Office of Legal Residency


The College of Charleston is mandated by South Carolina state law to verify a student’s residency before the student can be granted in-state status and tuition. The initial residency classification is determined at the time of admission. In addition, a student’s residency classification is determined if a student is readmitted to the college or changes academic level (undergraduate to graduate).

Per South Carolina Code Section 59-112-100, College of Charleston students who are currently classified as non-resident for tuition and fee purposes who wish to be classified as a resident for tuition and fee purposes should complete an Application for Classification as a South Carolina Resident for Tuition and Fee Purposes and submit the supporting documentation. Students who have truly abandoned their previous domiciles and have decided to make South Carolina their home indefinitely may use this application to initiate the review process that determines whether the student is eligible for resident status. Submitting an application does not guarantee approval.  The burden of proof rests with the applicant to show evidence as deemed necessary to establish and maintain their residency status.

Application Deadlines

Fall Term                     July 1st

Spring Term                 November 1st

Summer Terms            Two weeks prior to the official first day of classes

New and readmitted students have until the official first day of class to complete and submit the application and supporting residency documentation.

Students may be eligible for in-state tuition under the three following provisions: 

  1. The student is the dependent of a parent or spouse who has established the domicile in SC;
  2. The student has become financially independent from their parents and established their own domicile in the state; 
  3. The student is active military stationed in SC or the dependent of an active military member who is stationed in the state or claims SC as his or her state of legal residence. See residency requirements for more information;
  4. The student is using veteran education benefits to pay for school (ex. Chapters 30, 31, 33, or 35).

Here are the basic steps:

  1. The student completes the appropriate residency application and submits ALL supporting documentation to Legal Residency Coordinator in the Treasurer’s Office by the application due date. Note: College of Charleston reserves the right to request additional documentation in support of an Application for Classification as a South Carolina Resident for Tuition and Fee Purposes.  Request for additional documentation will be sent to the student’s College issued email and must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the request.  If the additional documents are not submitted, the College of Charleston reserves the right to deny and close the application. 
  2. Based on the student’s application and supporting documentation, the Legal Residency Coordinator will determine whether the student has met the statutory requirements to receive resident status for tuition and fee purposes. If the student has met the statutory requirements, the student will be officially notified via email to the student’s College issued email address.  If the application is conditionally approved, the student must accept the terms and conditions of the acceptance prior to being billed the resident rate for tuition and fees.  The Legal Residency Coordinator will also notify the appropriate College of Charleston departments.
  3. If the student’s Application for Classification as a South Carolina Resident for Tuition and Fee Purposes has been denied by the Legal Residency Coordinator, the student will be officially notified via email to the student’s College issued email address. If a student wishes to appeal the decision of the Legal Residency Coordinator, they can submit a letter of appeal outlining the reasons the decision is incorrect along with any additional pertinent documentation to the Legal Residency Office.  The letter of appeal must be submitted within 14 calendar days of the denial date.  Please note the Appeals Officer is bound by the same laws as the Legal Residency Coordinator.  The appeal process is to review the facts and details of the case and to evaluate the correctness of the determination. Neither the Appeals Officer nor the Coordinator may waive the provisions of the law.  The determination of the Appeals Officer is final.

The Independent and Dependent residency applications are available for parents and students under the “Applications and Forms” link.

Reciprocity for tuition is only given to international Sister-State agreement programs. Please reference the below memo for current Sister-States eligible for the non-resident fee waiver:   

Sister-State Agreement Memo

 Please contact Wesley Funsch if you have specific questions on how a student might be eligible to receive in-state status for tuition purposes.

Please call (843-953-7312) or email to speak with the residency officer concerning residency requirements and eligibility.

Click here to email a residency application and/or supporting documents via Secure Share. 

For more Information visit: SC Residency Code of Laws.

South Carolina Code Section 62-605(a):

Resident status may not be acquired by an applicant or student while residing in South Carolina for the primary purpose of enrollment in an institution or for access to state supported programs designed to serve South Carolina residents. An applicant or student from another state who comes to South Carolina usually does so for the purpose of attending school. Therefore, an applicant or student who enrolls as a non-resident in an institution is presumed to remain a non-resident throughout his or her attendance and does not qualify under any of the residency provisions