The Basics:

  • Trident Technical College determines residency based on South Carolina law and Commission on Higher Education regulations.
  • The initial residency classification is made at the time of admission.
    The classification is not changed unless successfully challenged in Admissions by the student.
  • Enrolled students may appeal residency until midterm of the semester in question.
  • There is a difference in tuition and fees for residents of South Carolina and also for residents of Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties and non-residents of these areas for tuition purposes.
  • The resident status of a dependent person is based on the resident status of the person who claims him or her as a dependent on federal tax returns and provides more than half of his or her support.  
  • Military personnel may present orders for local active duty and may need to provide additional documentation for dependents who are not listed on orders.

Residency factors may include:

  • length of time domiciled in state or county,
  • employment,
  • type of visa,
  • dependency, 
  • military status.

Residency Forms:

Most common questions about Residency:


How long must I live in South Carolina before I can establish residency?
Under most circumstances, a person must live in South Carolina for 12 consecutive months and change important documentation (driver's license, vehicle registration etc. to South Carolina) in order to establish residency. Maintaining documentation in another state may delay your eligibility for in-state tuition. (Top of page)

What kinds of documents establish intent to become a SC resident?
1. Statement of full time employment (Company Letterhead indicating hire date, that the student works at least 37.5 hours a week, name of employee, and eligibility for benefits);
2. Designating South Carolina as state of legal residence on military record;
3. Possession of a valid South Carolina driver's license, or if a non-driver, a South Carolina identification card. Failure to obtain this within 90 days of the establishment of the intent to become a South Carolina resident will delay the beginning date of residency eligibility;
4. Possession of a valid South Carolina vehicle registration card. Failure to obtain this with 45 days of the establishment of the intent to become a South Carolina resident will delay the beginning date of residency eligibility;
5. Maintenance of domicile in South Carolina;
6. Paying South Carolina income taxes as a resident during the past tax year, including income earned outside of South Carolina from the date South Carolina domicile was claimed;
7. Ownership of principal residence in South Carolina; and
8. Licensing for professional practice (if applicable) in South Carolina.

*Please note that any single indicator may not be conclusive.(Top of page)

I am a member of the military. How does that affect my SC residency?
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 South Carolina.  Active duty military orders and the DEERS form or military id will need to be submitted.

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 residency. SC residents who change their state of legal residence lose their SC resident status for tuition and fee purposes.(Top of page)

My parents are divorced. How does that affect my residency?
If one of the following scenarios applies to your situation then you can claim SC residency:
1. Joint Custody and one parent is a SC resident; or
2. Parent that claiming the child on income taxes; or
3. Parent that is SC resident pays child support over the cost of attendance as dictated by the college.(Top of page)

What is the difference in applying for residency as dependent or independent?
If a parent, guardian, or spouse provided more than half 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 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.(Top of page)

Does owning property in South Carolina allow students to receive in-state tuition?
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, South Carolina must be the primary state of residence. Simply owning property is not sufficient.
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If I have lived in South Carolina for more than one year, does that make me eligible for in-state tuition?
No. There is nothing automatic about residency. You must meet all of the requirements, submit a residency application and supporting documentation, and be approved before you become eligible.(Top of page)

If I move here and live with relatives, does that make me eligible?
Not unless the relative has court-ordered guardianship and claims you on their taxes.(Top of page)

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. While your permanent address is an important part of establishing residency, you must still meet all other residency requirements.
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Can I be awarded residency if I am a permanent resident?
Yes, depending on the date on your permanent resident card and other documentation (issue dates on South Carolina driver's license and vehicle registration and other supporting documents) students classified as Permanent Residents may be eligible to receive in state, in county tuition and fees. (Top of page)

Where do I submit an appeal if I do not agree with the institution's residency decision?
Students wishing to appeal a decision must follow the grievance procedures established by Trident Technical College. Appeals should be submitted to the Director of Admissions. Any further appeal will be directed to the Dean of Enrollment Management, whose decision is final.
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