Admission to De Anza College is open to anyone, subject to the residency requirements below, who can show one of the following:

  • High school diploma
  • High school equivalency certificate (GED)
  • Proficiency certificate
  • Evidence of being at least 18 and able to benefit from instruction offered by De Anza

High school students may also enroll if they have a High School Permit to Enroll form signed by their high school principal or designee and by a parent or guardian. Visit our Dual Enrollment webpage for more information.

(If the college has reason to question the validity of a student's high school diploma, the student will be notified that they can continue enrollment but will not qualify for financial aid under the federal Title IV program.)

Residency Requirements

Legal California Residency

To establish California residency and qualify for in-state tuition rates and fees, you must:

  • Have been physically present in California for one year and one day prior to the term in which you wish to enroll.
  • Intend to make California your permanent home for other than a temporary purpose.
  • Have an eligible status that does not preclude you from establishing residency in the U.S. under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. This status must have been established one year and one day prior to the beginning of the term in which you wish to enroll.

If there is any question about residency, the burden is on you to clearly prove both physical presence in California and intent to establish California residence.

If you wish to apply for a change of status, you must do so by following the Residence Determination and Appeal procedure and submit all required documents before the beginning of the quarter in which you plan to enroll. If that deadline is not met, the status change won't take effect until  the next term for which you enroll.

Undocumented Students Under AB 540

If you are a nonresident California high school graduate, you may be eligible for the AB 540 exemption from out-of-state tuition. This applies to U.S. citizens not currently eligible for California residency, and to undocumented immigrants who meet the AB 540 criteria. You may qualify if you

  • Attended a California high school (public or private) for three or more years.
  • Graduated from a California high school or attained the equivalent (for example, passing the GED or California High School Proficiency exam).
  • File an affidavit with the college stating that you have filed an application to legalize your immigration status, or will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so.

Read the full requirements and procedures for requesting exemption from nonresident tuition for the California Community Colleges, the California State University and the University of California.

Nonresident Students Subject to Out-of-State Tuition

  • Residents of other states, U.S. territories or foreign countries (who have not established residency in California for one year and a day prior to the start of the term), must pay nonresident tuition and fees.
  • Students who entered the United States with a B, C, D, F, H2, H3, J, M, O2, P, Q, TC or TD visa are also subject to nonresident tuition and fees. (B visa holders are prohibited from attending community college classes.)
  • Others may not be barred from establishing residency solely on their status as aliens, but may be classified as residents if they meet the requirements of California Education Code Section 68062. For details, see the Residency Reclassification Request form.

For information about visa limitations, contact the International Student Programs office. 

Guest F-1 Visa Students

Students interested in taking classes at De Anza while studying at another college* on an F-1 Visa should follow these steps

  1. Fill out and submit the OpenCCC application for De Anza College. (This is the same application used by U.S. students.)

  2. The application can take up to 7-10 business days to process. Once your application is processed, you'll receive a "Welcome to De Anza" email.

    • This email will include your De Anza CWID (this is your 8-digit student ID number).

    • While you wait for your application to be processed, you can plan for class registration by reviewing the registration guide.

    • Plan to pay your fees no later than five days after registering, to avoid being dropped from those classes. For summer classes, you must pay immediately after course registration to avoid being dropped from those classes.

*EXCEPTION! Foothill College F-1 Visa students interested in taking classes at De Anza should follow the special steps outlined on the International Student Programs webpage.

Active-Duty Military

Residency status will be granted to members of the U.S. military on active duty, except those assigned for educational purposes to state-supported institutions of higher education. This law applies only to the individual actively serving in the military, not to their spouse or dependents.

A dependent who wishes to claim the one-year resident status (military grace) must provide the college with a statement from the commanding officer or personnel officer of the individual serving in the military, stating that the serving individual meets one of the following conditions

  • The individual serving in the military is on active duty in California, but not for educational purposes, prior to the beginning of the term, or
  • The individual serving in the military is stationed outside the continental United States on active duty after having been transferred immediately and directly from a California duty station

In addition, the prospective student must provide a statement that they are a dependent and an exemption on the federal taxes of the person serving in the military.

Online Students Living Outside California

Enrollment in online courses at De Anza College is prohibited to students residing in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York or Washington, D.C. Students should use the Admissions and Records Help Request form to determine eligibility for online education courses.

Changing Your Residency Status

Students whose residency status changes during their enrollment at De Anza must complete a Residency Reclassification Request form. Please visit the Residency Determination and Appeal Procedures webpage for instructions and the form.

All residency documents must be submitted to the Admissions and Records office before the quarter starts, in order for the status change to apply to that quarter. If not, the residency change will take effect in the next term in which the student enrolls. Students are required to bring original documents so the Admissions staff can make copies for the college.


Falsifying information about citizenship, California residency, financial aid or military status could result in

  • Criminal charges for perjury or fraud and, if convicted, imprisonment
  • Student disciplinary action
  • Accumulated monetary charges such as restitution or nonpayment of nonresident tuition fees

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