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Guide to establishing Missouri residency

Missouri residents live and work in Missouri. The following residency requirements must be met in order to apply to pay in-state fees. These are the minimum requirements, and every application is evaluated on its individual merits. The documents you provide will support the case that you live and work in Missouri. Additional documents may be requested by the Residency Office after reviewing the application and supporting materials. If you receive financial aid, please contact their office to determine how changing your residency status might affect your award.

Residency requirements

Presence in Missouri. You must document that you have resided in Missouri for the 12 immediate past consecutive months prior to the semester you are seeking in-state residency. (This means you will pay out-of-state fees during these 12 months.) For the fall semester, the months are August to August; spring semester is January to January; summer is June to June.

You are allowed to be out of Missouri for 14 days from the end of the spring semester until the beginning of the fall semester. Travel days to and from your destination count toward the 14 days. Please be aware that if you live near a bordering state, any trips across the state line will count toward the 14 days out of Missouri regardless of the duration or purpose of the trip. Any length of time out of Missouri will count as one of your allotted 14 days. There are no exceptions to this rule. Please note that you are not required to remain in Missouri during the Thanksgiving, winter or spring breaks.

The following documentation will be required to prove presence within the state of Missouri. It is possible that we will request other documents when considering your application.

  1. Proof that you are living in Missouri when you are not in class. This documentation includes a lease with your name on it, payroll records and bank records showing transactions within the state of Missouri. While your parent's name may be on the account to make deposits, only the student may use the bank card to make purchases. These purchases prove the student was physically in Missouri. Please mark out your bank account numbers on your documents. Summer months must be thoroughly documented from two independent sources. A lease alone will not be sufficient documentation of your presence in the state. Weekly employment records during the summer are required along with your lease and bank documents.
  2. Proof of earning at least $2,000 of taxable earned income in Missouri during the qualifying 12-month period. All taxable earned income in Missouri will be counted during the qualifying 12 months. You will be required to work in Missouri during the entire summer even if you make the required $2,000 prior to the beginning or end of summer. If you are enrolled in summer classes, you must still meet the $2,000 income requirement though you don't have to show paycheck stubs for the time you are enrolled in class. Please provide copies of a pay stub representing each and every week during the summer when you are not enrolled in classes. This includes the gaps between the spring academic semester and the summer and fall sessions mid-May to mid-August.
  3. Copy of a Missouri driver's license. Learn more about Missouri driver's licenses.
  4. Copy of Missouri voter's registration card. Register as a Boone County (Columbia) voter or anywhere else in the state of Missouri.
  5. If you were under 21 during the qualifying 12 months, a copy of page 1 of your parent's federal income tax for the preceding year proving you are not claimed as a dependent. If you're under 21, you will be applying as an emancipated minor. Please mark out all social security numbers on the tax returns.
  6. If you own your own car and you are the sole owner, please submit a copy of your Missouri auto registration.

Process for applying for Missouri Residency

  • Pick up a residency petition at the front desk in 230 Jesse Hall.
  • After completion of the qualifying 12 months, you will apply in person with the completed petition and copies of all required documents. You do not need an appointment to meet with a residency officer. Office walk-in hours are 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • The petitioning period begins the first day of classes of the semester for which you wish to be considered a MIssouri resident and ends the last day of classes for that semester. The petition and all supporting documents must be received by the last day of class for that semester to be considered for residency. Petitions are accepted only for the current semester. After the semester ends, no residency petitions will be considered.
  • A residency officer will review the documents with you. Please be aware that our office will keep the petition and all required documents, so copies must be provided by the petitioner. Our office cannot make copies of documents and incomplete petitions will not be accepted. If additional documents are requested, you will need to return for another meeting with the residency officer.
  • All of the residency requirements must be met for the petition to be approved. If any requirement is not met or not properly documented, the petition will not be approved. If the petition is not approved, you will have the option to appeal the decision.
  • Once you have been granted in-state residency, you must maintain continuous enrollment for one of the academic semesters (i.e. fall or spring semester). You would be required to re-establish your eligibility to pay in-state tuition/fees.

Additional information to consider

  • Once you establish Missouri residency, you will become a Missouri resident for fee purposes at MU. Should you decide to return to your home state after becoming a Missouri resident, you could be required to re-establish residency.
  • Please contact the Cashier's Office at 573-882-3097 or with questions about your bill.
  • If you are under 21, before your parents take you off their federal income tax return, make sure that they check with their health insurance provider to ensure their insurance company will continue to cover you if you are no longer considered a dependent for tax purposes.
  • For Financial Aid applicants, this form is for residency purposes only and does not demonstrate independent student status for financial aid purposes. You must answer NO to the emancipated minor question on the FAFSA unless you can provide a copy of a court's decision that you were an emancipated minor before reaching the age of majority in your state of legal residence. If you receive financial aid, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aidexternal link at 573-882-7506 or to determine how changing your residency might affect your award.
  • If you are a non-U.S. citizen but have a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, please provide a copy of your card.


If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the MU Residency Office: