ETSU Residency FAQ

Q: What is meant by Domicile?

A: One’s domicile is his or her true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation; it is the place where he or she intends to remain and to which he or she expects to return when he or she leaves without intending to establish domicile elsewhere.

Q: What are the criteria used to determine dependent or independent student status?

A:In the absence of clear and convincing evidence to the contrary, students age 24 or under, unless in the military, married, or have children are presumed to be dependent students and their residency is based on their parents’ primary domicile. Students who are over the age of 24, in the military, married, or have children would be considered independent students but must provide documentation showing that their move to Tennessee was not primarily for educational purposes ( Statement of 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.

Q: 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: The fact that parents did not claim a qualifying relative as a dependent does not, necessarily establish independence. In this case, the student will have to prove that he or she is truly independent by providing evidence that he/she has income independent of parents sufficient to support him or herself. Income received from parent financed loans, parental gifts, trust funds or other forms of parental provided income are not considered an independent source of income.

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

A:A student who is classified as out of state may submit a Residency Inquiry Form (undergraduates) along with documentation to support the residency claim to the residency officer. Completion of the inquiry form does not guarantee that a student will be classified as in-state for tuition purposes. The form should be filled out as completely and accurately as possible and as much supporting documentation as is available should be submitted with the form. It is the responsibility of the student to provide evidence proving establishment of domicile in Tennessee for purposes other than attending school.

Q: What is the deadline for submitting the Residency Inquiry Form?

A: The deadline for submitting Residency Inquiry Form (undergraduates) is the census date for the semester the student wishes to appeal the out-of-state classification. The census date is typically the 14th day of classes for a particular term. It is best not to wait until this date because, in many cases, additional documentation is requested to determine residency.

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

A:Yes. Dependent students of divorced parents qualify for in state classification for tuition purposes if either parent is domiciled in Tennessee regardless of custodial status. A student who falls into this category must complete a Residency Inquiry Form (undergraduates) and submit it along with supporting documentation to the residency officer proving that either parent is domiciled in Tennessee.

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

A: 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).

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

A: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 fee- payment purposes. Documentation showing this information would need to be provided to the residency officer to receive in-state classification.If you are recently discharged or retired military and your ‘Home of Record’ is Tennessee on your DD-214 you will be classified as a resident for admission and tuition purposes, provided you immediately return to the state and remain domiciled in Tennessee after separation from the military. A veteran of the US Military enrolled at ETSU will not be required to pay out-of-state tuition if he or she has not been dishonorably discharged from a branch of the US armed forces or national guard, is eligible for the post 9/11 GI Bill benefits or Montgomery GI BILL® benefits and enrolls at ETSU within 24 months of his or her date of discharge from active duty. Separated or retired veterans who do not fall into one of the above categories need to provide information, similar to other independent students, showing the move to Tennessee was for purposes other than an education.

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

A: If you own property, but do not maintain your primary domicile in Tennessee, you will be considered an out-of-state student.

Q: What if I move to Tennessee to live with relatives prior to my enrollment at ETSU?

A: Moving to Tennessee to live with relatives who are not the supporting parents or legal guardians is not sufficient to establish domicile and, therefore, will not change a student’s out-of-state classification for tuition purposes.

Q: Will I gain in-state classification after I have attended the University for 1 year?

A: Unless the contrary appears from clear and convincing evidence, it is presumed that a person does not acquire domicile in Tennessee while enrolled as a full-time student at any public or private higher educational institution in the state. Time spent in the state as a student is considered to be for educational purposes and transitional. Therefore it does not apply toward establishment of domicile. Attending the university for six months, one year or longer will not provide a basis for residency change.

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

A: There is no specific time period that students must reside in the state prior to qualifying for residency. However, an independent person who moves to the state must prove that the move was not primarily for educational purposes. Indicating an intent to remain in Tennessee after attending school or a desire to move to the state preceding enrollment does not provide the needed proof that your move was not primarily for educational purposes.

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

A: It is possible for a current, dependent, out-of-state student to gain in-state residency if his or her parents move to Tennessee and establish their primary domicile in the state. In this case, it will be necessary to provide proof that the parents have made a permanent relocation to the state by providing documentation that establishes their domicile in Tennessee.

Q: What if I live in a county that borders Tennessee?

A: ETSU offers the opportunity for academically qualified students whose permanent residences are in certain Virginia and North Carolina counties adjacent to northeast Tennessee to attend at in-state tuition rates. In order to receive the in-state tuition rate, students must meet established academic criteria. For information about the eligible counties and academic requirements, visit here

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

A:For information about the academic Common Market, visit this website

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

A: 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.

Q: What is EVEA?

A: The Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act requires ETSU to verify students' US Citizenship or "lawful presence" in the United States prior to offering a state benefit. State benefits include in-state tuition, Lottery Scholarships and any other form of tuition assistance funded through state appropriations. Find out for more information on our eligibility and entitlements FAQ page.