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Because we’re a state-supported institution, we’re required to determine whether or not each applicant is a legal resident of North Carolina. Because the laws governing residency can be complex, and because residency applications are considered individually when a student applies for admission to the University, we offer the following as general guidelines.

Under North Carolina law, to qualify for in-state tuition for a given term you must prove that:

  •    you established your domicile in North Carolina twelve months before the first day of classes for that term, and
  •    you have maintained that domicile for at least twelve continuous months.

To prove that you’ve established your domicile in North Carolina, you must prove

  •     that you were physically present in the state,
  •     with the intent to make North Carolina your permanent home indefinitely, and
  •     that you were not in North Carolina solely to attend college.

Because it’s difficult to directly determine someone’s intention to make North Carolina their home, we must evaluate actions taken that may indicate this “domiciliary intent.” The following questions may be significant in helping us determine this intent:

  •      Do you live in your parents’ home?
  •      Where are/were you employed?
  •      Where did you register to vote?
  •      Where did you vote?
  •      Where have you served on jury duty?
  •      What are your sources of financial support?
  •      Where have you registered and/or licensed a car?
  •      Where did you get your last driver’s license?
  •     Where do you own a home or other real estate?
  •     Where do you keep your personal property?
  •     Where do you list personal property for taxation?
  •     Where did you file state income tax returns?
  •     Where do you spend your vacation time?
  •     Where did you last attend high school?
  •    Where did you live before enrolling in an institution of higher education?
  •    Where do you maintain memberships in professional associations, unions, and similar organizations?

We weigh all the evidence furnished in an application for residence status. The preponderance (or greater weight) of the evidence must support the establishment of North Carolina domicile twelve months before the beginning of the academic term (i.e., the first day of classes) for which you request the classification. If the evidence shows a cluster of significant events occurring at about the same time (within the same week, for example), we’ll start counting from that point to determine if the twelve-month requirement has been met. If instead the evidence has gradually accumulated over time, we must decide at what point a preponderance of the evidence shows intent to establish North Carolina domicile, and that is the date on which the twelve-month period will begin. If this date is after the first day of classes for the term specified on the application, we’ll be unable to render an in-state decision for the term in question.

Read more on residency.

Students walk past the Old Well in summer
Students attend lecture in auditorium at UNC Chapel Hill