BCCC begins state residency-validation program

Published 7:17 pm Thursday, September 7, 2017

Starting Monday, enrolling students at Beaufort County Community College will have an extra step in the admissions process.

All colleges across the state will implement Residency Determination Service, which is an interview process that all North Carolina students applying for college or signing up for classes must complete to prove in-state residency.

RDS is a change mandated by the General Assembly in 2013 after it “became concerned about inconsistency in residency determinations across institutions of higher education in North Carolina,” according to the RDS website. After being selected to create the new procedure, College Foundation Inc. will now administer RDS.

Upon completion of the RDS process, students will receive a Residency Certification Number, classifying them as in-state or out-of-state to determine tuition.

Students who are under “continuous enrollment” at a North Carolina college or university do not have to submit information every year, unless they have a change in state residency or transfer schools, according to the RDS website. However, every college student must complete the RDS process at first to ensure the information is in the system.

All information submitted through RDS will be validated using information from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, N.C. Department of Revenue, N.C. Voter Registration and N.C. Department of Public Instruction, among others, according to a press release from BCCC.

“Staff and faculty will be working with students before they start signing up for spring classes to ease them through RDS,” the release states. “College staff are working to inform students of the new process and to troubleshoot any issues as they arise.”

RDS implementation will not affect continuing education, Early College High School or Career and College Promise students, according to BCCC.

Despite legislators’ attempt to unify in-state and out-of-state tuition requirements, some staff members worry it could substantially slow down the admissions process.

“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,” the BCCC release states. “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.”

Michele Mayo, director of admissions and recruitment at BCCC, said the main concern for students should be completing RDS in a timely manner, “well in advance of their entry date.”

“What we don’t want to happen is for a student to receive an out-of-state residency code due to an error and then the student not have time to correct the error before the start of the term, which would result in an out-of-state tuition rate for that term,” Mayo explained.

For more information, visit ncresidency.cfnc.org, or visit beaufortccc.edu and scroll down to the “Residency Determination Service” heading.