Residency - Frequently Asked Questions
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 Undergraduate 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 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 semesters, not attending for Summer semester is not included for continuous enrollment).
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 provided they have not been stationed primarily for educational purposes. 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 U.S. Reservists or in the Tennessee National Guard.
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 ‘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 or retired military 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 within 1 year of enrollment the student must either register to vote in the state or provide two of the following items - Tennessee driver’s license, Tennessee motor vehicle registration, Proof of Tennessee Employment – to the residency classifier within one year to retain this waiver. This waiver does not apply to current reservists or National Guard who have not been called into active service under § 58-1-102 or dependents of recently discharged or retired members of the military.
What if I am a dependent of an active duty or retired/discharged military member?
If you are a dependent of an active duty military member who’s ‘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 waiver. Dependents or spouse 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 dependent of a U.S. Reservists or in the Tennessee National Guard.
If the parent or spouse has retired or is discharged from the military and is no longer residing in the state of Tennessee domicile is determined in the same way as any other dependent student whose parents are not currently domiciled in the state.
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 an application for residency classification 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.
Will I gain in state status as a member of the Chancellor's Honors Program and/or other UTK honors programs?
No. While some state schools do offer this benefit to non-resident honors students, UTK does not currently grant in-state status to students based upon membership in the Chancellor's Honors Program or its other honors programs. Only non-resident recipients of Chancellor's Scholarships (which are received by about 50 students per year) are granted in-state status for tuition purposes.
What is the deadline for submitting the Residency Application?
The deadline for submitting an application for reclassification for in state status is the last day to final register for a course for the semester the student wishes to appeal the out of state classification.
What is the criteria used to be considered either a dependent or independent student?
Students age 24 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 24, 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 the University if you move to the state and immediately enroll in 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 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 my parents own property in Tennessee?
Property ownership alone does not provide in state classification for tuition purposes. Owning a vacation home, 2nd home, or a condo purchased for a student to use while in college is not sufficient evidence of domicile. The home in Tennessee must be the primary legal domicile of the student’s supporting parents.
Will I gain in state classification after I have attended the University for 1 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 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
What if I obtain an 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.
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 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 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 live in a county that borders Tennessee?
While some Tennessee institutions do offer border waivers they apply only if you attend the school that is within 30 miles of the border county you live in (you need to check with the school you wish to attend for information). The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is not within 30 miles of any border; therefore, UT does not offer border waivers.
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.