The Graduate School

Tuition Information For Nonresidents

  • Non Resident Information
  • How to Request In-State Residency
  • Deadlines
  • Understanding Residency Classification

Non Residents

Students who are nonresidents have been classified nonresidents under the North Carolina G.S. 116-143.1.

Receiving Nonresident status
Student residency classification is determined when student are admitted to the Graduate School. Nonresident status is assigned to students that do not qualify as in-State residents for tuition purposes.

For students who feel that they should be classified as in-State residents, but who have been classified a nonresident, you may submit an in-State residency request form. To understand more about residency classification please read below.

**In-State Residency requests must be submitted prior to the term you wish you be considered.

How to Request In-State Residency

Submit Form and Affidavit to:

Graduate School UNC Wilmington 601 South College Road Wilmington, NC 28403-5955


Prospective and Current, Non-resident students: Request form and supporting documents must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes, as listed in the academic calendar, for the term in which residency classification is sought.

North Carolina Teachers: Request form and supporting documents must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes, as listed in the academic calendar, for the term in which residency classification is sought.

Understanding Residency Classification

To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must be a legal resident of North Carolina and must have maintained legal residence for at least 12 months immediately prior to classification as a resident for tuition purposes. Special rules apply with respect to persons who are married or who are within identified subclasses of minors. Certain aliens may also qualify for resident tuition status.


To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must become a legal resident and remain a legal resident for at least twelve months immediately prior to classification. Thus, there is a distinction between legal residence and residence for tuition purposes. Furthermore, twelve months legal residence means more than simple abode in North Carolina. In particular, it means "maintaining a domicile (permanent home of indefinite duration) as opposed to "maintaining a mere temporary residence or abode incident to enrollment in an institution of higher education." The burden of establishing facts that justify classification of a student as a resident entitled to in-state tuition rates is on the applicant for such classification The applicant must show his or her entitlement by the preponderance (the greater part) of the residentiary information.

Parent's Domicile

If an individual, irrespective of age, has living parent(s) or court appointed guardian of the person, the domicile of such parent(s) or guardian is, prima facie, the domicile of the individual; but this prima facie evidence of the individual's domicile may or may not be sustained by other information.


Marriage alone does not prevent a person from becoming or continuing to be a resident for tuition purposes, nor does marriage in any circumstances insure that a person will become or continue to be a resident for tuition purposes. Marriage and the legal residence of one's spouse are, however, relevant information in determining residentiary intent. Furthermore, if both a husband and his wife are legal residents of North Carolina and if one of them has been a legal resident longer than the other, then the longer duration may be claimed by either spouse in meeting the twelve month requirement for in-state tuition status.

Grace Period

If a person:

  1. has been a bona fide legal resident of the required duration,
  2. has consequently been classified a resident for tuition purposes, and
  3. has subsequently lost North Carolina legal residence while enrolled at a public institution of higher education,

that person may continue to receive the in-state tuition rate for a grace period of twelve months measured from the date on which North Carolina legal residence was lost. If the twelvemonths end during an academic term for which the person is enrolled at a state institution of higher education, the grace period extends, in addition, to the end of that term. The fact of marriage to one who continues domicile outside North Carolina does not by itself cause loss of legal residence marking the beginning of the grace period. This benefit provision may be granted one time only.

Change of Status

A student admitted to initial enrollment in an institution (or permitted to reenroll following an absence from the institutional program which involved a formal withdrawal from enrollment) must be classified by the admitting institution either as a resident or as a nonresident for tuition purposes prior to actual enrollment. A residence status classification once assigned (and finalized pursuant to any appeal properly taken) may be changed thereafter (with corresponding change in billing rates) only at intervals corresponding with the established primary division of the academic year.