions.
Similarly, under Section (b)2 of the Statute, members of the armed forces who are stationed within 90 miles of the borders of this state but are residing in Wisconsin and their spouses and children are entitled to exemption from nonresident tuition.
If you believe you can qualify for exemption from nonresident tuition under Section (b)1 or (b)2: upon notification of admission to UWM, please submit a letter from your commanding officer verifying that you, a spouse or parent is stationed in Wisconsin at the present time to a residency specialist. A determination of prospective eligibility for the tuition exemption will be made and you will be notified of your status. If it appears that you can qualify, you will be advised of the procedures you should follow, prior to your payment of fees, to have your fee assessment adjusted each semester to reflect resident rates.
Under Section (b)3 of the Statute, you may be able to pay tuition at the resident rate if you were a member of the Armed Forces for at least 10 years, honorably discharged from such service within 4 years before application to the University, and filed Wisconsin state income tax returns for at least 8 of the last 10 years of active duty, or you are the spouse or child of a person under those conditions.
Under Section (b)4 of the Statute, you may be able to pay tuition at the resident rate if you served on active duty under honorable conditions in the U.S. armed forces, or forces incorporated in the armed forces, except service on active duty for training purposes, and you meet one of the conditions in s. 45.0001(4)(a)1. a to d, and you are a resident for purposes of receiving benefits under ch. 45.
Qualification for Wisconsin State veteran benefits is determined by the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA).
Do I qualify for the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement?
This agreement says that residents of Minnesota can attend Wisconsin institutions in approved programs and be assessed the approved reciprocity tuition rate, plus segregated fees assessed all students. Minnesota residents who wish to take advantage of the Minnesota-Wisconsin Tuition Reciprocity Agreement should apply for certification as a Minnesota resident to:
State of Minnesota Office of Higher Education Reciprocity Program
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
651-355-0613 or 800-657-3866
What if I am a nonresident and take a year off from school?
If you are a nonresident student you may discontinue enrollment for a twelve-month period to establish bona fide residence in Wisconsin for tuition purposes, and you must fulfill the criteria in Section (e) of Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2), including timely filing of a Wisconsin income tax return of a type only a full-year Wisconsin resident may file, voter registration, motor vehicle registration, possession of a Wisconsin operator’s license, place of employment, self-support, involvement in community activities, and physical presence in Wisconsin for at least 12 months before classes begin. Also, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you must be in possession of a visa that permits indefinite residence in the United States.
When you submit an application for readmission to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, check the “Yes” box regarding residency, even if the 12 months has not passed when you reapply. This will alert the Department of Enrollment Services of your intent, and a Residence Specialist will contact you for further information.
What if my family or I leave Wisconsin?
If you are a minor and your parents move out of the state during the 12 months prior to your enrollment at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, you will be classified as a nonresident unless you have lived in Wisconsin during a substantial portion of your life and for the full year before enrollment. If your parents move out of the state, you are 18 or older, and you are living in the state of Wisconsin and maintaining your legal ties, you can retain your resident status for tuition purposes in your own right.
If you are 18 or older and move out of the state with your parents, you will be considered a nonresident.
Will I lose my residence status if I study abroad?
If you are a student at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee participating in a Year Abroad Program and maintain your permanent residence in Wisconsin, your residence status will not change.
What if I am a nonresident – will I ever become a resident?
If you enter and remain in Wisconsin principally to attend an educational institution you are presumed to continue to reside outside the state. This presumption remains in effect until you are able to demonstrate you have overcome the presumption with clear and convincing evidence of bona fide residence in the state for the year next preceding a term for which you wish to enroll at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. See Wisconsin Statutes 36.27(2) Section (e).
A student who enters Wisconsin to attend any educational institution will continue in the nonresident status until the student’s reason for being in Wisconsin is clearly shown to be non-educational. Twelve months after the change in the student’s reason for being in Wisconsin, the student may wish to inquire about appealing their nonresident status.