Office of Residency Classification

Residency Requirements

Laws and regulations governing the residency requirements for tuition and fee purposes for the State of South Carolina are maintained by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education. 

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SC Residency Law

SC Residency Regulations

Short Guide for INDEPENDENT Students:

It takes twelve months to complete the process of becoming a SC resident for tuition and fees purposes, please note that the twelve months must be up prior to a semester beginning to be reviewed for that semester.  Please find a list below that should help you with your questions.

SC Regulation 62-605.   A.  Resident status may not be acquired by an applicant or student while residing in South Carolina for the primary purpose of enrollment in an institution or for access to state supported programs designed to serve South Carolina residents. An applicant or student from another state who comes to South Carolina usually does so for the purpose of attending school. Therefore, an applicant or student who enrolls as a non-resident in an institution is presumed to remain a non-resident throughout his or her attendance and does not qualify under any of the residency provisions.

  • You must have a place to live (owning/renting from a third party, not a family member) for 12 months prior to the semester you are wanting in-state residency. You cannot live in university housing while establishing residency or at any point thereafter.
  • AND To use the date of the above ownership/lease as your start date you HAVE TO MOVE your driver's license within 90 days of moving into that apartment.  If you miss the 90 days, your 12 months begins the date you moved the driver's license to SC.
  • AND if you own a vehicle or vehicles they must ALL be moved to a SC vehicle registration within 45 days of moving into apartment.  AGAIN if you miss this or the driver's license your start date begins the date you have moved your last indicia to SC.  (indicia is drivers license and vehicle registrations)
  • AND if you are 24 or younger you must prove in those 12 months that you supported yourself over 50% of your tuition and fees and living expenses.  You will also be asked to show how you will continue that support
  • AND your parents cannot claim you on their Federal taxes.  For example if you are applying for fall 2014 your parents CANNOT claim you on their 2013 taxes.  You will also have to claim yourself and file SC taxes as a resident.

**There are exceptions to the twelve months if you are : full time employed in the state of SC by a SC company (must continue to be full time employed until your twelve months has expired), retired in SC receiving benefits in SC, or Military exceptions (please ask for further details on military).

If you feel you have met the above requirements and your year is up, you can apply for in-state residency. You have until the day before classes beginning to apply for that semester (fall, spring and Summer 1).  It takes between 6 to 8 weeks for a file to be reviewed once you have turned it in.

Please note that if you do receive in-state tuition and fees that you would lose any out of state waivers or out of state grants since you would no longer be an out of state student.

Short Guide for DEPENDENT Students:

It takes twelve months to complete the process of becoming a SC resident for tuition and fees purposes, please note that the twelve months must be up prior to a semester beginning to be reviewed for that semester.  Please find a list below that should help you with your questions.

  • You must have a place to live (owning/renting from a third party, not a family member) for 12 months prior to the semester you are wanting in-state residency. You cannot live in university housing while establishing residency or at any point thereafter.
  • AND To use the date of the above ownership/lease as your start date you HAVE TO MOVE your driver's license within 90 days of moving into that apartment.  If you miss the 90 days, your 12 months begins the date you moved the driver's license to SC.
  • AND if you own a vehicle or vehicles they must ALL be moved to a SC vehicle registration within 45 days of moving into apartment.  AGAIN if you miss this or the driver's license your start date begins the date you have moved your last indicia to SC.  (indicia is drivers license and vehicle registrations)
  • AND you must claim your student on your Federal taxes and claim SC as a resident on SC State taxes.  (note: if there is a divorce decree that states full custody or joint custody, then parent does not have to claim on Federal taxes).

**There are exceptions to the twelve months if you are : full time employed in the state of SC by a SC company (must continue to be full time employed until your twelve months has expired), retired in SC receiving benefits in SC, or Military exceptions (please ask for further details on military).

If you feel you have met the above requirements and your year is up, you can apply for in-state residency. You have until the day before classes beginning to apply for that semester (fall, spring and Summer 1).  It takes between 6 to 8 weeks for a file to be reviewed once you have turned it in.

Please note that if you do receive in-state tuition and fees that you would lose any out of state waivers or out of state grants since you would no longer be an out of state student.