North Carolina Residency for Tuition Purposes
The NC Residency Determination Service determines residency for tuition purposes for all UNC System universities.
NC RESIDENCY DETERMINATION SERVICE(OPENS IN NEW TAB)
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 www.NCresidency.org. You may also request reconsideration or appeal your residency decision by logging in to your account on www.NCresidency.org.
DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DOMICILE AND A RESIDENCE?
Estate Planning, News
Nuances can be important. Two things can be similar but have subtle yet meaningful differences. For example, many people find it hard to understand the difference between a domicile and a residence. After all, both terms deal with where someone lives. However, choosing your domicile may impact your life significantly.
UNDERSTANDING THE TERMS
Residence is a place you live for a time. It could be a summer hideaway, a college dorm, or just a place you go to get away from the snowy winters up north.
Domicile is the place you intend to make your permanent home, the place to which you intend to return if you are temporarily residing in another state.
This is important:
You can have a residence in more than one state, but only one can be your domicile.
AND THE REQUIREMENTS FOR EACH
Each state sets out residency requirements. In fact, different agencies and institutions within a state may have different residence criteria. Sometimes the requirement is related to time, like an individual must spend 180 days per year in a state to be considered a resident.
In Florida, an individual may establish domicile by filing a Declaration of Domicile with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the county in which he or she resides. This is a sworn document and should only be filed if the intent is to maintain a permanent home in Florida.
EXAMPLES OF DOMICILE VS. RESIDENCE.
An individual might maintain residences in more than one state for a number of reasons:
Stephen moved to New York to attend college but fully intends to return to his home state of North Carolina. In that case, his residence is New York state. His domicile is still North Carolina.
Jill moved to Phoenix for a six-month job assignment. She votes in Illinois by absentee ballot and maintains bank accounts there. She has no intention of staying in Arizona but will return home when her assignment is over. Her residence is Arizona, but her domicile is still Illinois.
Finally, Madeline and Joseph live in Florida, though they still own their Massachusetts residence. They have shown an intent to change their domicile to Florida by opening accounts at a local bank, getting Florida driver’s licenses, and registering to vote in Florida. Due to their actions, Florida could now be considered their residence and domicile state.
DOMICILE AND RESIDENCE MAY AFFECT YOUR ESTATE PLANS.
One of the most important ways in which domicile and residence concepts affect people concerns taxation. If you are a domiciliary of a particular state, you may have to pay state income tax based on earned income, and your estate may owe a state estate tax upon your death. For this reason, many people choose to make Florida, which does not have a state income tax or a state estate tax, their domicile.
John Mangan is an experienced Florida estate planning attorney, who has been board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates by the Florida Bar. Call Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A. at 772-210-3986 to set up an appointment or use our online Contact Form.
Proving North Carolina Residency
The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles recognizes the documents below as proof of North Carolina residency.
- Any document issued by the state of North Carolina or a county or city in North Carolina or the federal government
- North Carolina Vehicle Registration Card, insurance policy or title
- North Carolina Voter Precinct Card
- Military orders or military documents
- Utility bill or cable bill
- Housing lease or contract, mortgage statement, property or income tax statement
- Preprinted financial statement
- School records
- Letter from homeless shelter
Minors Under Age 18
NCDMV recognizes the documents below as proof of North Carolina residency for individuals under age 18.
- Mailed correspondence from organizations (Boy Scouts/Girls Scouts, recreational teams, etc.)
- North Carolina school records
- Magazine subscriptions
- Lease or housing contract listing minor as an occupant
- Tax records/returns listing minor as a dependent
- Medical and hospitalization records
- Hunting or fishing license
- Social Security card stub showing current address
- Preprinted bank statement or financial records
- Preprinted business letter
- Letter from homeless shelter