North Carolina Residency Law

In 2013, Session Law 2013-360 directed the University of North Carolina (UNCGA), the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS), the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (SEAA), and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) to create a centralized, uniform process for determining residency for tuition purposes and for administration of state financial aid.

Following passage of the law, these partners created a structure to design and develop the Residency Determination Service (RDS), both to satisfy the mandate and to provide accurate, consistent, timely, and cost effective residency determination in support of the admissions application process for North Carolina colleges and universities. RDS also supports establishing residency eligibility for NC state grant consideration.

Residency Determination Service (RDS)

If you believe that you qualify as a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes and have not yet received a RDS determination, you may apply for in-state resident status using at the RDS website. Before applying for in-state resident status, we strongly recommend that you also carefully review the Residency Guidelines.

Once you have received determination, RDS will provide you with a Residency Certification Number (RCN) and a summary of the information you entered. Your RCN will be required to complete your JCC admissions application.

The tuition charge for students who qualify as residents of the State of North Carolina is less than the charge for non-resident students. To qualify for in-state tuition, as specified in General Statute 116-143.1, a legal resident must have maintained his/her domicile in North Carolina for at least the twelve months prior to his/her classification as a resident for tuition purposes. To learn more about in-state tuition classification, please visit the tuition benefits section of the Residency Determination Service website.

The residency classification of a student, for purposes of applicable tuition rates, is required to be changed if, since original establishment of the student's current classification, his/her state of legal residence has changed.