Q: We have a youth in our county that has been placed out of state for the past 2 years. He has now returned to CA and is under AB 12. He is trying to enroll in a California community college. The admission office is saying that he will have to apply as a non-resident. He has been a California court dependent during this time. Can he still qualify as a California resident even though he did not reside in California for the past 2 years?
A: Yes, the youth may be able to qualify as a California resident.
California Education Code Section 68085 provides that “A student who currently resides in California and is 19 years of age or under at the time of enrollment, who is currently a dependent or ward of the state through California’s child welfare system, or was served by California’s child welfare system and is no longer being served either due to emancipation or aging out of the system, may be entitled to resident classification until he or she has resided in the state the minimum time necessary to become a resident.”
It is at the option of the district to allow this exemption. Some districts may have a policy; others may address it on a case-by-case basis. Students requesting residency reclassification may be required to complete a questionnaire or specific paperwork. The process to pursue this exception would likely begin on most campuses in the Office of Admissions and Records.