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Student Financial Aid

Residency Applications 

 First-Year and Transfer Student Residency Applications 

Application Deadline 

First-year student residency applications are due by the deadline listed in your residency notification to receive a decision by May 1. If you miss that deadline, you can submit a residency application until July 1, but we cannot guarantee a decision before May 1.   

Application Timeline 

  • Once all portions of the residency application have been submitted, it will take 24 hours for the application to be downloaded and show as “under review” in iROAR. Residency application reviews can take up to eight weeks.  
  • Students can see when their application was received in iROAR by logging into iROAR, clicking on “Financial Aid” and then choosing “My Financial Aid.”
  • Students will be emailed if the residency director needs additional information to make their residency classification decision. 
  • Once a decision is made, the residency director will send an email notifying the student of the decision.  

Application Results 

If a residency application is approved, the admissions and scholarship teams will be notified, and the student will be reviewed for any eligible recruiting and/or state scholarships.  

If a residency application is denied, students can appeal the decision if they have additional information to make a case. You will need to submit a brief summary of the reasons you believe the original decision was incorrect and any supporting documentation in writing via email or delivered to the office within two weeks of receiving your denial letter. 

Your appeal will be reviewed by the University Residency Appeals Committee, which may include advisory assistance from the University’s general counsel. Appeals are usually sent to the committee on a weekly basis as their schedule permits after the semester starts.  

The results of the second review will be binding and final and will be retroactive if granted. All laws and regulations concerning in-state residency can be found at the S.C. Commission on Higher Education (CHE) website.  

Office of Residency Classification 

G-01 Sikes Hall 
Clemson, SC 29634-5123 

Phone: 864-656-2280 
Fax: 864-656-1831 
Email: finaid@clemson.edu

Residency Guidelines 

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.  

  • Short Guide for Independent Students 

    For tuition and fee purposes, you must live in South Carolina for 12 months prior to the beginning of a semester. Please find a list below that should help you with your questions.

    • You must be a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident or in a qualified Visa.
    • 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. PLEASE NOTE: If you own your property we will need the loan documentation showing you are responsible for the loan on the property. If the property was given to you from a family member we would consider this parental support.
    • 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 S.C.
    • AND  if you are in full or partial ownership of a vehicle(s), motorcycle(s) and moped(s), they must  ALL be moved to an S.C. vehicle registration within 45 days of moving into an apartment. AGAIN, if you miss this or the driver's license 90-day deadline, your start date begins the date you have moved your last indicia to S.C. (indicia is driver’s license and vehicle registrations).
    • AND  if you are 24 or younger, you must prove in those 12 months that you supported yourself with over 50 percent of your tuition and fees and living expenses. You will also be asked to show how you will continue that support. "529" plans cannot be considered as financial support. Working for a family business would be considered parental support and would not help with being financially independent.
    • AND  your parents cannot claim you on their federal taxes. For example, if you are applying for the Fall 2021, your parents CANNOT claim you on their 2020 taxes. You will also have to claim yourself and file S.C. taxes as a resident.

    *There are exceptions to the 12 months if you are full-time employed in the state of S.C.  by an S.C. company that has a physical facility in the state  (must continue to be full-time employed until your 12 months have expired), retired in S.C. receiving benefits in S.C. or military exceptions (please ask for further details). Working out of your home or covering a territory including S.C. does not qualify if your company is not physically located in the state. 

    If you feel you have met the above requirements and your year is up, you can apply for in-state residency. It takes between six to eight weeks for a file to be reviewed once you have turned it in.

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

    Independent Student Checklist

  • Short Guide for Dependent Students 

    For tuition and fee purposes, you must live in South Carolina for 12 months prior to the beginning of a semester. Please find a list below that should help you with your questions. 

    • Both the student and parent(s) must be a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident or in a qualified Visa.
    • Parent or guardian 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.
    • AND to use the date of the above ownership/lease as the start date, you HAVE TO MOVE your driver's license within 90 days of moving into that home. If you miss the 90 days, your twelve months begins the date you moved the driver's license to S.C.
    • AND if the parent or guardian owns a vehicle or vehicles (either full or partial ownership), they must ALL be moved to an S.C. vehicle registration (this includes motorcycles and mopeds) within 45 days of moving into an apartment. AGAIN, if you miss this or the driver's license 90-day deadline, your start date begins the date you have moved your last indicia to S.C. (indicia is driver’s license and vehicle registrations).
    • AND a parent or guardian must claim student on federal taxes and claim S.C. as a resident on S.C. state taxes. (Note: If there is a divorce decree that states full custody or joint custody, then the parent does not have to claim on federal taxes).

    *There are exceptions to the 12 months if you are full-time employed in the state of S.C. by an S.C. company that has a physical facility in the state (must continue to be full-time employed until your 12 months have expired), retired in S.C. receiving benefits in S.C. or military exceptions (please ask for further details on military). Working out of your home or covering a territory including S.C. does not qualify if your company is not physically located in the state. 

     

    If you feel you have met the above requirements and your year is up, you can apply for in-state residency. It takes between six to eight weeks for a file to be reviewed once you have turned it in. 

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

    Dependent Student Checklist 

Military Residency Requirements 

  • Active Duty, Stations in South Carolina

    Active-duty military personnel and their dependents are eligible to pay in-state tuition if they are stationed in South Carolina. Once approved, they remain eligible if they remain continuously enrolled (Fall and Spring terms). Students are ineligible for South Carolina state scholarships.

    To apply: Submit the  military application  and attach military orders showing active duty in South Carolina. Dependent students must also submit a copy of their parents’ most recently filed federal taxes showing the student being claimed as a dependent.

  • Active Duty Stationed Outside of South Carolina

    Active-duty military personnel and their dependents are eligible to pay in-state tuition if they are South Carolina residents but stationed elsewhere. They must have maintained South Carolina as their home of record on all military records. Students are eligible for consideration for South Carolina state scholarships.

    To apply: Submit the  military application  and attach your Leave and Earning Statement (L&E) and two most recent years of South Carolina state taxes. Dependent students must also submit a copy of their parents’ most recently filed federal taxes showing the student being claimed as a dependent.

  • Choice Act

    Veterans, active-duty military and their dependents may be eligible to pay in-state tuition if they are using Chapter 30, 31, 33 or 35 benefits.  

    No application is necessary. We will automatically award a waiver to any student using Chapters 30, 31, 33 or 35 who are residing in S.C., including living in the residence halls on campus. 

    Please note that students who receive a waiver under this provision will lose eligibility for nonresident scholarships, waivers and grants. 

  • Chapter 35 Students

    There is a state benefit for Chapter 35 that is separate from the federal application.   

    View information and eligibility requirements  

    Access the application 

    This decision is not made by Clemson. If you are approved, a letter will be sent to you and the University at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I use the money I’ve saved in my savings and checking account or personal loans and gifts to establish my financial independence?

No, since it is not possible to document the source of the funds in savings and checking accounts. Loans and gifts are considered money coming from elsewhere and don’t count toward financial independence. Financial support must come from the sources listed in the law/regulations.  

2. Are prepaid tuition plans considered financial support from parents?

Yes. Even though prepayment plans are in students’ names, the parents contributed the funds and received the tax benefits. Therefore, they are considered funds from parents.

3. Am I eligible for residency if I use a South Carolina address on all my records and legal documents?

Not necessarily. You must meet other residency requirements, such as the source of transcripts and addresses of parents.

4. Does owning property in South Carolina allow students to receive in-state tuition?

For independent students, owning property alone does not allow students to receive in-state tuition, as the other requirements still must be met. For parents of dependent students, South Carolina must be the primary state of residence. Simply owning property is not sufficient. Property taxes go into the local county/city treasuries; Clemson is supported in part by taxes paid to the state.

5. Are Parent (PLUS) loans considered financial support contributed by students?

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