Western Nevada College allows any adult who can benefit from instruction to enroll, regardless of residency status. Although the tuition and fees will vary depending on residency status, all adults are welcome to attend Western Nevada College.
Admissions and Records staff is available to assist students with residency regulations and to answer any residency questions. Please call 775-445-3277 for assistance.
A students residency status for fee/tuition purposes is determined at the time of initial application to the college. An initial determination of non-resident status does not change unless or until the student applies for and is approved for in state residency.
There are a number of factors used to determine residency. In most cases, an individual who is financially independent must reside in Nevada as a bona fide resident (definition below) for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to the date of matriculation (the beginning date of the first semester of enrollment) to be considered a Nevada resident for tuition purposes. The individual must also be a U.S. citizen or hold a Permanent Resident card or a visa which is approved for NSHE residency consideration. For a financially dependent student, the students spouse, family, or legal guardian must be a bona fide legal resident of the state of Nevada for at least twelve consecutive months prior to the date of matriculation and must be a U.S. citizen or hold a Permanent Resident card or approved visa.
There are exceptions which allow some individuals who do not meet the 12 month requirement to obtain residency. Some of the exceptions include:
- A graduate or current enrollee of a Nevada high school.
- A financially independent individual who has relocated to Nevada for the primary purpose of permanent full-time employment.
- A financially dependent individual whose spouse, family, or legal guardian has relocated to Nevada for the primary purpose of permanent full-time employment.
- Licensed educational personnel employed full-time by a public school district in the state of Nevada, or the spouse or dependent child of such an employee.
- A member of a federally recognized Native American tribe who currently resides on tribal lands located wholly or partially within the boundaries of the state of Nevada.
- Active duty resident military stationed in Nevada or spouse.
- Marines currently stationed at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center at Pickel Meadows, CA or spouse.
- A veteran of the Armed Forces of the United State who was honorably discharged while stationed in Nevada or Pickel Meadows.
- A veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States who was honorably discharged within five years immediately preceding the date of matriculation of the veteran.
- Veterans, spouses, dependents and others using veteran benefits may qualify for an exception.
Bona Fide Nevada Resident
A bona fide Nevada resident is defined as an independent person who has continuous physical presence in the state of Nevada for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to matriculation, having clearly abandoned any former residence and who has no ties to any other state and who has the intent to permanently reside in the state of Nevada. In general, an individual is expected to surrender his/her drivers license or state ID card from his/her previous state and obtain a Nevada drivers license (as required by Nevada law) or state ID card within 30 days of moving to Nevada to be considered a bona fide resident. For a dependent person, the family, spouse or legal guardian must have physical presence in the state of Nevada for a minimum of 12 consecutive months prior to the students matriculation with no ties to any other state, with the intent to permanently reside in Nevada.
Dependent and Family
A dependent is defined as a person who is not financially independent and is claimed as an exemption for federal income tax purposes under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code by another person for the most recent year. Family is defined as natural or legally adoptive parent(s) of a dependent person, or if one parent has legal custody of a dependent person, that parent.
Date of Matriculation
Date of matriculation is the first day of instruction in the semester or term in which enrollment of a student first occurs (excluding community education courses). This is applicable regardless of the actual start date of a course a student enrolls in. A student has matriculated if he/she enrolls for a course and does not withdraw before the 100% refund period or has a record of previous enrollment at Western Nevada College.
A student who does not meet the criteria for Nevada bona fide residency or a residency exception is considered a nonresident and must pay nonresident fees.
The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) requires WNC to randomly select 10% of all newly admitted students who were initially classified as Nevada residents to ensure that their residency determinations are accurate. Students selected for an audit will be notified by email and required to submit a Residency application with required documentation.
A student who has been classified as a non-resident who matriculated to WNC shall continue to be classified as a nonresident student throughout the students enrollment, unless and until the student demonstrates that his or her previous residence has been abandoned and that student is a bona fide Nevada resident. A student must fill out a Residency Application using category 3 and provide documentation of:
- Continuous physical presence as a Nevada resident for at least 12 months immediately prior to the date of the application for reclassification, and
- Evidence of intent to remain a Nevada resident, and
- Proof of independent/dependent status. For a dependent student, documentation of Nevada residency for the students family, spouse, or legal guardian must be provided. If the family, spouse or legal guardian of a dependent student is not a bona fide Nevada resident, the student will continue to be classified as a nonresident student.
When a student has been reclassified to resident student status, the reclassification shall become effective at the registration immediately following the reclassification decision. No reclassification under these regulations shall give rise to any claim for refund of tuition already paid or owed from a previous semester.
WUE is the Western Undergraduate Exchange, a program coordinated by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Through WUE, students from participating western states may apply to enroll in college programs at a reduced tuition level of 150 percent of the institutions regular resident tuition. The following states participate in WUE: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.
New students who have not matriculated to WNC may apply for WUE status. To qualify a student must have maintained a legal bona fide resident status in an approved WUE state for at least twelve months prior to the first day of the semester of application. An applicant must also be a U.S. citizen or Resident Alien.
Students who have enrolled as Children of Alumni or WICHE/WUE may not be reclassified as an in-state resident until the student disenrolls from the applicable program and pays full nonresident tuition for at least 12 months or does not take any courses at a NSHE institution for at least 12 months from the time the student moved to Nevada. A Residency application using category 3 must be submitted.
All residency regulations are subject to change by the Board of Regents. Changes become effective immediately upon such approval for all students. Regulations for determining Nevada residency for tuition charges are outlined in the Board of Regents handbook, Title 4, Chapter 15.
If you are a new student who has not yet matriculated and believe your residency stats has been classified incorrectly, you may submit the Residency Application using category 1 or 2 with appropriate documentation to WNC Admissions and Records.
If you would like to be considered for reclassification from a nonresident to a resident, submit the Residency Application using category 3 to Admissions and Records.
If you are a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States or a spouse or dependent of a veteran and wish to have your residency status changed review the form, Veterans, Spouses and Dependents: Information Request Form for Determination of Tuition Charges and submit with documentation if applicable.
If you have any questions about residency please call Admissions and Records at 775-445-3277.