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New Residency Questions Will Affect Application Process

Students across North Carolina will soon have an additional step in signing up for classes or applying for college. The College Foundation, Inc. (CFI) is rolling out the Residency Determination Service, and all students will have to go through it before applying. At Beaufort County Community College, this process will begin on September 11. Staff and faculty will be working with students before they start signing up for spring classes to ease them through RDS.

In 2013, the NC General Assembly took authority to determine residency away from individual educational institutions and tasked CFI with creating and administering a centralized process for determining which students will pay out-of-state tuition and which will pay in-state. CFI was selected to create the Residency Determination Service (RDS) because of its experience with North Carolina college and university admissions applications.

RDS will consist of an electronic interview process that students will have to successfully complete prior to applying to the college. This interview is independent from the college application. Students will be asked a series of questions intended to prove their in-state residency status. RDS links to agencies such as the NCDMV, NC Department of Revenue, NC Voter Registration, Department of Education (FAFSA information), NC Department of Public Instruction, and various other state and federal entities to verify state residency.

When a student successfully completes the RDS interview process, they will be given a Residency Certification Number (RCN), which will then be imported into their college application. The RCN will follow the student to any North Carolina institution. This number is imported into the student’s file when their application comes through and cannot be edited by admissions staff. The RCN number will classify the student as either in-state or out-of-state for tuition purposes. Students who experience a change in circumstances can request a reconsideration from RDS. Students who believe their residency classification is incorrect may request an appeal from RDS, which will delay their ability to apply.

BCCC admissions staff want to ensure students’ admissions process. “Students are encouraged to take their time and make sure all information is initially entered correctly on the RDS interview. We won’t be able to go in and correct students’ RDS interviews, so if they make errors in the process, they will have to appeal directly to CFI,” said Michele Mayo, Director of Admissions and Recruitment. “If a student enters information that does not match with other public records, they will be classified as out-of-state until they can clear up the error.”

In the past, admissions staff were able to allow a student to apply for admission, have their application processed, and often register for classes all in the same day. Due to the new RDS requirement, students who have not received an RCN will not be able to apply and will first have to complete the RDS process which, in some cases, may take two to three days. This will impact the admissions staff’s ability to quickly admit students and move them to the registration process.

A student’s RCN will be valid as long as they remain continuously enrolled in any North Carolina four-year college, university or community college. This process will not affect continuing education students, Early College High School students or Career and College Promise students. Students who have lived in North Carolina for their entire lives will still have to go through the RDS process and obtain an RCN.

College staff are working to inform students of the new process and to troubleshoot any issues as they arise. Students with questions about the interview process should visit the BCCC webpage for direction.