Admissions

RDS

North Carolina Residency Information

In compliance with state law, the University of North Carolina system now requires undergraduate students to request a residency classification from the new Residency Determination Service (RDS). RDS is the entity responsible for all new classifications of residency in North Carolina. *Graduate students, please see below.

The specific requirements for establishing residency for tuition purposes and for eligibility for State financial aid are prescribed by state law.  A North Carolina resident for tuition purposes (and for State financial aid consideration) is a person, or a dependent person (dependent according to IRS tax code – not the FAFSA definition of dependency), whose parent or legal guardian has established and maintained legal residence in North Carolina for at least 12 months.

Residence in North Carolina must be legitimate and be a permanent situation rather than just for the purpose of maintaining a residence prior to enrollment at an institution of higher education.

Under North Carolina law, to qualify for in-state residency, you must show that you:

  • Have established your legal residence (domicile) in North Carolina, and
  • Have maintained that domicile for at least twelve (12) consecutive months before the beginning of the term, and
  • Have a residentiary presence in the state, and
  • Intend to make North Carolina your permanent home indefinitely (rather than being in North Carolina solely to attend college)

Persons not meeting the 12-month legal residence requirement may be classified as North Carolina residents for tuition purposes only if they fall within one of the limited “exception” categories authorized by the North Carolina Legislature. All others are ineligible for classification as a North Carolina “resident for tuition purposes” and will be charged out-of-state tuition and not be given consideration for State financial aid. To learn more about residency and complete a determination go to www.NCresidency.org.

*Note: Admitted graduate students appealing their residency status must submit a residency reclassification form to the Graduate School.  If the student is classified as out-of-state again, he/she has the right to appeal the decision to the Residency Appeals Board.

Military Personnel

A North Carolinian who serves outside the state in the armed forces does not lose North Carolina domicile simply by reason of such service. Students from the military may prove retention or establishment of residence by reference, as other cases, to residentiary acts accompanied by residentiary intent. In addition, a separate North Carolina statute affords tuition rate benefits to certain military personnel and their dependents even though not qualifying for the in-state tuition rate by reason of twelve months legal residence in North Carolina. These tuition benefits may be enjoyed only if the applicable requirements for admission have been met; these benefits alone do not provide the basis for receiving those derivative benefits under the provisions of the residence classification statute reviewed elsewhere in this summary.

NC Veteran's Choice Act: We are accepting applications for the Veteran's Choice Act benefit. This benefit provides the in-state tuition rate to qualified veterans and dependents.

To be eligible for the benefit, the veteran or dependent student using a transferred post 9/11 G.I. Bill must:

  • Enroll in an institution of higher learning within three years of discharge from active duty service of 90 days or more prior to the first day of the semester the students intends to enroll in.
    (Ex. Spring 2016 semester begins January 11th, veteran service member must have a discharge date after January 11, 2013 and before January 10, 2016 regardless if the benefit is being used by the veteran or dependent student.)
  • Demonstrate "proof of abode" in North Carolina
    (Ex. copy of NC driver's license, copy of lease/letter from landlord, copy of NC utility bill, etc.)
  • Intend to establish residency in North Carolina
  • Be eligible for and using Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill Active Duty Education Assistance Program) or Chapter 33 (Post-9/11 Educational Assistance) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship

To apply, use the appropriate application form, 'Veteran's Choice Act Residency Form'. The application and required documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Admissions by the beginning of the semester the student is applying to.

Questions may be directed to militaryadmissions@uncw.edu

Note: All residency inquiries for currently enrolled undergraduate students are handled through the Office of the Registrar.