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Background on Residency (and why it can be a challenge to establish)


Residency requirements are mandated by North Carolina law, and in most cases the law requires a person to show 12 months of uninterrupted domicile in North Carolina to be eligible for in-state tuition.  But that is only the beginning.


Of course you cannot simply tell the residency committee that you’ve made North Carolina your home for that time and be done with it - you must prove domicile through detailed documentation of acts.


In fact the term ‘residency’ is a bit misleading.  In North Carolina you must establish that you have domicile for in-state tuition.  While residence is a place of abode and can be temporary, domicile is one’s established home and the place they intend to remain.  So it must be shown that North Carolina is your established home and domicile, not merely your temporary residence.


Bottom line – for the North Carolina tuition benefit you must prove your home is North Carolina based upon your acts in the state, that it has been your home for the last 12 months, that you intend to remain, and that you are not tied to another state (through the financial support from your parents, for example).  Add to this considerations such as military status, separated or divorced parents, or non-citizenship status and the process becomes further complicated and involved.  This is where we come in to counsel and advocate for you.

Residency Determination and Our Services


A word on our pricing first...


While many firms bill clients based upon their billable hours, our stance is that this doesn’t give clients proper notice of expected costs for a legal matter. Our firm prefers to set flat fees so our clients know their costs from the outset.  That is why we publish our costs, and why we often set separate fees for those clients whose financial situation may prohibit their ability to afford a qualified attorney.


And of course we will work with you to finance your legal fees.  Don't hesitate to call us to set up a payment arrangement.  

Our Services

Complete Package: $7,000 Flat Fee

Retains our firm for all work that may be involved in residency advocacy.  


This retains the attorney for all work needed over the one year process to establish residency and may include: initial consultation; detailed review and advice on steps to establish residency; collection of information as client completes steps; completion of application (when allowed by institution); submission of documented evidence; overview letter to committee; residency appeals.  This fee can also include any additional work needed to complete residency such as: establishing trust accounts; communicating directly with third parties to further residency interests (e.g. residency committee, financial institutions, universities), etc.

Partial Package: $2,000 Flat Fee  

Retains our firm for the most crucial components of residency advocacy.    


This retains the attorney for: initial consultation; detailed review and advice on steps to establish residency; completion of application (when allowed by institution); overview letter to committee; submission of completed application and documented evidence.

Hourly rate: $300 per hour    


Some clients prefer to pay for work as it progresses.  In such instances we require a deposit towards 7 hours of work into our trust account to begin our work.  Bear in mind that this work can take over a year to finalize, and the amount of time dedicated for each client can range from 15 to 45 hours of billable hours over that year (depending on that client’s facts and circumstances).

Individual Services    


If you prefer we only do a portion of this work, or simply check behind you before you submit the application give us a call.

Discount Rates   


We offer discounted rates to families whose adjusted gross income (AGI) does not exceed 150% of federal poverty guidelines.  Please call us if you would like to discuss whether you may fall within these guidlines. 

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