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Residency- Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have been classified as an Out-of-State student but feel I should be In-State for tuition purposes?

A student who is classified as Out-of-State may submit a instate residency application 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.

What is the deadline for submitting the Residency Application?

The deadline for submitting an In-State residency application and supporting documentation is six weeks from the first day of classes for the term in which you are applying.

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

Students age 23 or under, unless in the military, married, or have children are dependent students and domicile is based on parents’ primary domicile.  

Students over the age of 23, in the military, married, or have children would 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 Pellissippi State if you move to the state and immediately enroll in Pellissippi State within a short period of time. 

What if I am under the age 23 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 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.   

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. 

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 has to complete an In-State Residency Application and submit this along with supporting documentation to the residency classifier, proving parents are divorced and one parent is domiciled in Tennessee.  

What if my parents are not divorced and 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.

What if I am currently attending a college/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 semesters, not attending for Summer semester is not included for continuous enrollment). 

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 military and your ‘Home of Record’ is Tennessee on your DD-214 you do not have to pay Out-of-State tuition, provided you immediately domicile and remain domiciled in Tennessee after separation from the military.   

Separated or retired military whose ‘Home of Record’ is not Tennessee need to provide information, similar to other independent students, showing the move to Tennessee is for other reasons than attending a college/university. 

Will I gain In-State classification after I have attended Pellissippi State for 1 year?

Enrolled Out-of-State students do not acquire domicile in Tennessee while attending Pellissippi State 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 6 months, a year, or more

What if I have other relatives living in the Tennessee?

Relatives living in Tennessee that are not supporting parents will not provide criteria for changing Out-of-State classification 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. 

What 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 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 Pellissippi State. 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. 

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 living in Tennessee will have very limited value in determining your 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.  

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 or Asylee status are eligible to be classified In-State if they 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 or proof of Asylee status.