Consistent with North Carolina’s public policy of providing the benefits of higher
education as free as practicable to the people of our state, the General Assembly
has placed stringent criteria on who qualifies as a bona fide resident of this state
for tuition purposes. While each institution of higher education within the state
must allow students a chance to demonstrate that they are bona fide residents of the
state pursuant to the provisions of the NC State Residence Classification Manual and
applicable laws, the burden of proof of in-state resident status for tuition purposes
rests on the student.
All applications must be received before the end of Add/Drop for the term or period
for which an adjustment is sought. Students with pending cases must be prepared to
pay the out-of-state rate until their case is resolved. Students who pay the out-of-state
rate and who are later determined to in-state will receive a refund for the difference.
The special provision to waive the twelve month domiciliary requirement for teachers
and other employees of North Carolina Public Schools who take courses relevant to
teacher certification or for professional development as a teacher was repealed effective
July 1, 2011. The NC Residency Classification Manual does not yet reflect this legislative
change, however, the change is in effect.
New Undergraduate Students:
Office of Admissions
102 Cordelia Camp Building
Cullowhee NC 28723
Continuing Undergraduate Students:
206 Killian Annex Building
Cullowhee NC 28723
New & Continuing Graduate Students:
110 Cordelia Camp Building
Cullowhee NC 28723
Local Campus Appeals
A student, who has exhausted the residency application procedure and has been classified
as a non-resident for tuition purposes, may request an appeal of that decision to
the Residency Appeals Board pursuant to the “Policy and Procedures for Determining
Residence Status for Tuition Purposes.” This request must be in writing to the Chairperson
of the Residency Appeals Board and must be submitted to the address listed below at
least fifteen (15) business days from the date of the issuance of the letter of determination.
The request may consist simply of the statement, "I wish to appeal the decision of
my residence classification for tuition purposes." It must be dated and signed and
should indicate the applicant's WCU student identification number, academic term,
mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number.
Request for appeal of residency should be mailed to the following address:
WCU Office of Admission
Attn: Residency Appeal Chairperson
102 Camp Building
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Appeals to State Residency Board
The student has the right appeal on campus. If denied the local campus appeal information
will be sent to the student on how to appeal to the state residency board.
Frequently Asked Questions- Residency
1. I am incorrectly classified as an out-of-state resident, what do I need to do to
correct the problem?
Applicants to the university will need to contact the correct office in relation to
Undergraduate Admissions - 828.227.7317
Graduate Admissions - 828.227.7398
If already enrolled, students need to contact the Registrar’s Office through the Student
OneStop at 828.227.7170.
These offices will be able to correctly guide students on the steps needed to correct
If a student was initially classified as an out-of-state student, but feels that in-state
residency for tuition purposes is now the correct classification, then filling out
the residency application and submitting it to the correct office for reclassification
will be required.
The residency application can be found here.
2. How long is process and review time for the application?
The initial review of the residency application can usually be done on the same day
it is received. Many times this will result in a decision that same day, but sometimes
this process can take longer if there are certain documents that the reviewer would
like to see which were not submitted with the initial residency application.
Decisions are mailed to the applicants, so please allow a few days for delivery.
3. How long to I have to live in the state of NC to become an instate resident for
The minimum required amount of time to maintain a domicile in North Carolina for tuition
purposes is 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment.
4. I work in NC but I live in another state, am I eligible for instate tuition?
No. The regulations state that the student’s domicile must be in NC.
5. I am active duty military or recently separated from the military, would I qualify
Military members who separate from the military can be granted in-state residency
if the Home of Record at the time of separation is listed as NC OR if the family moves
to NC immediately upon separation. The NC residency manual has a number of exceptions
and policies for military and dependants. A full explanation can be found in the manual
Section: IV. B 2 page 16.
6. My parents are seriously considering moving out-of-state. If that happens do I
still pay in-state tuition or does it turn into out of state? We have been living
in NC for over ten years.
The State of North Carolina continues the benefit of in-state tuition to students
who move out-of-state for a period of 12 months. However, that are some caveats. You
should consult the North Carolina State Residency Classification Manual. Specifically
you want to review the section titled "Statutory Grace Period Following Loss of Resident
Status" on pages 24/5 to see if you can continue to be charged the in-state rate.