But if you are an illegal alien, the democrats in California will waive the year and immediately let you pay in state tuition with aid.
Nice for them huh? Sucks to be a citizen from another state.
While there is a one year residency rule (it's more complicated than just living here), it really doesn't count if they believe you moved out here with the intent to go to college, that automatically prevents you from being a resident for tuition purposes. And unless you got a job starring in a TV show, no one is going to believe that you moved out here to live and work at Starbucks and not attend college (especially after prep boarding school) and then the idea of going to a UC just popped in your head. No way.
Look at the UCLA or other UC website, basically it is impossible for a typical undergrad to become a resident for tuition purposes for any of the 4 undergrad years unless your parent lives in CA, or you all lived here when you turned 18, and then they moved, but you didn't. Just the fact that you intend for your parents to rent/buy an apartment for you means you couldn't qualify for residency. You must be totally financially independent, and the UC's do extensive checks.
They are going to be even more strict about residency now because of the bad financial state the UCs are in -- and they want that extra $22,000+ a year. So much so, that the admit rate for non-residents is higher than for residents -- at UCLA 22% vs 33%, Berkeley 24% vs 34%. It didn't use to be like that, but they want that extra $88,000+ big time, they are recruiting non-resident students to attend.
LA Times Article, UC campuses move to recruit more out-of-state students
On the front page of UCLA's Prospective Students website:
"Residence for Tuition Purposes at UCLA
Note: The financial independence requirement makes it extremely difficult for most undergraduate students whose parents are not California residents, including students from community colleges and other post-secondary institutions within California, to qualify for classification as a resident at the University of California. Transfer students who were classified as residents of California at their previous school should not assume that they will be classified as residents at UCLA."
Residence for Tuition Purposes: Establishing Residence
The UC's generally just aren't worth paying non-resident tuition for, when you can attend a private college for about the same cost, and perhaps get better financial aid or scholarships, even if your parents are over the financial limit, there may be something. Speak to your school counselor about this, the UC's have really fallen out of favor for top private school students locally, your counselor should be able to explain to you why. If you have the grades and SAT score, look at some of the lesser Ivies, like Cornell, their admit rate is around 19%, Harvard's is around 7%. (Brown's admit rate has gone down to 9% in recent years, apps up about 70%, probably due to Emma Watson, at least that's my son's theory, lol. It was the most popular Ivy with grads at my son's school last year and this.) Of course, the applicant pools are much more competitive than the UC's, but worth giving a shot.