Residency: Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ’s are intended to help you understand and apply the Rules to your individual situation. Ultimately, the Rules govern regardless of FAQ answers or inferences from the below discussion.

Emancipated/Independent Applicants

How does UTHSC initially determine my status for "in-state" tuition?

Every person having his or her domicile in Tennessee shall be classified "in-state" for fee and tuition purposes and for admission purposes. Domicile for independent/emancipated persons is initially based on the permanent address used on your application in the applicable Central Application System. Falsification of residency information may result in financial penalty as well as discipline including dismissal from the university, whenever discovered.

If I am considered independent, what is the time period I must be living in Tennessee to be considered a resident?

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


If an independent person moves to the State and immediately applies for admission as a student it will be difficult to show that the move is incidental to 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 purpose.

What if I graduated from a high school in Tennessee, moved away, but have now returned to Tennessee?

There are new rules that classify, as "in state," graduates of Tennessee public and private high schools (or GED), who moved away but have moved back to the state. Such graduates must reside in Tennessee for one (1) year prior to admission.

What if I am considered independent and my parents or other relatives live in Tennessee?

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 that live in Tennessee will have very limited value in determining your classification for tuition purposes.

Unemancipated/Dependent Applicants

My parents are divorced and one parent lives in Tennessee, do I qualify for in-state classification for tuition purposes?

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 a 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 term the student wishes to seek reclassification.

What if my parents are not divorced and only one is residing in Tennessee, do I qualify for in-state classification for tuition purposes?

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.

What if I am currently attending the University as an in-state student and my parents move out of state while I am enrolled?

As long as you remain continuously enrolled you will not lose your in-state classification (continuous enrollment is defined as Fall and Spring terms, not attending for Summer term is not included for continuous enrollment). Note: Although in this scenario residency remains the same, requesting a change of your permanent address to an out-of-state address may impact your residency status.

Active Military/Dependents/Veterans

What if I am in the military?

Full time Active duty military currently stationed in the State of Tennessee or at Ft. Campbell, KY 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.
The military waiver does not apply to out-of-state students who are current Reservists or in the Tennessee National Guard who have not been called into active service under §58-1-102.

What if I am active duty military and not stationed in Tennessee or have been recently discharged?

If your 'Home of Record' is Tennessee and you are 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.

If you are recently discharged or retired veteran and 'Home of Record' is Tennessee on your DD-214 you are eligible for in-state tuition, provided you immediately domicile 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.

Recently discharged veterans whose 'Home of Record' is not Tennessee and former or current members of a reserve or Tennessee National Guard unit who was called into active military service as defined in §58-1-102 are not required to pay out-of-state fees provided the veteran has not been dishonorably discharged from a branch of service, is eligible for Post-9/11 or Montgomery GI Bill benefits and enrolls in a public institution within the state of Tennessee within 24 months of the date of discharge as reflected on form DD-214. Documentation will need to be provided to the residency classifier to obtain this waiver. In order to continue to qualify for in-state tuition the student needs to remain continuously enrolled at the University and within 1 year of enrollment must register to vote and provide at least two (2) of the following: Tennessee driver's license, Tennessee motor vehicle registration, Proof of Tennessee Employment, or other documentation clearly evidencing domicile or residency.

This waiver in classification does not apply to Reservists or National Guard members who have not been called into active service under §58-1-102 or military veterans who have been discharged for more than two (2) years prior to enrollment to the University.

What if I am a dependent of an active duty military member or veteran?

If you are a dependent of an active duty military member whose 'Home of Record' is Tennessee and they are stationed out-of-state or abroad, you qualify for in-state classification for tuition purposes. Documentation showing this information would need to be provided to the residency classifier to receive this classification. Dependents of an active duty military member whose 'Home of Record' is not Tennessee but the military member is currently stationed in Tennessee or Ft. Campbell, KY are considered out-of-state students who do not have to pay out-of-state tuition. Current military orders will need to be provided to the residency classifier in order to receive this waiver.

The military waiver does not apply to out-of-state students if the student is a dependents of U.S. Reservists or Tennessee National Guard members who have not been called into active military service as defined in §58-1-102.

Dependents of recently discharged veterans whose 'Home of Record' is not Tennessee and dependents of former or current members of a reserve or Tennessee National Guard unit who was called into active military service as defined in §58-1-102 are not required to pay out-of-state fees provided the veteran has not been dishonorably discharged from a branch of service, the dependent is eligible for the veterans educational benefits, and the dependent enrolls in a public institution within the state of Tennessee within 3 years of the date of discharge as reflected on the veterans form DD-214. Documentation will need to be provided to the residency classifier to obtain this waiver. In order to continue to qualify for in-state tuition the student needs to remain continuously enrolled at the University and within 1 year of the date of discharge on the veteran's DD-214 must provide a Tennessee voter registration card, and two of the following: Tennessee driver's license, Tennessee motor vehicle registration, Proof of Tennessee Employment, or other documentation clearly evidencing domicile or residency.

This waiver does not apply to dependents of current Reservists or National Guard members who have not been called into active service under §58-1-102 or dependents of military veterans who have been discharged for more than 3 years prior to enrollment to the University.

If the veteran has been discharged from the military for more than 3 years from the date of enrollment of the student domicile is determined in the same way as any other dependent student whose parents are not currently domiciled in the State of Tennessee.

Changing Status

What if I have been classified as an out-of-state student but believe I should be in-state for tuition purposes?

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 Office of Student Affairs & Enrollment Services. Completion of the application does not guarantee that a student will be classified as in-state for tuition purposes.

Residency Applications will be made available to applicants and students as part of the residency review process on an as-needed basis. Supporting documentation includes (but is not limited to) the following:

It is the student's responsibility to determine documentation to appropriately support their case

  • Proof of current Tennessee domicile, such as copy of Lease or ownership documents (e.g.: deeds, property tax records, county property registration records)
  • Copy of applicant/student's Tennessee Voter Registration Card
  • Copy of Tennessee Driver's License, or official Tennessee Identification Card
  • Letter from Tennessee employer on employer's official letterhead (if applicable)
  • Up-to-date work history (if applicable)
  • Copy of Tennessee Vehicle Registration (if applicable)
  • Copy of applicant/student's Federal Income Tax Return (from previous year)
  • Copy of parents'/guardians' Federal Income Tax Return (if applicable)

What is the deadline for submitting the Residency Application?

Enrolled student applications and supporting documentation must be submitted in the term prior to the term the student is seeking reclassification. If reclassification is granted, the effective date will be the beginning of the upcoming term. (Ex: applications submitted in the fall term will be effective for the spring term, etc.)

Prospective students who apply for in-state classification will be considered out-of-state during the admissions process until a residency classification has been determined. All residency decisions for prospective students should be completed by the date of enrollment.

Determination of "Independent" or "Dependent"

What is the criteria used to be considered either a dependent or independent student?

Students under age 24, unless in the military, married, or have children are unemancipated/dependent students and domicile is based on parents' primary domicile.

Students age 24 and over, in the military, married, or have children would be considered emancipated/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 apply to the University within a short period of time.

What if I am under the age 24 and my parents are no longer claiming me for income tax purposes?

Will my domicile be determined independent of my parents domicile? 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 must provide documentary evidence 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; property purchased by parents or based on parents' credit; and college funds, 529 plans, trust funds or savings plans set up for a student by parents are not considered independent financial support.

What if my parents own property or I own property in Tennessee?

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, 2nd 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 clear and convincing evidence of Tennessee domicile. 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.

Will I gain in-state classification after I have attended the University for one year?

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 the length of stay.

Attending an educational institution as a student does not provide domicile for in-state tuition classification after 6 months, a year, or more.


What if I have relatives living in Tennessee?

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

What if I obtain a Tennessee driver's license and register my car in Tennessee?

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

I understand that Tennessee does not have a durational component to their residency requirements. Does that mean if I move to Tennessee prior to the start of classes I will be considered in-state 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.

What if I am currently an out-of-state student but my parents move to Tennessee?

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 Residency Application along with any documentation to support the students claim.

Miscellaneous

What if I live in a county that borders Tennessee?

The UT Board of Trustees approved a regional tuition discount program for out-of-state students enrolled in certain programs who reside within 50 miles of the city of Memphis. These students' tuition will be discounted by 75 percent off the out-of-state tuition differential. Check with your college to determine if your program is eligible.


What if the state I live in does not offer the degree I want to pursue and UT does?

Please visit http://www.sreb.org/page/1304/academic_common_market.html for information about participation in the Academic Common Market.

What if I am an International Student or a non-United States Citizen?

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.

What if I have been granted in-state classification at a Tennessee Board of Regents school in the state?

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 Health Science Center. Since UTHSC is a UT System school rules for being granted in-state classification can be different than TBR schools. While in-state classification at the TBR institution 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, even for joint degree or cooperative programs.

What if a student lives in Tennessee for a year and gets a Tennessee driver's license, registers a vehicle in Tennessee, registers to vote in Tennessee, and rents/owns property in Tennessee?

Residency rules 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. Ultimately, an emancipated/independent student bears the burden of proof, by clear and convincing evidence, to overcome the presumption against acquisition of domicile while currently enrolled as a student.

Contact Us

Office of the Registrar
910 Madison Avenue, Suite 520
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Tel: 901-448-5568
Fax: 901-448-1017
Email: registrar@uthsc.edu

Office Hours

8:00am – 5:00pm CST
Monday – Friday