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. Some students, who would otherwise be considered non-residents, may be eligible for resident tuition rates. If a student meets applicable eligibility requirements, they would be classified as residents, for tuition and fee purposes, rather than as non-residents receiving a non-resident differential waiver.
Note: In 2015, the state Legislature added technical colleges to many of the waivers shown below.
- 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.
- Active Duty Military and Dependents; Washington National Guard and Dependents who live in Washington
- American Indian
- Border County
- High School Graduates Seeking Permanent United States Residency
- In-State High School Graduates
- Spouses and Dependents of Active Duty Military Transferred Out-of- State
- Foreign Nationals with an E-3, H-1 or L Visa and Family Member
Statutory Mandatory Waivers
- Children and Spouse of Totally Disabled or POW/MIA or Deceased Eligible Veterans or National Guard Members
- Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Law Enforcement Officers or Firefighters
- Wrongfully Convicted Person
SBCTC Mandatory Waivers
- Athletic Waivers – Resident/Nonresident
- Eligible Veterans or National Guard Members
- Other Military or Naval Veterans
- Bldg/S&A Fee Waiver for Students in DoD Tuition Assistance Program
- Financial Need Based Students
- High School Completion
- Over 18 Credit Exemption for Vocational Students — Resident and Nonresident
Waiver of Nonresident Tuition Differential
- Congressional Dependents
- Higher Education Employees
- High School Completion — Nonresident
- International Student Exchange
- Nonresident-Operating Fees Only
Space Available Waivers
Waivers and Residency Summary
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.
Last Modified: 3/16/23, 4:36 PM