Residency

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Under state law, North Carolina residents are eligible for a lower tuition rate to state universities, including The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the University). In order to qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, a person must have established legal residence (or domicile) in North Carolina and maintained that legal residence for at least twelve (12) months prior to his or her classification as a resident for tuition purposes. Each student is classified as an in-state or out-of-state resident upon admission.

If you believe that you qualify as a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes, you may apply for in-state resident status by submitting the appropriate forms to the Admissions Office through which you were last admitted. Links to the forms and relevant resources are provided below.

  • A Residency Guide on the application process is available for students interested in applying for in-state resident status.

  • Before applying for in-state resident status, we strongly recommend that you also carefully review the North Carolina State Residence Classification Manual (the Manual).

  • Please take note of the Residence Application Deadlines. Late applications will not be accepted.

    • To apply for in-state resident status, you must complete an application and timely submit it to the Admissions Office through which you were last admitted.

    • Graduate School students should complete and submit the Graduate School’s Online Application. A list of programs supported by the Graduate School is provided.

    • All other students should complete a Residence and Tuition Status Application and submit their hard copy application and supporting documents directly to their admitting office. For example, MBA students should submit their applications to the MBA Program.

      If you have questions, please consult your admissions office.

  • You must submit supporting documentation with your application. Please include any and all documentation that may illustrate how you have established residency in North Carolina. The Manual provides an illustrative list of the kinds of information and conduct that may be considered as evidence.

    • You may also need to submit supplemental forms with your main application. Please review the descriptions below and consult the Manual to determine if any special rules apply to you.

    • Non-U.S. Citizens. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens must have certain visas and/or approved forms to show that they have the capacity to establish and maintain a domicile in North Carolina. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please complete a Residence Status Supplemental Form for Non-U.S. Citizens and submit it along with your application.

    • UNC System Employees and Their Families. Permanent, full-time employees of The University of North Carolina System (including UNC Health Care) and their spouses or dependent children may qualify for in-state tuition even if they have not maintained a North Carolina domicile for the required 12 consecutive months. If you believe you qualify for this benefit, please complete a Residence Status Supplemental Form for UNC System Employees and Their Families . If additional information is needed, your admissions office may contact you.

    • The Marital Provision. Marital status does not affect the residency analysis and, therefore, you are not required to divulge your status or provide information about your spouse. There is, however, a marital provision that allows an applicant who marries a North Carolina legal resident to count the length of time the resident spouse was domiciled in North Carolina for purposes of satisfying the 12-month durational requirement. If you believe this provision applies to you, please complete a Residence Status Supplemental Form for the Marital Provision and submit it along with your application. Evidence your spouses’ domicile and certificate of marriage is also required.

    • The Military Benefit. Under a special provision of North Carolina and federal law requires that non-resident active duty military personnel and their eligible family members be charged in-state tuition. If you are a member of the Armed Forces who is on active duty, or the spouse, dependent child or dependent relative of a member of the Armed Forces who is on active duty, you may qualify for the in-state tuition rate. This benefit applies to individuals in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and reserve units of these military groups, among others. If you believe this provision applies to you, please complete the Residence Status Supplemental Form for Members of the Armed Services and Their Dependent Relatives. If additional information is needed, your admissions office may contact you.

    • If you are a member of the North Carolina National Guard, you may also qualify for in-state tuition, regardless of whether you are on active or reserve status. If you believe that you may qualify, please complete a Residence Status Supplemental Form for Members of the North Carolina National Guard. If additional information is needed, your admissions office may contact you.

    • Spouses and Children of Deceased or Disabled Law Enforcement or Emergency Workers. If you are a law enforcement or emergency worker who was disabled in the line of duty, or if you are the spouse or child of a law enforcement or emergency worker who was disabled or killed in the line of duty, you may qualify for a tuition waiver. If you believe that this provision applies to you, please complete a Residence Status Supplemental Form for Spouses and Children of Deceased or Disabled Law Enforcement or Emergency Workers. If additional information is needed, your admissions office may contact you.

  • Each application will be reviewed by your admissions office. If additional information is needed, your admissions office may contact you. Final decisions are sent in writing. For more information on this process, please review the Manual and the University’s Guide.

IMPORTANT: Please consult the Manual for other exceptions that may apply. The Manual is the official document that sets forth the standards that apply to determine residence for tuition purposes.