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Tuition Waivers & Residency Classifications

This web page summarizes various tuition waivers and residency classifications that may be applicable to students enrolling at Washington’s community and technical colleges.  Information on Running Start is also included.

Waivers fall into three main categories; those required by law, those required by the State Board and those that colleges are allowed, but not required, to offer (optional waivers). In addition, some waivers are subject to a limitation on the total amount that can be waived by the community and technical college system.

Residency definitions are listed in statute and are not optional. These definitions classify students as either resident or non-resident, for tuition and fee purposes. It is important to note that some students, for tuition and fee purposes, are considered residents that may otherwise be considered non-residents.  These students should be classified as residents rather than as non-residents receiving a non-resident differential waiver.

Please note that the 2015 Legislature added technical colleges to many of the waivers shown below.

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  • Residency classifications are not discretionary.
  • Waivers listed include all waiver programs available for use by the colleges.
  • Colleges have no authority to adopt waiver programs not described here.
  • Colleges have discretion in whether to participate in optional waiver programs and how much to waive.
  • Optional waiver programs offered by a college must be offered equally to students meeting the eligibility criteria as established by the waiver. This requirement does not limit a college’s ability when adopting optional waivers to limit the total number of enrollments in a particular waiver. Colleges may also establish preferential enrollment status to distinct classes of students within these waivers.
  • Upper division enrollments: Tuition waivers applicable for lower-division students are also applicable to upper-division (applied bachelor) students at community and technical colleges. For example, colleges that waive the out-of-state tuition differential for lower-division students must also waive the differential for upper-division students.

The tuition waivers and residency classifications document contains information on tuition waivers, residency classifications and the Running Start Program that may be applicable to students enrolling in Washington state's community and technical colleges.

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Last Modified: 4/21/17 2:54 PM