Resident or nonresident status is determined in accordance with the uniform definition established for all New Mexico institutions by the Higher Education Department, State of New Mexico (NMHED). The Admissions and Records Office determines and assigns residency status.

For tuition purposes, the NMHED defines a resident as a financially independent adult over 18 years of age who has lived in New Mexico for at least one year prior to the semester for which resident status is requested and who has met all other residency requirements. The NMHED has published a brochure which outlines the regulations and exceptions governing residency requirements for tuition. This brochure may be obtained through the HED at the following website: Students who wish to change their official residency status must complete a “Petition for In-State Tuition Classification” form available at the Admissions and Records Office. A change of official residency status is never automatic, and it is always the student’s responsibility to initiate the petition.

Special Residency Tuition Information

Special Residency Tuition information on the following programs may be obtained from the Admissions and Records Office:

  • All out-of-state members of an American Indian nation, tribe, and pueblo, located wholly or partially in New Mexico, regardless of the residence of the member prior to acceptance at a post-secondary educational institution shall be eligible to pay the in-state tuition rate.
  • Any person, his or her spouse or dependent child, not otherwise entitled to claim residence, who is an active member of the Armed Forces of the United States or armed forces of a foreign country assigned to active duty in the State of New Mexico will be assessed resident tuition rates.
  • A veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be deemed an in-state resident for purposes of determining tuition and fees at all state institutions of higher learning provided that veteran is eligible for veterans’ educational benefits under federal law.
  • Any out-of-state student enrolled in six or fewer semester hours qualifies for out-of-district tuition rates.
  • Senior citizens (65 or over) are charged a reduced tuition waiver of $5.00 per credit hour for the first six (6) credit hours per semester.

Western Undergraduate Exchange Program (WUE)

The Western Undergraduate Exchange program (WUE) offers students a reduced out-of-state tuition rate of 150 percent of tuition. WUE states include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Participants must maintain their state residency. While on WUE, students may not establish residency in New Mexico.