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Frequently Asked Questions

Does owning property in South Carolina allow students to receive in-state tuition?

For independent students, not by itself; the other requirements still have to be met. For parents of dependent students, SC has to be the primary state of residence. The property taxes they pay go into the local treasury; we are supported by the State Treasury.

Can personal loans and gifts from parents and relatives be counted as support that students have provided?

No. That is considered money coming from elsewhere, and doesn't count toward making them independent. Their support has to come from the sources listed in the requirements.

Are parent (PLUS) loans considered financial support contributed by students?

No. Those loans are applied for and awarded to the parents, that they have to pay back, so it's their money that they give to the students.

If I have lived in SC for one year or more, does that make me eligible for in-state tuition?

No, nothing is automatic about residency. Students have to meet the requirements, submit their applications, and be approved before any changes are made.

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

Not unless they have been made your legal guardians through the court, before age eighteen. Be aware that the law says that if it appears that steps have been taken just to obtain resident tuition, the application will be disapproved.

Am I eligible for residency if I use a SC address on all my records and legal documents?

You still have to meet the other requirements. For admission, other things are as important, such as where transcripts are from, and addresses of both parents.

Are pre-paid tuition plans considered financial support provided by the parents or the students?

Even though they're in the students' names, since the parents put the money in and they get the tax break, it's considered from the parents.

Can I use the money I've saved in my savings and checking accounts to establish my independence?

No, because we don't know where the money came from. It has to come from the sources listed in the requirements.

What's the difference in applying for residency as dependent or independent?

If your parents provided more of your support than you did for the last twelve months, then you're still dependent upon them. If you provided more, then you may be eligible to apply as independent.

Am I required to provide 51% of my total financial support, or 51% of my total expenses?

Total support, and the support has to be more than the total expenses.