Residency applications, including military waivers, must be submitted prior to the first day of classes for which in-state residency for tuition purpose is being sought. Review of applications for residency reclassification begins 60 days prior to the beginning of the term.
Residency status for the purpose of determining tuition charges at a public institution of higher education in the state of North Carolina is governed by the North Carolina General Statutes. Students who are classified as residents for tuition purposes are eligible for a tuition rate lower than that charged to non-residents because a resident’s tuition is subsidized by revenue from the state of North Carolina. In-state tuition is, therefore, a benefit offered by the state to its residents under terms in the applicable General Statutes. It is strongly recommended that students review the laws and regulations prior to submitting an Application for In-State Residence and Tuition Status.
A student whose appeal for in-state tuition has been turned down by the campus appeals committee may request that the appeal be submitted to the State Residence Committee. The request for this review must be made by the student in writing to the coordinator of residency appeals within 10 days of the notice of the decision by the campus Residency Appeals Committee. The coordinator of residency appeals will submit a copy of the student’s file to the student and to the State Residence Committee according to the procedures outlined in the N.C. Residency Manual. No additional material may be submitted for this appeal, because the file reviewed by the campus committee must be the file that will be reviewed by the State Residence Committee.
The following is a brief summary of the fundamental policies governing the establishment of in-state Residency for Tuition Purposes. You are strongly encouraged to consult the Manual to Assist the Public Education Institutions of North Carolina in the Matter of Student Residence Classification for Tuition Purposes for more detailed information. This manual is on reserve at the Joyner Library (ECU), as well as the libraries of the other constituent members of the University of North Carolina and online here. These policies govern the determination of Residency for Tuition Purposes at all 16 campuses of the UNC system, although the decision at one campus is not binding on the decisions of the other campuses.
A. The determination of in-state residency for tuition purposes requires a judgment by the Residency Classification Officer based on a variety of behaviors that collectively support or refute the student's claim of eligibility. Please note that determining residency requires more consideration than simply verifying if the student has completed a few residentiary steps. Students classified as non-residents (out-of-state) for tuition purposes may file for reclassification once per semester if necessary. Students may appeal any adverse residency classification decisions. (See procedures below).
B. "To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must have established legal residence (domicile) in North Carolina and maintained that legal residence for at least 12 months immediately prior to his or her classification as a resident for tuition purposes". (General Statute 116-143.1.b)
C. "To be eligible for classification as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must establish that his or her presence in the state currently is, and during the requisite 12-month qualifying period was for purposes of maintaining a bona fide domicile rather than maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education". (General Statute 116-143.1.c )
D. The term DOMICILE is defined as "One's permanent> dwelling place of indefinite duration, as distinguished from a temporary place of abode". (From the Manual .... )
E. Therefore "ESTABLISHING DOMICILE by choice requires the overt act of establishing (1) Physical presence in a place while maintaining at that time (2) the intent to make the place one’s permanent home of indefinite duration." (From the Manual .... )
F. "The domiciliary intent is tested by evaluating relevant, objectively verifiable conduct". The following types of inquiries may be significant although no one item, or combination of items, will necessarily control the determination: (Summarized from the Manual .... )
Living or not living in the home of one's parents.
Sources of one's financial support.
Classification of student on last federal and/or state tax return filed by parents. Place where one spends substantial parts of available vacation time.
Place where one maintains personal property and last listed such for taxation.
Place where one owns a home or other real property and pays taxes thereon.
Place where one resided before enrolling in an institution of higher education.
Place where one is or was gainfully employed.
Place where one maintains membership in one or more professional associations, unions, and other organizations.
Place where one is establishing professional "ties" within the state.
Place where one is establishing "ties" to the community and/or state.
G. The determination of domicile depends upon no one fact, but upon the whole taken together, showing a preponderance of evidence in favor of some particular place as the domicile" (From a legal decision quoted in the Manual.... ).
H. "Conduct is of greater evidential value than declarations. Declarations as to an intention to acquire a domicile are of slight weight when they conflict with the facts" (from a legal decision quoted in the Manual.... ).
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