Residency Status

Under North Carolina law, a person may qualify as a resident for tuition purposes in North Carolina and thereby eligible for a tuition rate lower than that for nonresidents. This benefit is reserved for those individuals who are actual legal residents of North Carolina; that is, those who have and will continue to contribute to the state. Consequently, the fact that a person has lived and/or worked in the state for 12 months does NOT in itself constitute in-state residency.

Please note that you must completely abandon your out-of-state residence in order to qualify for in-state rates, meaning your domiciliary actions (driver’s license, car registration, car insurance, etc.), must be maintained in North Carolina.

Please note: all new residents of North Carolina who plan to operate a motor vehicle in this state must obtain a driver license within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence. (Refer to for more information.)

At the time of admission, 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 Enrollment Management. You may submit an application for NC Residency to the Admissions Office: Download the NC Residence and Tuition Status Application and submit it by mail or hand delivery with copies of all LEGAL documentation listed on page 3, question 20, on the application to support your claim for in-state tuition status to the admissions office, Attention Director of Enrollment Management. Applications must be submitted within the first ten (10) days of the semester in which you request the in-state status. Refer to the Residency Brochure for additional information. Electronic/faxed applications are not acceptable.

Applicants wishing information about the laws of North Carolina governing residency classification for students should refer to the NC State Residence Classification Manual or contact the Admissions Office at 910-362-7054 where copies of the law are maintained.

Under NC General Statutes Section 116-143.3, certain members of the armed services and their dependent relative(s) may become eligible to be charged less than the out-of-state tuition rate even if they do not qualify as residents for tuition purposes under G.S. 116-143.1. The member of the armed services must be on active duty and stationed in NC on permanent change of station orders at the time of enrollment in the academic program. Active duty members of the armed services include those serving in the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy; the N.C. National Guard; and any Reserve Units of these military units. Military reservists (other than those of the N.C. National Guard) must be on active duty to qualify for the in-state tuition benefit. In order for a dependent relative of the service member to be considered eligible for this benefit, the dependent relative must live with, and claim the benefit through, the service member. To qualify for this benefit, you must submit by mail or hand delivery the military tuition benefit application and all required affidavits to the Director of Enrollment Management prior to the first day of classes of the first term of enrollment. Electronic/faxed applications are not acceptable.

Exceptions are also made for certain minors, families transferred by business within the past 12 months (up to 1% of total out-of-state students), students with employer-paid tuition (Company Sponsorship), lawfully admitted pubic high school graduates, non-profit corporation sponsorships, and emergency workers. Applications for special issues MUST be submitted prior to the first day of the semester. Electronic/faxed applications are not acceptable.

Residency Frequently Asked Questions and Answers