Residency Information and Requirements

Section  54.051(b) of the Texas Educational code requires documentation of residency for  persons enrolling in public institutions of higher education.

  • Students may be asked to present proof of residency at the time of initial admission or at any  time following registration.
  • A student who believes he/she qualifies for a  change of residency status for tuition purposes must submit documentation by the Official Day of Record (twelfth class day of regular semesters and fourth class day of summer semesters) in order to  receive any refund of tuition paid. Any documentation submitted after the Official Day of Record will be processed for  the next semester.

In addition to documenting residency, WCJC is responsible for reviewing enrollment or registration applications for errors, inconsistencies, or misclassifications of residence status. Written documentation to resolve any problems noted is required, and a copy of such is maintained in the student's file for audit review.

Further, at minimum, each institution must file and maintain a copy of one or more appropriately dated documents that certify that the student classified as a resident has a legal right to such classification as of the official census date of the semester of term for which the student is enrolling.


Students are classified as Texas residents or non-Texas residents for the purpose of assessing matriculation and tuition fees.  WCJC residents must be further classified as either in-district or out-of-district residents. For purposes of determining residency, WCJC complies with all applicable state and federal regulations, as well as with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recommendation.


An adult Texas resident is defined as one who has resided continuously within the state of Texas for at least 12 months prior to the census date of the academic semester in which the student is enrolling. A minor Texas resident is defined as one whose parent(s) or legal guardian has claimed the dependent for federal income tax purposes both at the time of enrollment and for the tax year preceding enrollment. This classification is defined by the State Auditor’s Office and must be adhered to.

IN-DISTRICT - In general, an adult who is a Texas resident has resided continuously within, and paid property taxes to, the Wharton County Junior College District (Wharton County and Needville ISD) for  at least six months prior to the census date of the academic semester in which the student is enrolling.  If the applicant is a minor, then their parent(s) or legal guardian must meet the qualification of In-District.

OUT-OF-DISTRICT - A Texas resident who does not qualify as an in-district resident.


Persons classified as Texas residents are required to provide proof that they are entitled to be so classified and to agree to notify the proper institutional official if for any reason the classification becomes inappropriate.

Documents to prove Texas residency acceptable for this purpose include, but are not limited to:

  • Texas high-school transcript
  • Employer statement of date of employment
  • Permanent drivers license (at least one year old). Generally the license expiration date minus date of enrollment should not exceed three years
  • Texas voter registration (at least 180 days old for in-district classification)
  • Lease agreement that includes students name and periods covered
  • Property tax payments
  • Form 1040 Tax Return (1st page only) for Independent Students
  • Form 1040 Tax Return (1st page only) for Dependent Students

NON-RESIDENT -A non-resident student is defined as one who does not qualify as a Texas resident (out-of-state, international students, etc.).  A non-resident student classification is presumed to be correct so long as the student is in the state primarily for the purpose of attending school.  To be reclassified as a resident, after one or more years of residency, the student must show proof of intent to establish Texas as his/her own residency.

Documents to prove US residency acceptable for this purpose include, but are not limited to:

  • I-797 Notice of Action
  • Current visa eligible to domicile in the United States per The Texas Coordinating Board.
  • Copy of current Permanent Resident Card
  • Notarized Affidavit (located at the end of the Apply Texas application)
  • Texas high school transcript maintaining domicile in Texas for 36 months immediately preceding high school graduation.
  • Maintain residency in Texas for 12 months immediately preceding the census date of the semester in which the student enrolls.
  • Other current documents deemed necessary to establish US residency. 

Additional information concerning admissions is available by contacting the Office of Admissions and Registration at 979-532-6303.

In Residence

Credit hours "in residence" at Wharton County Junior College refers to credits earned through WCJC. In this instance, it does not refer to a person's legal residence. For example, to earn an associate degree from WCJC, students must complete at least 24 hours at WCJC.

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