Military Members, Dependents and Veterans

Glossary of Terms

  • Active Duty
  • Child Dependents
  • Domicile
  • Permanent Duty Station
  • Residence Determination Date (RDD)
  • Spouse

For definitions of terms used on this page, see the Glossary

Exemptions and waivers for members or dependents of members of the Armed Forces and the application of State and Federal law pertaining to tuition and fees are described and summarized within the UC Residence Policy.

Because eligibility requirements may be easier to meet under federal law than state law, the Residence Deputy will make a determination of eligibility for one or more exemptions under both federal and state law and assign the benefit that is more advantageous to the student.

Active Duty Military

Military Service referred to in the Residence Policy is limited to active duty in one of the U.S. armed forces: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. The definition does not include the National Guard (except as noted on p. 29 of the Residence Policy & Guidelines), service employees, members of the reserves or others not in active service.

Military Members Stationed Outside of California

If you (student or parent) are now or were an active duty member of the US Military and were once a California resident and consider your absence(s) to be of a temporary nature due to military orders outside of California, the burden will be on you to verify that you had met the requirements for residence status in California prior to your departure, and that nothing was done inconsistent with a claim of a continuing California residence during the entirety of your absence on Military orders. Read about Temporary Absences under the Physical Presence Requirement.

California High-School Graduates—Military Members

Military Members, their spouses or dependents who attended high school in California for three or more years (9th grade included) and graduated from a California high school (or attained the equivalent) may be exempt from Nonresident Supplemental Tuition. Read about the California High-School Graduate (AB540) exemption under Exemptions. This AB540 exemption is available to all qualified students, not just U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their family members.

Military Members Stationed Within California

If you (the student) are a member of the U.S. military stationed in California on active duty, you may be exempt from the Nonresident Supplemental Tuition under current UC and State regulations or Federal regulations. These exemptions are summarized within the UC Residence Policy document—Summary of Military Member Chart. Your eligibility for exemptions is based on verifying military documents.

Veterans of the U.S. Military

Students will be considered “financially independent” when considered for residence status if they are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces. Veteran status will be based on verifying military or Veterans Affairs documents. 

An undergraduate or graduate or professional student who is a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in California who was on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to being discharged from the Armed Forces may be eligible for an exemption from nonresident tuition. Your eligibility for exemptions is based on verifying military documents. Read about Former Members of the Military under Exemptions

Members of the National Guard

For information on the Cal Vet Fee Waiver program, or Dependent of Deceased or Disabled Member of the California National Guard program, verification of attendance, and additional information for veterans regarding benefits and student services contact the UC Davis Veterans Affairs Office.

UC Davis Veterans Affairs Office
Veterans Affairs Office
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616     

Military Documents Required

Required Documents for Initial Residence Determination

A Residence Deputy may request all of the following documents, in addition to verification of other legal ties of intent maintained in California for the duration of your absence from California under Military Orders, or to make determination about your presence in California under Military Orders or your domicile (permanent home):

  • Current Orders.
  • Leave & Earnings Statement (LES).
  • Letter from Commanding Officer or Personnel Officer. You may be asked to provide the Residence Deputy with a statement from your commanding officer or personnel officer stating that your assignment to active duty in California is not for educational purposes. The letter must include the dates of your assignment to the state. This letter may be requested because the Orders may not make clear the purpose of the assignment to CA.

Additional Military Documents

Residence Deputies may also request the following documents:

  • Copy of Past Orders or a History of Permanent Duty Stations and dates of assignment (Orders Record Brief), or
  • Copy of past W2s—for each calendar year of absence from California in lieu of LES, or
  • Copy of one LES for each calendar year of absence from California, or
  • Verification of Discharge, Retirement or Veteran Status (DD 2014).

A determination of your residence status will be based on the information available to Residence Deputies. Students are responsible for submitting all relevant documentation and information to a campus Residence Deputy in support of their residence statement, petition or exemption application. Information or documents requested but not made available to the Residence Deputy will generally not be considered. Personally sensitive information may be removed. Social Security Numbers must be removed from all documents submitted.


Active Duty
Federal law grants eligibility to a Member of the Armed Forces who “is” on active duty for 30 days. We interpret this to mean that as of the RDD the Member must be on active duty status, but if he or she has been on such status for less than 30 days, he or she can satisfy the 30-day requirement if there is adequate proof that the status will continue for at least 30 days.

Child Dependents
All references to child dependents are intended to include natural, adoptive or step-children of the Member of the Armed Forces.

For purposes of applying the federal law (HEOA), it is the one location where a person is considered to have the most settled and permanent connection, the place where he intends to remain and to which, whenever temporarily absent, he has the intention of returning. A person can have only one domicile at a time.

Permanent Duty Station
For purposes of applying the federal law (HEOA), permanent duty station is defined as the post of duty or official station to which a member of the Armed Forces is assigned or attached. A member of the Armed Forces assigned to a military base or installation in California would meet the requirements of having a permanent duty station in California.

Residence Determination Date (RDD)
The day instruction begins at the last of the University of California campuses to open for the quarter, and for schools on the semester system, the day instruction begins for the semester.

All references to “spouse” are intended to include California registered domestic partners. Residence Deputies will request verifiction of the California Registered Domestic Partnership, or similar documents when student claims similar status to registered domestic partner under the laws of another state.