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Residency Requirements FAQ

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) to establish residency. Maintaining documentation in another state may delay your eligibility for in-state tuition.

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 within 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
  8. Licensing for professional practice (if applicable) in South Carolina

Note: any single indicator may not be conclusive.

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 should 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.

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
  2. Parent that is claiming the child on income taxes is a SC resident
  3. Parent that is SC resident pays child support over the cost of attendance as dictated by the college

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 12 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.

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.

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.

If I move here and live with relatives, does that make me eligible?

Not unless the relatives have court-ordered guardianship and claim you on their taxes.

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.

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.

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.

Can I qualify for in-state residency if I am a U.S. citizen and my parents are undocumented?

Yes. One or more of the following documents may be required. However, providing the documents may not result in an in-state determination.

  1. Years that the student has resided continuously in South Carolina. 
  2. Official high school transcript(s) showing whether the student graduated from a South Carolina high school and showing years of attendance at a South Carolina high school.
  3. Possession by the student of a valid South Carolina driver's license, or if a non-driver, a South Carolina identification card.
  4. Possession of a valid SC vehicle registration if the student owns a motor vehicle.
  5. Proof that the student filed South Carolina tax returns as a resident for prior tax years.
  6. Proof that the parent or guardian on whom the student is dependent filed South Carolina tax returns as a resident for prior tax years.
  7. Other proof that the parent or guardian on whom the student is dependent is living in South Carolina, including evidence of employment in South Carolina, a lease showing a rental home or apartment in South Carolina, utility bills, and the like.
  8. Present documentation that would support consideration that student is independent.