2023-2024 Catalog

Residency Information

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for residency classification of previously enrolled and currently enrolled students. Salish Kootenai College classifies all students as either in-state or out-of-state as determined by the Montana residency rules. This classification affects fee determinations. It is each student’s responsibility to secure and review a copy of the policy. Failure to be aware of the rules will not be a cause for granting any exceptions to them. A copy of the policy is available in this catalog and the student handbook. With certain exceptions, in order to be eligible for in-state status, a person must meet a 12-month durational residency test. You will have to demonstrate a bona fide intent to become a Montana resident. The 12-month period does not start until some act indicative of intent to establish residency is taken. Mere presence in Montana will not serve to start this period. Sufficient acts to start the period are: obtaining a Montana driver’s license; registration of a motor vehicle in Montana; purchase of home in Montana; or filing of a resident Montana tax return. The 12 months must be completed by the “last day to add” day to qualify for that term. Your actions during the 12-month waiting period will be used to determine whether you are in the state as a bona fide resident or merely for educational purposes. The decision on your residency will not generally depend on just one factor. The following are some of the things you can do that will support a claim of bona fide residency:

  • License a vehicle if you operate one in Montana
  • Be physically present in Montana, not out of state, for more than a full year
  • Not be claimed as a tax exemption by residents of another state
  • File a Montana resident income tax return (this is important for all who claim residency in Montana, regardless of the amount of earnings)
  • Only register for six (6) credits or less per academic quarter (including summer school) during the twelve-month waiting period. Registering for more than 6 credits creates a strong presumption that you are here for education purposes, and may disqualify you from achieving in-state status. At the end of your twelve-month waiting period you must provide copies of your driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter’s registration and your earnings for the twelve months and return it to the Registrar’s Office for review. This documentation can be submitted to the Registrar’s Office up to 30 days in advance of the petitioners start date and no later then the “last day to add” day of the quarter for which the status is sought. When a student petitions or meets the requirements, a change in classification, if granted, will not be retroactive and will become effective at the term of registration. Reclassification is not automatic and will not occur unless the individual so petitions.