No. You cannot live in university housing and begin to establish SC residency. It will take twelve months to complete the process to become an SC residence for tuition and fees purposes. Until you are off-campus living in your own apartment/home you cannot begin the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. As an independent student, can I establish residency while living in University housing?
- 2. Does owning property in South Carolina allow students to receive in-state tuition?
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, 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.
- 3. Can personal loans and gifts from parents and relatives be counted as support that a student has provided?
No. 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.
- 4. Are Parent (PLUS) loans considered financial support contributed by students?
No. PLUS loans are applied for and awarded to the parents.
- 5. If I have lived in South Carolina for more than one year, does that make me eligible for in-state tuition?
No, nothing is automatic about residency. You must meet all of the requirements, submit a residency application and be approved before you become eligible.
- 6. If I move here and live with relatives, does that make me eligible?
Not unless the relatives have been made your legal guardian through the court, before age eighteen. The law states that if it appears that steps have been taken just to obtain resident tuition, the application will not be approved.
- 7. Am I eligible for residency if I use a South Carolina address on all of my records and legal documents?
You still must meet the other requirements. For admission, other factors are important, such as the source of transcripts and addresses of parents.
- 8. Are prepaid tuition plans considered financial support provided by parents?
Even though prepayment plans are in students’ names, the parents contributed the funds and received the tax benefits. Therefore, they are considered funds from their parents.
- 9. Can I use the money I’ve saved in my savings and checking account to establish my financial independence?
No, since it is not possible to document the source of the funds. Support must come from the sources listed in the law/regulations.
- 10. What is the difference in applying for residency as dependent or independent?
If the parents provided more than half of the student’s support for the past 12 months, the student is still considered dependent and it is the parents that must meet the residency requirements. If the student provided the majority of support, then the student may be eligible to apply as an independent.
- 11. Am I required to provide 51 percent of my total financial support or 51 percent of my total expenses?
You must provide at least 51 percent of your total support. Total support must also be greater than total expenses.
- 12. What happens to my Out-of-State Tuition Scholarship and/or Non-Resident Grant if I am granted in-state residency?
You received the Out-of-State Tuition Scholarship and/or Non-Resident Grant due to your status as an out-of-state student to cover the cost of the out-of-state tuition expenses. Once you have been granted in-state residency, you are no longer eligible for the Out-of-State Tuition Scholarship or the Non-Resident Grant because you are now paying in-state tuition rates.
- 13. Can my home office be used as the 12-month exception?
To qualify for an exception to the 12-month waiting period, you must work for an S.C. company that has a physical facility in the state. Working out of your home or covering a territory that includes SC does not qualify if your company is not physically located in the state.
- 14. Does a moped or motorcycle need to have a South Carolina registration?
Yes, both motorcycles and mopeds will need to have an S.C. registration through the DMV. Please note that the state law for moped registration was released in the fall of 2018.
- 15. If I do not agree with my denial of residency, how can I appeal the decision?
Should you decide to pursue an appeal, you will need to submit (in writing) a brief summary of the reasons why you feel the original decision was incorrect within two weeks of this letter, along with any relevant documentation submitted to the Financial Aid office. Your appeal will be reviewed by the University Residency Appeals Committee, which may include advisory assistance from the University's general counsel. The Residency Appeals Committee does not meet until after classes begin.
- 16. Can I apply as an independent student if my parents claimed me on their most recent taxes?
No. According to South Carolina law and regulations, an independent student cannot be claimed as a dependent on anybody's taxes.
- 17. If I own multiple cars, but one is still registered in another state because my child uses it at a college outside of South Carolina, can I still get in-state tuition?
No. According to South Carolina law and regulations, for tuition and fee purposes, all vehicles in full or partial ownership must be registered in South Carolina.
- 18. If I live in South Carolina, but my spouse lives in another state, is our student still eligible for in-state tuition?
Guidance from the SC Commission on Higher Education states that intact families must have indicia (i.e. drivers license and vehicle registrations) from both parents showing South Carolina residency.