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University Registrar

Frequently Asked Questions

Students need to complete the residency certification form on Self Service Carolina (my.sc.edu). Students will receive a confirmation notice at their university email address, or you may receive a request from the SC Residency Office for additional information. This notice is usually sent within 24-48 business hours after the form is submitted.

Under most circumstances, a person must physically reside in SC for 12 consecutive months, after taking steps to establish an intent to make SC their permanent home.

If a parent, guardian, or spouse provided more than half (51%) of the student’s support for the past twelve months, the student is considered dependent and it is the parent, guardian, or spouse that must meet the residency requirements. If the student provided the majority (51%) of support, then the student may be eligible to apply as independent. An independent student must have his/her own SC domicile. Dormitory housing cannot be used as one’s domicile, as it is temporary in nature.

You must provide 51% of your total support with earnings or income from employment, investments, or payments from trusts, grants, scholarships, commercial loans, or payments made in accordance with court order. Total support must also be greater than total expenses.

No. Gifts are considered money coming from elsewhere and do not count toward financial independence. Financial support must come from the sources listed in the law/regulations.

No. PLUS loans are applied for and awarded to the parents.

Yes. Even though pre-payment plans are in student’s names, the parents contributed the funds and received the tax benefits. Therefore, they are considered funds from the parents.

A student may be allowed to use money saved in a savings or checking account if he/she can prove that the funds are from allowable sources. Allowable sources consist of his/her own earnings or income from employment, investments, or payments from trusts, grants, scholarships, commercial loans, or payments made in accordance with court order.

No. For independent students, owning property by itself does not allow students to receive in-state tuition, as the other requirements still must be met. For parents of dependent students, SC must be the primary state of residence. Simply owning property is not sufficient.

No. There is nothing automatic about residency. You must meet all of the requirements, submit a residency certification form on Self Service Carolina, and be approved before you become eligible.

You are only eligible if the relative has permanent court-ordered guardianship and claims you on their taxes.

You still must meet the other requirements.

On-campus housing is considered temporary because you must be a student to live in it. As a result, you may not use on-campus housing to provide in-state residency.

If one of the following scenarios applies to your situation then you can claim SC residency:

  •  Joint Custody and one parent is a SC resident; or

  • SC parent is claiming the student as a dependent on income taxes; or

  • SC parent pays child support and cost of attendance as dictated by the college.

Generally, the student may continue to claim SC residency as long as he/she is continuously enrolled during all regular academic terms (fall and spring), if the family lived in SC for over three years prior to the move.

Members of the military permanently assigned in SC on active duty and their dependents qualify under an exception category. Military members and their dependents may be charged in-state tuition and fees without having to establish a permanent home in SC.

SC residents who are members of the military stationed outside of SC and their dependents may receive in-state tuition and fees if they continue to claim SC as their state of legal residence. This must be reflected on the individual’s tax return and Leave and Earnings Statement (LES). SC residents who change their state of legal residence lose their SC resident status for tuition and fee purposes.

If you are retiring and receive a pension or annuity, and you have taken the steps to establish SC residency, you and your dependents may be charged in-state tuition and fees without having to meet the twelve-month requirement. You will be asked to provide copies of your SC driver’s license, SC vehicle registration certificates, and documentation to verify receipt of a retirement pension or annuity. You will also be required to file a SC income tax return for the tax year in which you moved to SC.

If you move to SC, obtain SC driver’s license, register your vehicles in SC, and are working full-time for a SC company (one job, minimum 37.5 hours each week), you and your dependents may be charged in-state tuition and fees without having to meet the twelve-month requirement. You will be asked to provide copies of your SC driver’s license, SC vehicle registration certificates, federal tax return to verify your dependents (if requesting in-state status for a dependent), and an official letter (on letterhead stationery and signed) from your employer. The letter will need to verify the effective date of your employment in SC, that such employment is on a full-time basis, and the number of hours you work a week. The employment will be re-verified at the end of each semester until your license and vehicle registration certificates reflect twelve months of residency.


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