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.

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:

  • 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 application form. The application and required documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the beginning of the semester the student is applying to. Students must be admitted to UNCW and have completed the Residency Determination Service in order to apply.

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

*NOTE ADMITTED GRADUATE STUDENTSYour residency for tuition purposes status at UNCW will be updated when your in-state determination is electronically communicated by RDS. The determination must have completed RDS validation to be processed.  For the change in status to be applied to the current term, the determination must have an RDS-assigned effective date on or before the 14th day of the current term (30th day of the term starting Fall 2019). Determinations with effective dates after the cut-off day for the current term will go into effect for the subsequent term