University Bulletin 2016-17

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Nonresident and Residency Reclassification

Nonresident and Residency Reclassification 

Students enrolling at the University of South Alabama who come to the state of Alabama from another state [with the exception of the Service Area in Florida (Escambia and Santa Rosa counties) and Mississippi (George, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Perry, and Stone counties)] for the purpose of attending school will be considered a "non-resident student" for tuition purposes. The Office of Admissions determines a student's residency status at the time of admission. This determination is based on the application information, transcripts, and other documents required for admission and will default to "non resident" status if any out-of-state information is received. After the initial determination of a student's residency status, the status shall continue unchanged through all registrations at the university until and unless 1) a non-resident student provides satisfactory evidence that they are a resident of Alabama as defined by this policy, or 2) a student classified as a resident is absent from Alabama with the intent to become a resident in another state. Residency status is also reviewed at the time of readmission to the university after any absence of one year (three semesters) or more. At the discretion of the institution, residency status can be reviewed at any time.

A person or, if the person is a minor, the person's supporting person(s) who moves to Alabama or to the Service Area for the primary purpose of attending college shall not be considered to have demonstrated intent to establish domicile in the Alabama or the Service Area and will not generally be considered eligible for classification as a resident student. A person or, if the person is a minor, the person's supporting person(s) who establishes domicile in Alabama or the Service Area for the sole purpose of avoiding Alabama non-resident tuition will be subject to non-resident tuition.

Non-resident students who carry a full-time academic load for the fall or spring semester will be presumed to be in Alabama or in the Service Area for the primary purpose of attending college. These students will not be considered to have demonstrated the intent to establish domicile in Alabama or the Service Area and will remain subject to non-resident tuition.

A "resident student" for tuition purposes is one who,

  • Is not a "minor" and is a resident of the state of Alabama and has been a resident of the state for a least one year (12 consecutive months) immediately preceding the date of registration; or
  • Is a "minor" whose "supporting person(s)" is a resident of the state of Alabama and has been a resident of the state for at least one year immediately preceding the date of registration; or
  • Is a recipient of the Alabama G.I. Dependents' Scholarship administered through the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs; or
  • One who, at the time of registration, is not a "minor" and:
    • Is a full-time (not temporary) employee of the University of South Alabama or is the spouse of such an employee; or
    • Is employed as a graduate assistant or fellow at the University of South Alabama; or
    • Is able to verify full-time permanent employment within the state of Alabama and shall commence said employment not more than 90 days after registration (first day of classes) with the institution, or is the spouse of such an employee; or
    • Is a member or the spouse of a member of the United States military on full-time active duty stationed in Alabama under orders for duties other than attending school; or
    • Is a resident of any county within the University of South Alabama's Service Area (Florida: Escambia and Santa Rosa counties; and Mississippi: George, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Perry, and Stone counties) and has been a resident of that county for at least one year immediately preceding the date of registration; or
    • Has been a member of the Alabama National Guard for a period of at least two years immediately preceding the student qualifying for resident tuition and continues to be a member of the Alabama National Guard while enrolled at the University of South Alabama; or
    • Is a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, provided that the veteran has become a resident of Alabama and satisfies one of the following conditions:
      • The veteran has served on active duty for a continuous period of time, not less than two years, and has received an honorable discharge as verified by a United States Department of Defense Form 214 within five years of enrolling at the University of South Alabama.
      • The veteran is currently serving in a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States as verified by a memorandum from the commanding officer of the veteran student.
      • The veteran has been assigned a service-connected disability by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; or
    • Is in a program or takes courses within an interstate consortium of colleges or universities that either offers reciprocal resident student tuition to residents of Alabama in the program or courses offered by colleges or universities not within Alabama, or is enrolled in a program or courses through an interstate consortium of colleges or universities that assesses tuition at a uniform rate for all students enrolled in that course or program; or
    • Is an accredited member of or the spouse of an accredited member of a consular staff assigned to duties in Alabama; or
  • One who, at the time of registration, is a "minor" and whose "supporting person(s)":
    • Is a full-time employee (not temporary) of the University of South Alabama; or
    • Is able to verify full-time permanent employment within the state of Alabama and shall commence said employment not more than 90 days after registration (first day of classes) with the institution; or
    • Is a member of the United States military on full-time active duty stationed in Alabama under orders for duties other than attending school; or
    • Is a resident of any county within University of South Alabama's Service Area and has been a resident of that county for at least one year immediately preceding the date of registration.

A non-resident student is one who does not meet the criteria for a "resident student" as specified in the preceding section.

Definitions:
  • Minor Students:

Minor Students are those students who lack the capacity to contract under the law of the State of Alabama because of their age (persons under 19 years of age or persons under 18 years of age if married) excluding those persons whose disabilities of non-age have been removed by a court of competent jurisdiction for a reason other than establishing a legal residence in Alabama.

  • Residence:

For the purpose of this policy, a residence shall be the single location at which a person resides with the intent of remaining in that location indefinitely as evidenced by more substantial connections with that place than with any other place and not for the purposes of obtaining an education.

  • Resident:

A person or, if the person is a minor, the person's supporting person(s) whose residence is in the state of Alabama or the defined Service Area and not for the purposes of obtaining an education.

  • Residence of a Minor Student:

The residence of a minor student shall be the residence of his or her supporting parent unless neither parent has legal custody. When neither parent has legal custody, the residence of the minor student shall be the residence of the person having legal custody of the minor student.

  • Supporting person:

If the student's parents are living together, the "supporting person(s)" may be either or both of the parents. If the parents are divorced or living separately, then either the parent having legal custody or the parent providing the greater amount of financial support of the two (verified by a copy of the most recent income tax return.) If both parents are deceased or if neither had legal custody, then supporting person shall be established in the following order: legal custodian of the student, and, if none, the guardian, and, if none, the conservator.

  • Service Area:

The following counties in the states of Florida and Mississippi shall be defined as the University of South Alabama Service Area: in Florida: Escambia and Santa Rosa; in Mississippi: George, Greene, Harrison, Jackson, Perry, and Stone.

The ultimate determination of residency status shall be made by the institution. In determining whether the student is in fact a resident of Alabama or a resident of the Service Area for the purposes of assessing a student non-resident fee, the burden of proof is on the student. A student can change their status from non-resident to resident student only by establishing a physical presence and place in Alabama or in the predefined Service Area and by providing clear and convincing evidence that, for 12 consecutive months prior to the semester of registration, this presence and place has been the student's or, if the student is a minor, the student's supporting person's single location at which they reside with the intent of remaining in that location indefinitely as evidenced by more substantial connections with that place than with any other place and not for the purposes of obtaining an education.

How does a Non-resident student request reclassification of residency status for tuition purposes?

To be reclassified for tuition purposes, a non-resident student must prove by sufficient evidence, as determined by the institution, that he or she is a resident of the state of Alabama. A student's status as a resident student is determined by one of the following methods by proving that:

  • The student has a residence in the state of Alabama which means the specific address in Alabama at which they reside; that they intend to remain there indefinitely; that they have more substantial connections with Alabama than with any other state; and that the student has established a physical presence and place that that has been their true, fixed, and permanent place of habitation for the 12 consecutive months preceding the semester of registration; or
  • The student is not a "minor" and is a full-time employee (not temporary) of the University of South Alabama or is the spouse of such an employee; or
  • The student is able to verify full-time permanent employment within the state of Alabama and shall commence said employment not more than 90 days after registration (first day of classes) with the institution, or is the spouse of such an employee; or
  • The student is a member or the spouse of a member of the United States military on full-time active duty stationed in Alabama under orders for duties other than attending school; or
  • The student is a recipient of the Alabama G.I. Dependents' Scholarship administered through the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs; or
  • The student is a resident of any county within the University of South Alabama's Service Area and has been a resident of that county for at least one year immediately preceding the date of registration; or
  • The student has been a member of the Alabama National Guard for a period of at least two years immediately preceding the student qualifying for resident tuition and continues to be a member of the Alabama National Guard while enrolled at the public institution of higher education; or
  • The student is in a program or takes courses within an interstate consortium of colleges or universities that either offers reciprocal resident student tuition to residents of Alabama in the program or courses offered by colleges or universities not within Alabama, or is enrolled in a program or courses through an interstate consortium of colleges or universities that assesses tuition at a uniform rate for all students enrolled in that course or program; or
  • The student is an accredited member of or the spouse of an accredited member of a consular staff assigned to duties in Alabama.

If the student is a minor, then the minors "supporting person," as that term is defined in the Non-resident Tuition Policy statement, must meet similar tests which are described in the Non-resident Tuition Policy.

In determining whether a student has a residence in Alabama, the University will evaluate the presence or absence of connections with the state of Alabama including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Continuous physical presence in the state for a purpose other than attending school except for temporary absences for travel, military service, temporary employment, etc.
  • Payment of income tax to the State of Alabama or Service Area in the previous calendar year.
  • Voter registration in the State of Alabama or Service Area; more significantly certification of voting in the State of Alabama or Service Area that initially occurred at least 12 months prior to the initial registration of the student in Alabama at a public institution of higher education.
  • Evidence of employment in the State of Alabama or Service Area for the 12 consecutive months prior to the semester of registration.
  • In-state address and date shown on selective service registration, driver's license, automobile title registration, hunting and fishing license, insurance policies, stock and bond registrations, last will and testament, annuities, or retirement plans.
  • Ownership of personal property in the state and payment of state taxes thereon (e.g. automobile, boat, etc.) and possession of state license plates.
  • Residence in the state of a spouse, parents, or children.
  • Transfer of all banking services to Alabama, such as "checking and savings" accounts, safe deposit boxes, and/or investment accounts.
  • Financial transactions in the state or Service Area.
  • Previous periods of residency in the state continuing for 12 months or more.
  • Possession of state or local licenses to do business or practice a profession in the state.
  • Membership in religious, professional, business, civic, or social organizations in the state not connected to their status as a student.
  • Location within the state of the high school from which the individual graduated.
  • Financial independence from non-Alabama resident parents or other relatives.
  • Military records, such as Leave & Earning Statements, showing an in-state address. CO Letter indicating date of Assignment in Alabama or Service Area (for Active Duty Military).
  • Documentation that Alabama is home state of record for returning military personnel.

This list is not meant to be all inclusive and merely describes examples of supporting evidence which may be considered in the determination of whether a student has more substantial connections with the state of Alabama than any other state. Supplying such supporting evidence does not guarantee classification as a resident.

For a student who is not a minor, factors which may show more connections with a state other than Alabama include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Student maintains ties with another state such as maintaining a driver's license in another state, or owning a house in another state.
  • Student begins living in Alabama shortly before or only after being admitted to attend school in an Alabama university.
  • Student lives in Alabama only while in school and returns repeatedly to another state during summer term, vacations, and holidays.
  • A parent or other person who is not an Alabama resident provides more than minimal or
  • occasional financial support.
  • Student leaves personal possessions in another state and only brings to Alabama what is necessary for temporary stay.
  • Student receives PLUS loan money from parents who are not Alabama residents.
  • Student receives personal loans other than from a financial institution.
  • Student obtains loans with co-borrowers who are non-Alabama residents.
  • Student receives financial aid that requires the student to be a resident of another state.

For information regarding the Residency Reclassification process, please contact the Office of the Registrar at:

Office of the Registrar
Meisler Hall, Suite 1100
390 Alumni Circle
Mobile, AL 36688
Ph: (251) 460-6251
registrar@southalabama.edu 

Online Programs

Tuition and fees for programs delivered in a distance format are assessed based on a separate schedule approved by the Board of Trustees.

International Student Residency Status

In general, international students may apply for residence reclassification but must have the ability to remain indefinitely in the United States and otherwise meet the requirements of the Alabama Code and Board Rule 202. More specifically, a person must be a Permanent Resident Alien, Political Asylee, Political Refugee, or hold an A, E, G, H, I, L, 0, P, R, TC, TD or TN visa to be eligible for review as an in-state resident for tuition purposes. Students who hold a B, F, J, or M visa are not eligible to establish Alabama residency unless their supporting person is an Alabama resident or is a full-time employee of a company party to an Alabama Free Trade Agreement.

Academic Common Market Non-Resident Tuition Readmission

Academic Common Market (ACM) non-resident tuition remission (exemption) is available to students from certain states for specific academic programs. Application must be made first with the awarding state. The student must be a legal resident of that state and approved for a specific major at the University of South Alabama. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. The waiver is 100 percent of the non-resident tuition remission and will remain at this level unless the student's field of study changes, or a student no longer has full-time status.

A qualified student must maintain full-time status, remain in academic good standing and comply with all the requirement of the degree program. If a student changes their major from the approved ACM certified major, then they must inform the Office of the Registrar at USA of the change of status. The student will be responsible for the non-resident tuition for the remaining semesters at the University of South Alabama. To be eligible for the non-resident tuition remission during the first semester of enrollment, applications and resident verification must be submitted to and approved by the Office of the Registrar prior to the first day of class.

For more information about submission and deadlines, please contact the Office of the Registrar at (251) 460-6251. Students seeking information on the Academic Common Market waiver should contact the Academic Common Market at:

Southern Regional Education Board
592 l0th St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30318-5776
Main phone: (404) 875-9211
Main fax: (404) 872-1477
http://www.sreb.org/academic-common-market