Office of the Registrar

Residency Reclassification
for Undergraduate Students

Campus Deadline for Fall 2017 Residency Changes

Changes in residency status must have an effective date from RDS of August 29, 2017 or earlier to be accepted by UNCW for Fall 2017.

RDS determinations with an effective date of August 30, 2017 and after will be applied to Spring 2018.

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

In order for your residency determination to affect the tuition rate for your current term, your RDS Reconsideration request must be complete (all data and documentation turned in) and your request submitted on, or before, the 10th day of class for the term at the college you are attending. Reconsideration requests completed and submitted after the 10th day of class affect the tuition rate for subsequent terms, not the current term.

Please note: Admitted graduate students appealing their residency status must submit a residency reclassification form to the Graduate School.