Completing Your RDS

  • All applicants to any public college- any of the 17 UNC system colleges, as well as any community college- must complete the Residency Determination Service (RDS) before submitting their application.

    This is the form used to prove that you are a resident of North Carolina. Anyone who has lived in North Carolina for 12 months or more in a row is considered a resident.

    Go to ncresidency.cfnc.org to begin!

    Why do I need to do this?

    It's important to do RDS because being an in-state student helps you get into the college you've applied to (in-state admissions are easier than out-of-state at many colleges) AND because your tuition will be much higher if you are out-of-state. At CCCC, full tuition for an in-state student is around $2,500, but for an out-of-state student, it's $8,700.

    What information will I need?

    The RDS asks different questions for different people, so you may not need all of this, but you most likely will need:

    • Your SSN
    • Your parents' SSNs and birthdates
    • Your parents driver's license numbers if they have them
    • Your driver's license number if you have one
    • Whether you and your parents are registered to vote 
    • Whether your parents have a car registered in their name in the state of NC
    • If your parents have been "continuously employed" in NC for the last 12 months (basically, have they had the same job for at least a year?)
    • If you or your parents get Social Services benefits, like Free or Reduced Price Lunch or SNAP (food stamps)

    How do I fill it out?

    1. If you are in any of the following situations, I highly recommend asking me for help and scheduling a meeting to work on it together:

    • You don't live with either of your parents
    • One or both of your parents are not US citizens
    • You are not a US citizen
    • You struggle with filling out forms
    • You already completed it, but got "Out of State" even though you've lived in NC for more than a year

    2. Use your CFNC.org login. If you don't remember it, or don't know if you have an account, let me know! Go to ncresidency.org and click "Complete Residency Determination."

    nc residency homepage

    3. Make sure your name, SSN, and Student Number are right. Many students only put one last name when they need to put both! (ie don't just put Emma Gonzalez, put Emma Gonzalez Fernandez- whatever your full legal name is.) Put your cell phone number and say "Yes" to text alerts.

    text opt-in for RDS

    4. Be CAREFUL! This website does not allow you to go BACK after you've confirmed your answer, and if you enter something that's incorrect, it can make you Out of State. If you aren't sure how to respond, pause, take a screenshot, and log out. You can email me the screenshot and I can help you decide how to answer it accurately!

    5. If you get to the end and get out of state-- it will look like the image below-- but have lived in NC for more than a year, we'll have to do a Reconsideration. Please schedule a meeting with me so I can help, it can be very tricky!

    out of state

    6. Save your RCN- colleges will ask for this on your application.