Residency Classification for Tuition Purposes

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 North Carolina Residency For Tuition Purposes


Under North Carolina law, a person may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes. North Carolina law (G.S. 116-143.1) requires you to establish legal residency (domicile) in North Carolina and maintain it for at least 12 months immediately prior to the beginning of the term for which you seek classification as a resident for tuition purposes. The statute also contains definitions, rules and special provisions for determining residency for tuition purposes.

Regulations concerning the classification of students by residence for purposes of applicable tuition differentials are set forth in detail in “A Manual to Assist the Public Higher Education Institutions of North Carolina in the Matter of Student Residence Classification for Tuition Purposes.”  A copy of the manual is also available in Student Services and the Learning Resources Center for student inspection.

A student’s official residency status is determined at the time of initial application to the college according to the residency policy of the state of North Carolina and the North Carolina Community College System.  The Admissions staff will determine the residency status of the applicant based on the information supplied on the application and any other data deemed appropriate by the Director of Admissions/Student Advisement.

To qualify as a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes, students must be a US citizen, permanent resident alien or a legal alien granted indefinite stay by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Living in or attending school in North Carolina will not, in itself, establish legal residence. Students who depend on out-of-state parents for support are presumed to be legal residents of the same state as their parents.

The legal residence of a person under 18 years of age is that of his or her parents, surviving parent, or legal guardian. In cases where parents are divorced or legally separated, the minor’s domicile is deemed to be North Carolina for the time period that either parent, as a North Carolina legal resident, claims the minor as a tax dependent.

A student does not lose the legal residency status for tuition purposes merely by serving in the armed forces outside North Carolina provided the person returns to the state to reside immediately upon discharge.

Students classified as out-of-state for tuition are responsible for applying in the Division for Student Services for reclassification to in-state status at the conclusion of the 12-month waiting period. No prior notice will be given. The change in classification, if deemed to be warranted, shall be effective at the beginning of the next academic semester following the date of application for reclassification.

Students who provide false residency information or knowingly withhold residency information shall be deemed to have submitted a fraudulent application. Students making fraudulent application are subject to reclassification and payment of the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition for the enrolled term(s) intervening between the fraudulent application and its discovery.

Application Process for Reclassification as Residents

1. Complete the fill-in application form. Please use black ink if completing by hand.

2. Please answer all questions accurately and completely. Any unanswered or incomplete questions could result in your application not being processed. If the question is not applicable to your situation, write “NA”. When a date is requested, provide month, day and the year. You are encouraged to attach additional sheets if you need more space to provide a complete answer. You are also encourage to provide detailed, supplemental information concerning your residency claim.

3. Attach copies of supporting documents. Provide copies of documents to support your answers. (i.e. NC State Taxes [Form D400], NC car registration, 1040 etc.)

4. Return the completed form and documentation to: Director of Admissions, Roanoke-Chowan Community College, 109 Community College Rd, Ahoskie NC 27910.

Attach to the completed application copies of documents supporting your residency claim.

  • Dependent: A person for whom 50 percent or more of his/her support is provided by another as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. A copy of your (or parent’s) most recent tax return or other documentation may be requested to establish dependence/independence.
  • Independent: A person who provides more than 50 percent of his/her own support.
  • Legal Basis: An individual shall not be classified as a resident for tuition purposes and, thus, shall not be eligible to receive the in-state tuition rate until he/she has provided such evidence related to legal residence and its duration as may be required by officials of the institution of higher education from which he seeks the in-state tuition rate.
Residency Classification Appeals
Students who believe that they have been erroneously classified are permitted to appeal the case to the Dean of Student Services.  The Dean’s decision shall be final.
North Carolina Residency Application