Students standing in front of fountain

Legal Residency

Enrollment Management

The University of South Carolina Aiken has established a differential in tuition and fees between in-state residents and non-residents, and must therefore determine the resident classification of applicants and students in accordance with South Carolina Code of Laws (59-112-10 et seq.).

Determination of residency status occurs after admission to the university and after the student completes the Certification of South Carolina residency form in Self Service Aiken.  The determination made at that time, and any determination made thereafter, prevails for each subsequent semester until information becomes available that would impact the existing residency status and the determination is successfully challenged.  Residing in South Carolina and being a resident for tuition purposes are separate issues.  The burden of proof rests with the student to show evidence as deemed necessary to establish and maintain their residency status.

Legal Residency Requirements for Fee and Tuition Purposes

University of South Carolina system residency process and information

Frequently asked questions about South Carolina residency

How to Certify In-State Residency Status:

All students wishing to pay in-state tuition will need to complete the online Residency Certification.

Once you have been admitted to USC Aiken, complete the online residency form by signing into Self Service Aiken. You will need to log in with your VIP ID and password. Instructions on how to find this information, if you do not know your VIP ID and password can be found at

After you sign into Self Service Aiken, click on the box labeled admissions, then click on the box labeled South Carolina Residency Certification. Complete all sections and submit. If additional information is needed, an e-mail will be sent to your USC Aiken email account.

Richmond and Columbia County Residents

Persons who are legal residents of Richmond County or Columbia County, Georgia, may qualify to pay in-state tuition.  Note: the reciprocal agreement for in-state tuition for Richmond County and Columbia County residents applies only to USC Aiken undergraduate or graduate courses taken at the Aiken Campus.  If you believe you qualify for in-state based on your residence in  Richmond or Columbia county GA, follow the directions above (How to Certify In-State Residency Status) to certify your residency.

Contact Information

Inquiries regarding residency requirements and residency determinations should be directed to the USC Aiken Legal Residency Officer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Any person, following a decision on his or her resident classification, may appeal the decision to the USC Aiken Legal Residency Appeals Committee.  This committee, however, is bound by the same laws and regulations as the residency officer, so it's purpose is only to review the facts and details of any case and to evaluate the correctness of the decision made by the campus residency officer.  Neither the committee nor the residency officer may waive the provisions of the law or regulations.

Persons wishing to appeal a residency decision must provide a letter to the Legal Residency Officer informing the officer that they want to appeal the decision.  The letter must also include a summary of the person's situation and a statement which specifies the residency provision under which the person feels he  or she qualifies to pay in-state fees.  The residency officer will then schedule a meeting of the appeals committee as soon as possible to hear the appeal.