North Carolina Residency for Tuition Purposes

Undergraduate and High School students only: Effective February 22, 2017, residency determinations for tuition purposes will be made centrally for the entire state of North Carolina via the NC Residency Determination Service. This new determination process will be automated, providing quicker response times and less required documentation.

Graduate students, see Residency for Graduate Students.

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

Learn more about the purpose and background of NC Residency.

Residency for Graduate Students

Additional Information
For additional information contact the offices of admissions, the registrar or student financial aid at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts or refer to North Carolina General Statute 116.143.1.