The University of Montana School of Law
The Montana University System classifies all students as either in-state or out-of-state. This classification affects admissions decisions and fee determinations. The basic rules for making the classification are found in the Board of Regents' Policy. 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.
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 an intent to establish residency is taken. Mere presence in Montana or enrollment at a unit will not serve to start this period. Sufficient acts to start the period are registration to vote, 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 15th instructional day to qualify for that term.
Once classified as a nonresident, you typically retain that status for the three years of law study. However, a change in circumstances may warrant a change in residency status.
To view the entire Board of Regent’s residency policy, please see: The Montana University System Board of Regents' policy (940.1). Additional statutory authority can be found at: MCA 20-25-501(1)(d)(i).