1. Under North Carolina law, to qualify for in-state tuition for a given term you must prove:
- that you established your domicile in North Carolina twelve months before the beginning of that term (first day of classes), and
- that you have maintained that domicile for at least twelve continuous months.
2. Proof: To prove that you established a bona fide domicile in North Carolina, you must prove:
- that you were physically present in the state, with intent to make North Carolina a permanent home indefinitely, and
- that you were not in North Carolina solely to attend college.
3. Determination of Intent: Because it is difficult to determine directly someone's intention to make North Carolina their home, residency classifiers must evaluate actions taken that may indicate this "domiciliary" intent. The North Carolina State Residence Classification Manual (the Manual) lists the following considerations which may be significant in determining this intent:
- living or not living in the home of one's parents
- voter registration and voting
- location of jury duty
- registering, licensing, and maintaining a motor vehicle
- driver's license or state ID card
- location of permanent employment
- filing of North Carolina state income tax return
- places where one resides during periods between academic sessions
- location of personal property
- property tax assessment
- ownership of residential real property that is one's primary residence (including maintenance and payment of expenses associated with the property)
- place from which one graduated from high school
- place of residence prior to enrollment in an institution of higher education
- sources of one's financial support
- memberships in professional associations, unions, civic organizations, etc.
- citizenship or immigration status
4. Preponderance of Evidence: Residency classifiers must weigh all the evidence furnished in an application for residence status. The preponderance (or greater weight) of the evidence must support the establishment of North Carolina domicile twelve months before the beginning of the academic term (first day of classes) for which classification is requested. If the evidence shows a cluster of significant events occurring at or about the same time (within the same week, for example), the classifier must start counting from that point to determine if the twelve-month requirement has been met. If instead the evidence has gradually accumulated over time, the classifier must decide at what point a preponderance of the evidence shows intent to establish North Carolina domicile, and that is the date on which the clock will begin. If this date is after the first day of classes for the term specified on the application, the classifier will be unable to render an in-state decision for the term in question.
5. Amount and Duration of Benefit of Law: Individuals classified as NC residents for tuition purposes are entitled to pay the in-state tuition rate. If you are classified as a resident you are likely to remain classified that way as long as you are continuously enrolled. But, in some circumstances such as those indicated below, you will need to be classified again.
- If you fail to enroll for more than 12 months, are readmitted as a non-resident and wish to have your residence status reviewed, you must submit a new residency application.
When the College becomes aware of new facts about your status, it has the responsibility to ask for a review of your residency classification to determine if your current classification is accurate.