Residency Application Guidelines

Overview

This document is intended to clarify the current guidelines used by the UTHSC to make residency decisions, as well as providing instructions related to all aspects of the residency appeal process. Residency classification scenarios are included to dramatize a variety of commonly-encountered situations.

The Residency Application Process allows an applicant or student who has been classified as an out-of-state (i.e., non-Tennessee) resident for fee/tuition paying purposes to ensure a review of his or her residency classification status. A Residency Application submission includes both a completed application form and associated supporting documentation. Residency Applications are reviewed and acted on by the UTHSC Office of Enrollment Services [4], with appeals heard by UTHSC's Residency Appeals Committee.

Before a Residency Application can be submitted to the Office of Enrollment Services, the applicant/student must have:

  1. Been classified as an out-of-state resident by a UTHSC Admissions Counselor.
  2. Reviewed a copy of this document (i.e., Residency Application Guidelines).
  3. Discussed the classification by telephone and/or face-to-face with a UTHSC Admissions Counselor, including possible extenuating circumstances considered relevant to the classification decision.
  4. Discussed the classification by telephone and/or face-to-face with the UTHSC Director of Admissions, who may or may not request submission of a Residency Application.

It is important to note that submitting a Residency Application and supporting documentation [5] does not guarantee that a change of residency classification from out-of-state to in-state will occur.

Residency Classification Appeal Process Overview

  1. Availability of the Residency Materials
    • The University of Tennessee System Residency Classification Guidelines and this document (i.e., Residency Application Guidelines) will be posted on the UTHSC Office of Admissions website.
    • The UTHSC is responsible for determining the applicant/student's situation in light of the University of Tennessee System Residency Guidelines [6]
  2. Actions Regarding Residency Classification
    1. First Action: First actions regarding residency classification are the responsibility of UTHSC Admissions Counselors.

      All applicants to UTHSC programs will (1) be classified as in-state or out-of-state as part of a thorough application review process and (2) informed of his or her classification status by the Office of Enrollment Services.

      Any current student whose residency status changes and who seeks reclassification should begin the process by talking with a UTHSC Admissions Counselor either by telephone or in person. (Call 901-448-5560 and ask for the Admissions Counselor assigned to your college to begin the process.)

      All applicants/students whose residency classification remains in question after discussing the matter with a UTHSC Admissions Counselor will be asked to discuss the matter with the Director of Admissions.

      The Admissions Counselor will develop a Brief Summary (example below) of the applicant/student's residency-related situation and forward it to both the applicant/student and the Director of Admissions within three work days of the Admission Counselor's meeting with the applicant/student.

      Example - Brief Summary
      • Applicant/Student's Name: John Doe
      • College/Program: Allied Health Sciences/DPT Program
      • Timeline: Grew up in Oakland, TN
        Graduated from Fayette-Ware High School
        Attended University of Memphis (BS in Biology, May 2006)
        Worked in Memphis from June 2006 until January 2007
        Worked in NY from April 2007 through December 2008
        Applied to UTHSC in January 2009, before reestablishing residency in TN
        Leased an apartment in Memphis in March 2009
      • Residency Classification Status: Out-of-State
    2. Second Action: Second actions regarding residency classification are the responsibility of the UTHSC Director of Admissions [7].

      At the request of the applicant or student, the UTHSC Director of Admissions will discuss the residency classification issue by phone and/or in person. Prior to the first discussion, the Director of Admissions will review the Brief Summary provided by the Admissions Counselor. In addition, if the Director of Admissions determines that a complete Residency Application is necessary for understanding of the situation prior to meeting with the applicant/student in-person; the Director may ask the applicant/student to submit a completed Residency Application, including supporting documentation, prior to the meeting.

      Within one week of discussing the matter with the Director of Admissions, the applicant/student will be informed of the Director's decision in writing.

      The correspondence will present one of three outcomes:
      • Change in Status Recommended
        Director determines that the current out-of-state classification is inappropriate and recommends a change in the applicant/student's classification. The applicant/student's residency status is subsequently changed in the system to in-state for tuition/fee purposes. Unless specific items are requested of the applicant/student in the correspondence (e.g., proof of military deployment in TN), no further action is required on the part of the applicant/student. Implications regarding tuition and fees are retroactive, as appropriate.
      • No Change in Status Recommended
        Director determines that the out-of-state classification is appropriate and, based on his understanding of the situation and the UT Residency Guidelines, recommends that the applicant/student not submit (or forward) a Residency Application to UTHSC's Residency Appeals Committee [8].
      • Submission of Residency Application to Residency Appeals Committee Recommended
        Director determines that while he is unwilling to change the applicant/student's residency classification status at this point, he recognizes the unique nature of the request and recommends that the applicant/student submit a Residency Application and associated supporting documentation to the Residency Appeals Committee.

      In either situation 2) or situation 3), if the applicant/student decides against submitting a Residency Application, the process concludes with no change in residency status. However, if the applicant/student decides to submit a Residency Application, including supporting materials, to the Residency Appeals Committee, the materials will be reviewed and acted on by UTHSC's Residency Appeals Committee.

      Regardless of the recommendation of the Director of Admissions, applicants/students who are not reclassified to in-state status for fee/tuition purposes may appeal the decision to the UTHSC's Residency Appeals Committee. The applicant/ student must submit a written request of appeal to the Residency Appeals Committee, in care of the Office of Enrollment Services, within ten (10) working days of the Director's decision correspondence. The written request may be submitted via email or in hard-copy form.
    3. Third Action: Third actions regarding residency classification are the responsibility of the UTHSC Residency Appeals Committee [9].

      The Residency Appeals Committee is responsible for reviewing and evaluating Residency Applications after applicants/students have met with the Director of Admissions and have received the Director's residency classification decision and recommendation for next steps.

      A copy of the applicant/student's written request for an appeal, the Residency Application, including supporting documentation, and a copy of the Director's correspondence with the applicant/student will be forwarded to the Chair of the Residency Appeals Committee within one week of the Director's receipt of the materials.

      The Residency Appeals Committee reviews residency applications twice a year [10]. Applicants/students who appeal are expected to appear before the Appeals Committee in person.

      One of two actions will result from the meeting of the Residency Appeals Committee:
      • Change in Status Recommended
        Committee supports the applicant/student's appeal and recommends a change in the applicant/student's classification. Subsequently, the Committee will request that the Director of Admissions change the applicant/student's residency status in the system to in-state for tuition/fee purposes. Implications regarding tuition/fees are retroactive, as appropriate.
      • Change in Status Denied
        Committee denies the applicant/student's appeal. Decisions of the Residency Appeals Committee are considered final [11].
      The applicant/student will be informed of the Appeal Committee's decision in writing within one week of the Residency Appeals Committee meeting.

Residency Classification Scenarios

Example 1 – Reclassification by Marriage

At the time she applied to the UTHSC Doctor of Dental Science (DDS) program, Judy lived in Missouri. As a result, she was classified as an out-of-state resident for tuition/fee purposes. Between the time of her application and of her acceptance into the DDS program, Judy married Brad, a Tennessee resident, and moved to Memphis to reside with him. Judy contacted the Office of Enrollment Services and explained her situation.

Resolution: Judy's Admissions Counselor classified her as an out-of-state resident based on the information provided in her application[12]. In this case, Judy's residency status can be changed to in-state without her having to go through a formal appeal process. Judy was asked to provide copies of her marriage license, her Tennessee driver's license, and her Tennessee leasing agreement to the Office of Enrollment Services. Once these have been received and processed, Judy will be reclassified as a Tennessee resident and will be expected to pay in-state tuition.

Example 2 – Recent Move to Tennessee

After receiving the news that he had been classified as a non-resident (Louisiana having been listed as his state of "permanent residence"), Frank contacted the UTHSC Admissions Counselor and informed her that he lives in Memphis and that he moved here six months prior to his expected enrollment date in July. Frank also explained that since he lives here now and plans to live here indefinitely, even after he completes school, he expects to be classified as an in-state resident for tuition/fee purposes.

Resolution: Since Frank applied to the UTHSC before moving to Memphis, his residency classification will be based on his Louisiana address. As such, Frank will not be reclassified as an in-state resident for tuition/fee purposes. UT Residence Guidelines do not allow reclassification of individuals from out-of-state to in-state for tuition/fee purposes if the move to Tennessee was made for the purpose of attending school here. Frank will be discouraged from submitting a Residency Application.

Example 3 – Parents' Change of Address

After receiving the news that she had been classified as a non-resident, Cassandra contacted a UTHSC Admissions Counselor and explained her situation. Having grown up in Johnson City, TN, Cassandra had for the last four years attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville as a full-time, in-state student. However, during her time at UTK, her parents had moved to Mississippi for employment reasons. Although she listed her parent's address as her "permanent address," Cassandra had never actually lived in Mississippi.

Resolution: Cassandra's residency status will be changed to in-state by the Admissions Counselor. No further action by Cassandra is required.

Example 4 – Former Tennessean from Georgia

When she learned that she had been classified as an out-of-state student for tuition/fee purposes as the result of her Georgia residency at the time of application, LaTanya was surprised and disappointed. Although she had lived and worked in Atlanta since her UT-Chattanooga college graduation two years earlier, LaTanya had grown up in Franklin, Tennessee. She explained that while she is no longer a dependent, her parents still live in her hometown of Franklin and that she considers herself a Tennessean.

Resolution: LaTanya's residency classification status will remain out-of-state. Emancipated students are classified on the basis of their residency at the time of application. Since LaTanya was a wage-earning Georgia resident at the time of her application, she was classified as out-of-state for tuition/fee purposes.

Example 5 – International Student Living in Tennessee

Since he had a pending green card application (I-485) and had lived in Nashville with relatives for two years prior to making application to the UTHSC, Hassan expected to be classified as an in-state student for tuition/fee purposes when he had applied for the PhD program in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. However, since Hassan's application states that he is a citizen of Lebanon and since he does not yet have a green card (i.e., permanent residency status); a UTHSC Admissions Counselor classified Hassan as out-of-state for tuition/fee purposes.

Resolution: Hassan was advised that his status would remain out-of-state for tuition/fee purposes until he obtains permanent residency in the U.S. Once he has his green card, he can then work with the Office of Enrollment Services, beginning with an Admissions Counselor, to be reclassified as in-state based on his Nashville residence. In the meantime, Hassan would be counseled not to submit a Residency Application to the UTHSC.

Example 6 – Spouse of Visa Holder

Rama's husband works at St. Jude and holds an H1-B Visa. She is considering applying to the MS in Epidemiology program in the College of Graduate Health Sciences. If accepted, Rama plans to attend on a part-time basis. Since her residency classification will impact the amount of tuition and fees she will be expected to pay, Rama decides to contact the Office of Enrollment Services before applying.

Resolution: The Guidelines seem somewhat inconsistent in this situation. As the spouse of an individual holding an H1-B Visa (or a J-1 Visa) working full-time in Tennessee, Rama will be classified as in-state for tuition/fee purposes, provided that she attends the UTHSC on a part-time basis. However, were she to decide to become a full-time student, she would be reclassified as out-of-state for tuition/fee purposes.

Example 7 – Residency Bordering Tennessee

Megan has lived in Olive Branch, MS, for several years. During the interview process, while talking with a couple of current UTHSC students, Megan "heard" that "some out-of-state students from counties near Memphis" had been classified as in-state residents at the UTHSC for tuition/fee purposes. Megan was disappointed when she received notification from the Office of Admissions that she had been classified as out-of-state for tuition/fee purposes. Based on the informal information she had received from some of her peers and the noteworthy difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates, Megan made up her mind that she would do whatever it took to be granted in-state classification.

Resolution: Megan will not be reclassified as an in-state student. While residency classification guidelines at some state schools, including the University of Memphis, allow students from nearby counties to be classified as in-state for tuition/fee purposes, UT System guidelines do not[13]. Megan will be discouraged from submitting a Residency Application.

Example 8 – One Year at UTHSC

Russell is an excellent student who grew up and attended undergraduate school in Arkansas. While he was understandably classified as an out-of-state student when he was accepted at the UTHSC, Russell "thought" that once he was a full-time UTHSC student and had lived in Tennessee for a full year he would be reclassified as an in-state student beginning in year 2 of his 4-year curriculum. When that did not happen, Russell decided to contact the Office of Enrollment Services and find out the facts.

Resolution: Russell's residency classification will remain out-of-state. UT System Guidelines make no provision for becoming a Tennessee resident for tuition/fee purposes while enrolled in a UT System school as a full-time student. Russell will be discouraged from submitting a Residency Application.

Example 9 – Tennessee Employment

Cindy lives in West Memphis, AR, but works full-time across the bridge in Memphis as she has for several years. While she was aware that her almost-in-Tennessee "permanent address" was not enough for her to be granted in-state classification at the UTHSC, she thought that her nearby address combined with her Tennessee working career might. Before applying, Cindy decided to contact the Office of Enrollment Services for clarification.

Resolution: Cindy's official residency classification status will be out-of-state, but as a full-time Tennessee employee she will be expected to pay tuition/fees as if she were a Tennessee resident as long as she attends the UTHSC on a part-time basis. Interestingly, if she decides to become a full-time UTHSC student at some point, she will be expected to pay out-of-state tuition and fees.

Example 10 – Military Personnel

David is a permanent resident of North Carolina, but is on active duty with the U.S. Navy and stationed in Millington, just north of Memphis. David is aware that his "permanent address" is not in Tennessee, but thought that his active military status and Navy deployment in Tennessee would result in an in-state classification. After applying to the UTHSC, David was disappointed when he received notification that he had been classified as out-of-state and decided to contact the Office of Enrollment Services for clarification.

Resolution: David's residency classification will remain out-of-state. However, his active military status and Tennessee deployment are sufficient for him to be granted in-state status for tuition/fee purposes[14]. David will be asked to provide proof of his current military deployment orders, after which the Office of Enrollment Services will reclassify him as in-state for tuition/fee purposes.

Example 11 – Established Residency

A lifelong Texas resident and University of Texas graduate, Chris moved to Memphis and began working at a local restaurant after meeting his sister's former roommate, who happened to live in Memphis. After moving to Tennessee, Chris leased an apartment, obtained a Tennessee driver's license, registered his car, and registered to vote. Six months later, Chris applied to the UTHSC's Clinical Nurse Leader program. After applying, Chris received notification that he had been classified as an in-state student.

Resolution: None needed. Chris was pleased to learn that his short time in Tennessee was sufficient to establish in-state residency status at the UTHSC. Since Chris moved to Tennessee prior to applying to the college/program of his choice, he was granted in-state status for tuition/fee purposes without the need for additional documentation.

Example 12 – Subsequent Move

Having been a Tennessee resident for several years, Kate began the four-year UTHSC Doctor of Pharmacy program with an in-state classification. Midway through her second year, Kate and several of her closest friends moved to an apartment complex in Olive Branch, MS. After the move, Kate realized she had moved outside Tennessee and feared this move might result in her being reclassified as out-of-state for tuition and fee purposes. Before officially changing her mailing address, Kate decided to contact Enrollment Services and ask her question "hypothetically."

Resolution: Kate need not have worried. Since she was classified as in-state based on her permanent residence at the time of application, Kate will retain that classification for the duration of her DPharm program studies. (Note: If Kate continues to live in Olive Branch after her graduation from Pharmacy school and, as an "emancipated" student, later decides to apply for another UTHSC program, she will be classified as out-of-state for tuition and fee purposes.).

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Footnotes

4 University of Tennessee Health Science Center Office of Enrollment Services 910 Madison Avenue, Suite 520 Memphis, TN 38163

5 Residency Applications will be made available to applicants and students as part of the residency review process on an as-needed basis. Supporting documentation includes the following:

  • Proof of current Tennessee domicile, such as copy of Leasing Agreement or Mortgage
  • Copy of applicant/student's Tennessee Voter Registration Card
  • Copy of Tennessee Driver's License, or official Tennessee Identification Card
  • Letter from Tennessee employer on employer's official letterhead (if applicable)
  • Up-to-date work history (if applicable)
  • Copy of Tennessee Vehicle Registration (if applicable)
  • Copy of applicant/student's Federal Income Tax Return (from previous year)
  • Copy of parents'/guardians' Federal Income Tax Return (if applicable)

6 Posted at Admissions

7 This includes current UTHSC students as well as applicants (i.e., potential UTHSC students).

8 The Director's recommendation to the applicant/student is not binding. That is, the applicant/student has the right to submit a Residency Application regardless of the Director's recommendation. The Director's recommendation should be based on UT Residency Guidelines and the expected final outcome based on the Director's knowledge and experience in dealing with prior residency classification issues.

9 Of course, if the Committee recommends a change of classification from out-of-state to in-state, the Director of Admissions will be asked to ensure that changes are made to the applicant/student's official records.

10 Residency Appeals Committee reviews residency applications twice a year. Meetings are typically scheduled the second week in June and in November/December prior to the beginning of each major academic term.

11 An applicant/ student may appeal only one time per semester. Once the Committee's decision has been made for that semester, the applicant/student cannot appeal again until the following semester.

12 The applicant's permanent address at the time of application is the key, initial residency qualifier, provided that the individual is a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or has a J1 Visa.

13 Rationale for decisions such as this one occurs as part of the political process, outside the walls of academia.

14 UT System Resident Classification Guidelines, paragraph 4, #5: "Military personnel and their spouses stationed in the State of Tennessee who should be classified out-of-state in accordance with other provisions of these regulations will be classified out-of-state but shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition."

Contact Us

Office of the Registrar
910 Madison Avenue, Suite 520
Memphis, Tennessee 38163
Tel: 901-448-5568
Fax: 901-448-1017
Email: registrar@uthsc.edu

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