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Regulations regarding the establishment of legal residency in South Carolina for tuition and fee purposes at South Carolina institutions of higher education are governed by the South Carolina Code of Laws, Sections 59-112-10 through 59-112-100. Residency classification is an essential part of fee determination, admission regulations, and other relevant policies of Piedmont Technical College. The initial determination of residency is made at the time an admission application is submitted. That determination and any determination made at a later time prevails for each subsequent semester until a request for certification of South Carolina residency is found to be valid.
An applicant/student applying for a change of residency classification from out of state to in-state must complete a Residency Certification form (available below, on Pathway, the Greenwood Campus Business Office and all County Campuses) and provide supporting documentation to the Residency Officer prior to or on the first day of classes of the semester for which change of state residency is requested. Documents received after that date will be reviewed for the following semester. There is no provision for retroactive non-resident fee adjustment except in instances of error by the College. Note: Establishing residency at a university or college other than Piedmont Technical College does not guarantee the same residency classification at Piedmont Technical College.
The burden of proof resides with the applicant/student applying for a change of residency to provide required evidence to document the change in residency status.
Residency status may not be acquired by an applicant or student while residing in South Carolina for the sole purpose of enrollment in an institution of higher education or for access to state-supported programs designed to serve South Carolina residents.
In order to be considered a resident of South Carolina for tuition and fee purposes at a South Carolina institution of higher education, the applicant/student has the burden of proof of residency and must provide required documents to satisfy the intent. The twelve month residency period does not start until the independent person begins to take steps to establish a permanent home in the state.
The absence of these circumstances in other states (or countries) is also required before an applicant/student is eligible for South Carolina residency classification.
A resident student for tuition and fee purposes is an independent person who has abandoned all prior domiciles and has been living in South Carolina continuously for at least 12 months immediately preceding the first day of classes of the semester for which residency classification is sought. The 12-month residency period does not start until the independent person begins to take steps to establish a permanent home in the state. (See "Establishing Intent for Residency" section.) There must also be an absence of such evidence in other states (or countries) during this same period. For dependent students and their families, the domicile of the provider (spouse, parent, or guardian) for the same time period is considered in determining residency status.
Reside is considered to be continuous and permanent physical presence within the state. Absences of more than 30 days may affect the establishment or maintenance of residence. Excluded are absences for military training/service and educational pursuits. For dependents, the state where the spouse, parent, or guardian "resides" will be considered in determining residency status.
A person's domicile is the true, fixed, principal residence and place of habitation, indicating where a person intends to remain, or to where one expects to return, when away.
An independent person is a person aged 18 years or older who has provided more than half of his/her own support during the 12 months immediately prior to the date that classes begin for the semester for which residency classification is requested. An independent person also cannot be claimed as a dependent or exemption on the federal income tax return of his/her parent, spouse, or guardian for the year in which in-state residency classification is requested.
A dependent person is one whose predominant source of income or support is from a parent, spouse, or guardian and who qualifies for and is claimed as a dependent or exemption on the federal income tax return of that provider. In the case of divorced or separated parents, the resident status of the dependent person may be based on the resident status of the parent who:
If a non-resident marries a South Carolina resident, the non-resident does not automatically acquire South Carolina residency status. The non-resident may acquire residency status if the South Carolina resident is an independent person and the non-resident is a dependent of the South Carolina resident. Marriage to a person who is a legal resident of a state other than South Carolina does not automatically preclude a person from establishing or maintaining domicile in South Carolina and attaining residency status.
Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, any dependent person, except as otherwise excluded, who has been domiciled with his/her family in South Carolina for a period of not less than three years and whose family’s departure does not occur more than 90 days immediately prior to initial enrollment at State supported college/university may enroll in those institutions at the in-state rates and may continue to be enrolled at such rates even if the person upon whom he/she is dependent moves his/her domicile from the state. If the dependent or independent person had been domiciled in South Carolina for less than three years, eligibility for in-state rates shall end on the last day of the academic session during which domicile is lost.
Persons in the following categories may qualify to pay in-state fees without having to establish a permanent home in the state for 12 months. Persons who qualify under any of these categories must meet the conditions of the specific category on or before the first day of classes of the semester for which payment of in-state tuition and fees is requested:
Military Personnel and their Dependents: Members of the United States Armed Forces (and their dependents) who are stationed in South Carolina on active duty may be considered eligible to pay in-state fees. "Armed Forces" shall mean the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. When such personnel are ordered away from the state, their dependents may continue to pay in-state fees for an additional 12 months. Such persons (and their dependents) may also be eligible to pay in-state fees for a period of 12 months after their discharge from the military, provided they have demonstrated an intent to establish a permanent home in South Carolina, and they have resided in South Carolina for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding their discharge. Military personnel who are not stationed in South Carolina and/or former military personnel who intend to establish South Carolina residency must fulfill the 12-month physical presence requirement for them or their dependents to qualify to pay in-state fees.
Faculty and Administrative Employees and their Dependents: Full-time faculty and administrative employees of South Carolina state-supported colleges and universities are eligible to pay in-state fees. Their dependents are also eligible.
Residents with Full-time Employment and their Dependents: Persons who reside, are domiciled, and are employed on a full-time basis in South Carolina and will continue to work full-time until they meet the 12-month physical presence requirement are eligible to pay in-state fees, provided that they have taken steps to establish a permanent home in the State. (See "Establishing Intent for Residency" section.) The dependents of such persons are also eligible.
Full-time employment is defined as employment which consists of at least 37.5 hours a week on a single job in a full-time status. However, a person who works less than 37.5 hours a week but receives or is entitled to receive full-time employee benefits shall be considered to be employed full-time.
Retired Persons: A retired person who is receiving a pension or annuity and who has been domiciled in South Carolina for less than 12 months may be eligible for in-state tuition and fee rates if he/she maintains residence and domicile in this state. The dependents of such persons are also eligible.
Persons on Terminal Leave: A person on terminal leave who has established residency in South Carolina may be eligible for in-state tuition and fee rates even if domiciled in the state for less than 12 months, if he/she presents documentary evidence from his/her employer showing he/she is on terminal leave. The evidence should show beginning and ending dates for the terminal leave period and that the person will receive a pension or annuity when he/she retires.
Eligible Veterans & Covered Individuals: Under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, veterans enrolled in a public institution of higher education and receiving educational assistance under Chapter 30 and Chapter 33, Title 38 of the United States Code is entitled to pay in-state tuition and fees without regard to the length of time the covered individual has resided in the State. The individual has to have severed 90 days or longer on active duty in the Uniformed Service of the United States, their respective Reserve forces, and the National Guard. The individual also has to enroll within 3 years of discharge and live in South Carolina while enrolled at the in-state institution. This applies to dependents that are eligible to use the veteran’s benefits.
United States Citizen Students who are Dependent on an Undocumented Parent or Guardian: A student who is a United States citizen and their parent or guardian on whom they are dependent is a “non-resident alien” may be eligible for in-state tuition. A “non-resident alien” is defined as a person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. The state law only presumes that the student is a “non-resident alien” like the parent or guardian on whom he/she is dependent. That presumption is rebuttable, and the burden remains on the student to rebut that presumption, if possible by presenting evidence to establish that the student is entitled to in-state residency status notwithstanding the undocumented status of his/her parent or guardian.
Those persons who have not been a legal resident of South Carolina for 12 consecutive months but who are seeking in-state tuition and fees based on an exception (see “Exceptions” section) must complete the Application for Reclassification of Residency Status – Exceptions form (available below, on Pathway the Greenwood Campus Business Office and all County Campuses). This completed application must be returned to the Residency Officer prior to or on the first day of classes of the semester which the exception is requested. Included with the application must be all supporting documentation as indicated on the application.
Any student, following the decision on his/her resident classification, may appeal the decision to the Piedmont Technical College’s Residency Appeals Committee. This committee, however, is bound by the same laws and regulations as the Residency Officer, so its purpose is only to review the facts and details of any case and to evaluate the correctness or the decision made by the College’s Residency Officer.
Student’s wishing to appeal a residency decision must provide a letter to the College’s Residency Officer informing the officer that they want to appeal the decision. The letter must also include a summary of the student’s situation and a statement which specifies the residency provision under which the person feels he/she qualifies to pay in-state tuition. The Residency Officer will then schedule a meeting of the appeals committee to hear the appeal.
Except as otherwise specified in this section, all non-citizens and non-permanent residents of the United States will be assessed tuition and fees at the non-resident, out-of-state rate. Independent aliens including refugees, asylees, and parolees and their dependents may be entitled to in-state residency classification once they have been awarded permanent resident status by the U.S. Department of Justice and meet all the statutory residency requirements, provided that all other domiciliary requirements are met. Time spent living in South Carolina immediately prior to the awarding of permanent resident status may not be counted towards the 12-month residency period. Certain non-resident aliens present in the United States on specific visa classifications may be granted in-state residency for tuition and fee purposes.