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Residency: Frequently Asked Questions

Students of divorced parents qualify for in-state classification for tuition purposes even if the parent that lives in Tennessee does not have primary custody of the student.

A student who falls into this category must complete an Undergraduate Residency Application and submit this along with supporting documentation to the residency classifier, proving parents are divorced and one parent is domiciled in Tennessee no later than the 10th day of the semester the student wishes to seek reclassification.

No, if only one parent lives in Tennessee and they are not divorced, you do not qualify for in-state classification for tuition purposes. Both parents need to be primarily domiciled in the state of Tennessee.

As long as you remain continuously enrolled you will not lose your in-state classification (continuous enrollment is defined as fall and spring semesters, not attending for summer semester is not included for continuous enrollment).

Full-time active-duty military and dependents of full-time active-duty military currently stationed in the state of Tennessee or at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, are considered out-of-state students who do not have to pay out-of-state tuition. Current military orders need to be provided to the residency classifier in order to receive this waiver.

  • If “Home of Record” is Tennessee and currently active-duty military or a dependent of currently active-duty military stationed out of state or abroad, you or your dependents qualify for in-state classification for tuition purposes. Documentation showing this information would need to be provided to the residency classifier to receive this waiver.
  • Or, active-duty military and dependents of active-duty military whose “Home of Record” is a state other than Tennessee and are currently stationed outside of Tennessee are eligible for in-state tuition rates if the student is eligible to receive educational benefits administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, through any provision of the United States Code, shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition or any out-of-state fee when the veteran or other individual is:
    • Enrolled in any public institution of higher education in this state:
    • Utilizing such benefits at the enrolling institution; and
    • Living in the state of Tennessee, regardless of the individuals formal state of residency.

A current certificate of eligibility or document showing VA educational benefit eligibility will need to be provided to receive this benefit. If not eligible for and using such benefits or student or dependent who receives such benefits is attending an online program and living outside of the state the student or dependent would have in-state classification determined in the same way as any other out-of-state student.

  • If recently discharged from the military and “Home of Record” on DD-214 is Tennessee, you are eligible for in-state tuition, provided veteran immediately domiciles and remain domiciled in Tennessee after separation from the military. Documentation showing this information would need to be provided to the residency classifier to receive this waiver.
  • Other discharged members of the military, Reservists, National Guard members or dependents who are eligible to receive educational benefits administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, through any provision of the United States Code, are not required to pay out-of-state tuition or any out-of-state fee when the veteran or individual is:
    • Enrolled in any public institution of higher education in this state:
    • Utilizing such benefits at the enrolling institution; and
    • Living in the state of Tennessee, regardless of the individuals formal state of residency

A current certificate of eligibility or document showing VA educational benefit eligibility will need to be provided to receive this benefit. If not eligible for and using such benefits or student or dependent who receives such benefits is attending an online program and living outside of the state the student or dependent would have in-state classification determined in the same way as any other out-of-state student.

A student who is classified as out-of-state should submit an application for residency classification along with documentation to support the claim to the residency classifier. Completion of the application does not guarantee that a student will be classified as in-state for tuition purposes.

No. While some state schools do offer this benefit to nonresident honors students, UT does not currently grant in-state status to students based upon membership in the Chancellor’s Honors Program or its other honors programs. ONLY nonresident recipients of Chancellor’s Honors Scholarships, Haslam Scholars, Honors Leadership Program Scholars, and 1794 Scholars Programs may be eligible for consideration as out-of-state students who are not required to pay out-of-state tuition.

The deadline for submitting an application for reclassification for in-state status is the last day to final register for a course, which is the 10th day of the semester, for the semester the student wishes to appeal the out-of-state classification.

Students under the age of 24 are considered dependent students and residency classification for tuition purposes is determined to be the same state as parent(s) or legal guardian domicile.

Students age 24 and older, in the military, married, have children for which they are providing at least 50 percent of support, or legally emancipated students can be considered independent students but must provide documentation showing they did not move to the state primarily for educational purposes (intent to remain in the state after attending school does not provide documentable proof).

It is difficult to show that a move to Tennessee is incidental to attending the university if you move to the state and immediately enroll in the university within a short period of time.

A person may be financially dependent on his/her parents for purposes of determining domicile even if parents are not claiming the student for income tax purposes. Failure to claim a qualifying relative as a dependent does not, in and of itself, establish that the child is in fact financially independent. The student needs to document that he/she has income independent of parents sufficient to support themselves. Income obtained from parent financed, guaranteed or co-signed loans, gifts from parents, classified as a dependent for FAFSA purposes, property purchased by parents, and college funds, 529 plans, trust funds or savings plans set up for a student by parents are not considered independent financial support.

Property ownership by parents does not provide in-state classification for tuition purposes if the property is not the parent’s current, primary, legal domicile.

Owning a vacation home, second home, or a condo purchased for a student to use while attending the university is not sufficient evidence of domicile for tuition purposes.

A student residing in a home or property owned by parents that is not the primary domicile of parents does not provide in-state classification.

The home in Tennessee must be the primary legal domicile of a student’s supporting parents. Transferring property owned or purchasing a home for a student to reside in while attending the university does not provide in-state classification. Purchase of a home or property by a student to live in while attending the university does not provide in-state classification as the presumption is that the reason for the student’s move is primarily for educational purposes.

Enrolled out-of-state students do not acquire domicile in Tennessee while attending the university regardless of the length of time a student is enrolled. A presence in the state of Tennessee to attend a higher educational institution does not provide permanent domicile but is considered a temporary residence for educational purposes. The presumption is the student is residing in the state primarily for educational benefits regardless of how long the length of stay.

Attending an educational institution as a student does not provide in-state classification after six months, a year, or more.

Relatives living in Tennessee that are not supporting parents will not provide criteria for changing out-of-state classification for tuition purposes.

Residency requirements for obtaining a driver’s license and auto registration are different from residency requirements for tuition purposes.

Moving into your room, renting an apartment prior to attending, moving into a relative’s home, or any other place to live prior to the first day of school does not prove primary domicile required for in-state classification for tuition purposes and will not automatically provide in-state classification for tuition purposes.

Although Tennessee does not have a durational component regarding domicile for tuition purposes, an independent student moving to the state of Tennessee must have documentation showing they did not move to the state primarily for educational purposes.

If an independent student moves to the state and immediately enrolls as a student it will be difficult to show that the move is incidental of attending the university. Stating intent to remain in the state after attending school does not provide the documentable proof needed to show that your reason for moving is not primarily for educational purposes.

As an independent student, having parents or other relatives living in the state does not automatically change your out-of-state status for tuition purposes. If you are over the age of 24 or you have established a primary domicile in another state, having parents living in Tennessee will have very limited value in determining your classification for tuition purposes.

It is possible for a dependent student to gain in-state classification while attending as a full time student when their parents move to Tennessee permanently. The student must submit the Undergraduate Residency Application along with any documentation to support the students claim no later than the tenth day of the semester the student wishes to be considered for reclassification.

While some Tennessee institutions do offer border waivers they apply only if you attend the school that is within 30 miles of the border county you live in (you need to check with the school you wish to attend for information). The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is not within 30 miles of any border; therefore, UT does not offer border waivers nor will a waiver you are receiving from another higher educational facility in the state transfer to UT.

Please visit the Southern Regional Education Board’s website for information about participation in the Academic Common Market.

International students holding a temporary visa or student visa are not eligible for in-state classification for tuition purposes. Non-US citizens who have the status of lawful permanent resident, Asylee status, or certain non-immigrants who hold visas from particular categories may be eligible to be classified in-state. They must provide proof that they have initiated the process to become either a permanent resident or naturalized and meet all other requirements for in-state classification as a dependent or independent person. Non-citizen parents of dependent students, spouses or legal guardians are expected to provide a copy of their Permanent Resident card, proof of Asylee status, or proof that they have initiated the process to become either a permanent resident or naturalized.

Receiving in-state classification at a TBR school in the state of Tennessee does not automatically grant in-state classification at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Since UT is a UT System school, guidelines for being granted in-state classification can be different than TBR schools. While in-state classification at the TBR school will be taken into consideration, the decision to grant in-state at a TBR school does not automatically provide in-state classification at a UT System school.

Residency guidelines for tuition purposes are independent of other state rules or regulations governing residency for other purposes, including property tax liability, eligibility to vote, obtaining a driver license or registering a car. Therefore, obtaining these items does not guarantee a student would be eligible for in-state classification.

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