Advising 101: Residency Requirement

Welcome to Advising 101. In this series, we’ll highlight a key concept each week that will help YOU become your teen’s best high school guidance counselor. For Homeschooling for College Credit parents, this series will help you navigate resourceful high school planning with skill and confidence.

Topic #1: Residency Requirement

What is it?

Simply put, the word “residency” means a few different things depending on the context. I’ll share each, and then we’ll focus on how a HS4CC parent can use that information in context.

  • Residency 1: The state where you live.
  • Residency 2: How many credits (or a percentage of a credential) you need to earn at a college in order to graduate from that college.
  • Residential 3: Residential is in contrast to online, which is when classes are taken physically on campus as opposed to remotely.

Why is it important?

  • Residency 1: The state where you live. If your state has free dual enrollment, this benefit will only serve that state’s residents. Often proof of residency is required. After high school graduation, residency may be used to calculate the cost of your student’s tuition. PRO TIP: Never lie. Six states and Washington DC have laws that allow them to charge you with a crime for doing so.
  • Residency 2: Knowing how many credits you will need to take at the college will help you plan for effectively. If the college requires a “25% residency” that means 25% of the credits in that credential must be taken at that college. If the college requires “90 credit residency” that means 90 credits in that credential must be take at that college. PRO TIP: Always know the residency requirement because the converse of the requirement is what you can outsource! If 30% of a credential must be taken in residency, then 70% doesn’t!
  • Residential 3: For high school students, parents will want to consider the many pros and cons of taking courses on campus vs. remotely. Some key considerations include the family’s schedule, transpiration needs, parking, mix of adults in class, safety and class times, technology for remote learning, and the student’s learning style. For college attendance after high school, it’s not unusual for a college to have different policies (admissions, transfer credit, CLEP, etc.) for residential students vs remote students.

Where do I find it?

  • Residency 1: The college admissions department.
  • Residency 2: The official college catalog. Search term “graduation.” If you can’t find it, the college’s Registrar Office can provide the document that outlines residency requirements.
  • Residency 3: The college admissions department


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit