Mississippi Residency

Deadline to petition for Mississippi residency:
Fall 2013 is Friday, August 30, 2013

Spring 2014 term is Friday, January 17, 2014

Fall 2014 is Friday, August 29, 2014

Completed petions must be received by 5:00 PM in the Registrar’s Office by the deadline date.
Petitions submitted after this date will be considered for the next term.

Residency classification at The University of Southern Mississippi is defined by Mississippi law and is based upon: (a) Sections 37-103-1 through 37-103-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended (b) Case law adjudication; (c) an interpretative ruling from the Office of the Attorney General issued October 7, 1973, and modified on May 9, 1980. This statute has evolved over a number of years as a result of judicial decisions by the state, whose responsibility it is to provide higher education for its citizens at reasonable costs, while protecting its taxpayers from subsidizing students from other states who seek to attend its institutions.

Students are classified as in-state or out-of-state residents for the purpose of paying university fees. The Office of Admissions makes the initial classification at the time the student's admission application is processed. The burden of proof for establishing residency resides with the applicant. If a student misrepresents his or her status, he or she will be responsible for paying the appropriate fees and will be subject to disciplinary action or dismissal from the University. The University Registrar is authorized to change a student's residence status upon receipt of evidence that the student is improperly classified.

The following state laws, court decisions and Institutions of Higher Learning policies apply in determining the residential status of students for the purpose of enrolling and paying fees at a state supported institution of higher learning:

Twelve Months of Residence Required: No student may be admitted to the university as a resident of Mississippi unless his or her residence has been in the state of Mississippi for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately preceding his or her admission.

A student who has lived within the state for twelve months following his/her twenty-first birthday may establish residence in his/her own right by showing that he/she is living in the state with the intention of abandoning his/her former domicile and remaining in the state of Mississippi permanently, or for an indefinite length of time. Intent may be demonstrated or disproved by factors including, but not limited to, filing of Mississippi income tax returns, eligibility to vote in Mississippi, motor vehicle registration in Mississippi, possession of a Mississippi operator's license, place of employment, and self support.

A student from another state who enters an educational institution in the state of Mississippi is considered a nonresident. Even though he or she may have been legally adopted by a resident of Mississippi, or may be a qualified voter, or landowner, or may otherwise have sought to establish legal residence, the student will be considered as being a nonresident of Mississippi if he or she has entered the state for the purpose of enrolling in an educational institution.

Legal Residence of a Minor: For purposes of determining of whether a minor pays out-of-state or in-state tuition for attendance at universities, community and junior colleges, the residence of a person less than 21 years of age is that of the father, the mother or a general guardian duly appointed by a proper court in Mississippi. If a court has granted custody of the minor to one parent, the residence of the minor is that of the parent who was granted custody by the court. If both parents are deceased, the residence of the minor is that of the last surviving parent at the time of that parent's death, unless the minor lives with a general guardian duly appointed by a proper court of Mississippi, in which case his/her residence becomes that of the guardian.

A minor student who, upon registration at a Mississippi institution of higher learning or community college, presents a transcript demonstrating graduation from a Mississippi secondary school and who has been a secondary school student in Mississippi for not less than the final four years of secondary school attendance shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition. This policy shall not apply to the residence of a person as it relates to residency for voter registration or voting.

Legal Residence of an Adult: The residence of an adult is that place where he or she is domiciled: that is, the place where he or she actually resides with the intent of remaining there indefinitely, or of returning there permanently when temporarily absent.

Removal of Parents from Mississippi:If the parents of a minor who is enrolled as a student in a junior college or in an institution of higher learning move their legal residence from the State of Mississippi, the minor shall be immediately classified as a nonresident student upon completion of the semester in which the move takes place.

Residence Status of a Married Person: A married person may claim the residence status of his or her spouse, or he or she may claim independent residence status under the same regulations set forth in Section 37-103-13 as any other adult.

Children of Parents Who are Employed by the University: Children of parents who are members of the faculty or staff of any institution under the jurisdiction of the board of trustees of any junior college in this state of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning may be classified as residents for the purpose of attendance at the institution where their parents are faculty or staff members.

Military Personnel Assigned an Active Duty Station in Mississippi: Members of the United States Armed Forces on extended active duty and stationed within the state of Mississippi and members of the Mississippi National Guard may be classified as residents, for the purpose of attendance at state-supported institutions of higher learning and community and/or junior colleges of the State of Mississippi. Resident status of such military personnel who are not legal residents of Mississippi, as defined in Section 37-103-13, shall terminate upon their reassignment for duty in the continental United States outside the State of Mississippi.

Military: Eligible applicants who have been honorably discharged from active duty in the United States Armed Services would receive an out-of-state tuition waiver. This does not apply to dependents of the applicant.

Spouse or Child of Military Personnel: The resident status of a spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on extended active duty shall be that of the military spouse or parent for the purpose of attending state-supported institutions of higher learning and community/junior colleges of the State of Mississippi during the time that their military spouse or parent is stationed within the State of Mississippi and shall be continued through the time that the military spouse or parent is stationed in an overseas area with last duty assignment within the State of Mississippi, excepting temporary training assignments en route from Mississippi. The resident status of a minor child terminates upon reassignment under permanent change of station orders of the military parent for duty in the continental United States outside the State of Mississippi, excepting temporary training assignments en route from Mississippi, and except that children of members of the Armed Forces who attain Mississippi residency in accordance with the above provisions, who begin and complete their senior year of high school in Mississippi, and who enroll full time in a Mississippi institution of higher learning or community/junior college to begin studies in the fall after their graduation from high school, maintain their residency status so long as they remain enrolled as a student in good standing at a Mississippi institution of higher learning or community/junior college. Enrollment during summer school is not required to maintain such resident status.

The spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces of the Unites States who dies or is killed is entitled to pay the resident tuition fee if the spouse or child becomes a resident of Mississippi.

If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States is stationed outside Mississippi and the member's spouse or child establishes residence in Mississippi and registers with the Mississippi institution of higher learning or community/junior college at which the spouse or child plans to attend, the institution of higher education or community/junior college shall permit the spouse or child to pay the tuition, fees and other charges provided for Mississippi residents without regard to length of time that the spouse or child has resided in Mississippi.

A member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the child or spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Mississippi residents under anther provision of this section while enrolled in a degree or certificate program is entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Mississippi residents in any subsequent term or semester while the person is continuously enrolled in the same degree or certificate program. A student may withdraw or may choose not to reenroll for no more than one (1) semester or term while pursuing a degree or certificate without losing resident status only if that student provides sufficient documentation by a physician that the student has a medical condition that requires withdrawal or nonenrollment. For purposes of this subsection, a person is not required to enroll in a summer term to remain continuously enrolled in a degree or certificate program. The person' s eligibility to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Mississippi residents under this subsequent does not terminate because the person is no longer a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the child or spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Certification of Residence of Military Personnel: A military person on active duty stationed in Mississippi who wished to avail himself/ herself or his or her dependents of these provisions of Section 37-103-17 must submit a certificate from his/her military organization showing the name of the military member, the name of the dependent (if for a dependent), the name of the organization of assignment and its address (may be in the letterhead), that the military member will be on active duty stationed in Mississippi on the date of registration at the state-supported institutions of higher learning or junior college of the State of Mississippi; that the military member is not on transfer orders; and the signature of the commanding officer, the adjutant, or the personnel officer of the unit of assignment with signer's rank and title. A military certificate must be presented to the Registrar of the university each semester at (or within 10 days prior to) registration each semester for the provisions of said section to be effective.

Legal Residence of Foreign Students (Alien Status): All aliens are classified as nonresidents. Students with permanent resident status, temporary resident status, or refugee status can establish residence in Mississippi by meeting the same residency requirements as any U.S. citizen.

AUTHORITY TO SET TUITION AND WAIVER OF OUT-OF-STATE TUITION FOR NONRESIDENTS WHO WERE BORN IN MISSISSIPPI AND ARE VETERANS OF THE ARMED FORCES

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the boards of trustees of the community/junior colleges are authorized to prescribe the amount of tuition and fees to be paid by students attending the several state-supported institutions of higher learning and community/junior colleges of the State of Mississippi.

 IHL Board of Trustees Policies & Bylaws 103

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the total tuition to be paid by residents of other states shall not be less than the average cost per student from appropriated funds. However, the tuition to be paid by a resident of another state shall be equal to the tuition amount established in the above paragraph if:

1. The nonresident student was born in the State of Mississippi but subsequently relocated and resided outside the state as a minor under the care of the minor’s father or mother, or both; and

2. The nonresident student is a veteran who served in the Armed Forces of the United States; and

3. The nonresident student is domiciled in Mississippi no later than six months after the nonresident student’s separation from service, as evidenced by a Report of Separation from Military Service or other military discharge document, for the purpose of enrolling in a state institution of higher learning or a community/junior college.

Petition for Change in Residency Classification: Petitions for change of residency must be made on or before the last day to register for any given semester.

A student who has reached the age of 22 and has met the requirements to become a resident (has lived in Mississippi the past 12 consecutive months, used a Mississippi address on his/her State and Federal Income tax return, registered to vote in Mississippi, and has a vehicle registered in Mississippi) and shows intent to make Mississippi his/her home, may petition the University Registrar for a change in residency.

The following documentation is required by law in order to obtain Mississippi residence. These are statutory requirements, not University policy, and are rigidly enforced:

  • Mississippi income tax returns
  • Mississippi driver license
  • Vehicle registration (MS. car tag) - Persons moving into the state on a permanent basis have 30 days per state law to register vehicles.
  • Mississippi voter registration
  • A home deed or lease reflecting 12 continuous months of domicile in Mississippi (On campus housing is not considered a permanent residence)
  • Must have a Mississippi home address on file with the Registrar’s Office
  • Military orders if applying based upon active duty military exception

 

A petition for change in residency status may be requested from

The University of Southern Mississippi
Office of the University Registrar
118 College Drive #5006
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

or may be picked up in person at Kennard-Washington Hall, Room 110.