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North Carolina Residency for Tuition Purposes: 

Under North Carolina state law, a person who wants to be classified as an in-state resident for tuition purposes must have established and maintained legal residence in North Carolina for at least 12 months with the intent of making a permanent home in North Carolina. Applicants must show a preponderance of evidence demonstrating North Carolina as their domicile and not just a place that they have relocated for college. Additionally, applicants must show that their domicile in North Carolina is their sole legal residence.

Who Should Apply:

  • All students admitted to a graduate degree program who wish to be considered for in-state residency status for tuition purposes must apply for residency. This includes students who were previously considered in-state residents as an undergraduate.
  • All students who are currently in a graduate degree program and are listed as non-residents, but now wish to be considered for in-state residency may apply.

Students who are already listed as North Carolina residents do not need to do anything.

Important Dates:

Fall 2019 NC Residency Application Deadline – September 18, 2019 

Spring 2020 NC Residency Application Deadline – February 6, 2020

Online Residency Application:

Students who wish to be considered for in-state tuition benefits will need to complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS) interview process (for initial requests and reconsideration requests). This interview process is entirely online and the initial interview does not require applicants to upload any documents. Students should wait until they believe that they are a North Carolina resident BEFORE initiating an online residency determination. Also, students should carefully input all information in their applications, as any errors may cause delays in verification and possibly incorrect residency determinations.

Please visit your ConnectCarolina StudentCenter and click the NC Residency Reconsideration or Appeal link under the Personal Information tab. Once you complete the RDS process you must enter your Residency Certification Number (RCN) in your StudentCenter. This is the only way the university will know about your updated status. It is the students’ responsibility to let the university know that their residency status has changed. It can take up to a week for your status to change within ConnectCarolina. If after this time you still do not see an updated status, please contact Student Services.

To access RDS directly, please visit

Anyone found to purposely present false/misleading information will be subject to the conditions of the University Honor Code.

Decision Notification:

Upon completing the initial RDS interview process, RDS communicates your residency status immediately. This determination is contingent upon verification of the information you provide.

  • If you are required to provide additional documentation and do not submit this documentation before the 25-day deadline, your residency status changes from resident to non-resident.
  • RDS validates information you provide with federal and state agencies. Should the information you provide not validate, your residency status changes from resident to non-resident.

In addition to your residency determination status, RDS provides you with a Residency Certification Number (RCN) and a summary of the information you enter. You must enter your RCN number in your ConnectCarolina StudentCenter (if you have an onyen) in order for your residency status to be updated.

For reconsideration and appeal requests, RDS staff must review the request in full before providing a residency status. RDS can review your request only after you provide all your required documents. If your required documents are not submitted before the 25-day deadline, your request is canceled and your residency status remains non-resident.

Appeal Process:

You may request an appeal if you believe that the RDS process has failed to accurately consider important information regarding your residency claim. There are two types of appeal:

  1. RDS Appeal – the RDS appeal is for students who believe their active residency determination is incorrect – either from an initial consideration or a reconsideration. Students have the ability to request the RDS appeal online, submit additional information and documentation to support their claim, and meet face-to-face (or via technology) to review their appeal.
  2. SEAA appeal – the SEAA appeal is the final administrative step in the residency process. The appeal is conducted by a statewide committee comprised of representatives from the North Carolina Community College System, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, State Education Assistance Authority, and The University of North Carolina System. No additional documentation or information is permitted by RDS or the student in this appeal.

Both the RDS appeal and SEAA appeal require submitting a notification to appeal within 10 calendar days of the determination the student is appealing. Requests for appeal after 10 calendar days are not permitted. Go to the Residency Guidelines section of the website to learn more about appeals.

Contact Information:

For additional information and any questions, please contact:

Office of Student Services
Department of Health Sciences
(919) 966-2343

Additional Resources