In compliance with state law, the University of North Carolina system now requires
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.
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.
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
mush 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 rate, will receive a refund for the
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.
Forms for Documenting Statutory Exceptions