How to become a Missouri resident

Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The price of a college education does not come cheap.

One way for non-Missouri residents to relieve themselves of some of the cost is to obtain state residency, which allows students to pay in-state tuition.


Missouri resident estimated total cost per year: $22,216*

Non-Missouri resident estimated total cost per year: $34,158*

*Includes tuition, room/board, books and supplies, and personal expenses


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To gain residency, a student must remain in the state for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, coupled with proof of intent to make Missouri his or her permanent home.

Students must file a petition that documents this proof. Documents required may include voting registration, a Missouri driver's license, tax records and similar papers.

By becoming a Missouri resident, students can save about $12,000 a year on tuition.

Here are the requirements that a student trying to gain residency needs to meet in order to be granted in-state tuition.

Residency check list

Once students have lived and worked in Missouri for 12 months, they must petition for residency any time between Aug. 1 through the last day of classes during the fall semester.

A successful petition will allow in-state residency rates to take effect for the fall semester.

Appointments need to be made in advance, and students must provide documents proving they have stayed in the state. These include:

  • A Petition for Missouri Resident Status: This can be obtained online or in the MU Residency Office, located at 230 Jesse Hall. 
  • Proof of remaining in Missouri for 12 consecutive months: Acceptable documents include a bank statement showing purchases made throughout the summer, a rental contract, a voter's registration card, a Missouri driver's license and payroll records.
  • Proof the student is an emancipated minor for those under 21: Students must submit a copy of Page 1 of one of their parent’s federal income tax return for the preceding year, proving the student was not claimed as a dependent.
  • Proof the student earned at least $2,000 of taxable income in Missouri during the 12-month period.

Finding a summer job

As earning $2,000 of taxable income in Missouri is a requirement for gaining residency, students interested in doing so must find jobs.

It is recommended that students planning to stay in Columbia over the summer start a summer job search midway through the spring semester, if they don't already have one.

Summer jobs are in high demand, so apply to as many places as possible to maximize options.

A good place to find a summer job is Students can make a profile and send their applications to employers who post job listings on the site.

Finding a summer apartment

Midway through the spring semester is a good time to start looking for a summer apartment.

Because many students leave Columbia during the summer, subleasers are in high demand.

Some people sublease from friends and strangers, while others sublease from local real estate agents.  


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