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Tuition Classification and Waivers

Each institution in the University System of Georgia is required to determine the appropriate tuition classification for all enrolled students in accordance with federal and state guidelines. The tuition classification rates at Georgia Highlands College include in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition.


Determining Residency in Georgia for Tuition Purposes

The tuition classification rate is determined based upon the material submitted during the application process. In order to be classified as an in-state student, applicants must answer all residency questions on the admissions application and meet the following requirements:

  • For independent status, the student must have lived in Georgia at least 12 months prior to the start of classes.
  • For dependent status, the student’s parent(s) must have lived in Georgia at least 12 months prior to the start of classes.
  • Be a legal citizen of the U.S.
  • Be able to provide documentation that demonstrates the student or the student’s parents have lived in Georgia for at least 12 months prior to the start of classes. This may include federal and state tax documents, Georgia driver’s license, vehicle registration, mortgage or lease statement, voter’s registration card, and/or other state documents.


Independent Student Federal Requirements

Federal guidelines require that one of the following conditions be met in order to be considered an independent student:

  • The student is 24 years old or older.
  • The student is married.
  • The student has a child of whom they provide more than half of their financial support.
  • The student is considered an orphan or ward of the court.
  • The student is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
  • The student has been admitted to a Master’s or Doctoral program.


Petition for Georgia Residency and In-State Tuition Classification

Students who are listed as a non-resident of Georgia and who meet one or more of the requirements listed above may complete a Petition for Georgia Residency form in order to request their residency status be updated. A copy of each document listed under the student’s specific residency category should be provided. If the appropriate documents are unavailable, a GHC campus location can be contacted for assistance. The residency petition and pertaining documents will be reviewed by a Tuition Classification Officer to determine if a change in tuition classification is warranted. If approved for a change in tuition classification, the student’s GHC account will be updated, and the student will be notified by phone or email of this change.


Non-Residents Seeking In-State Tuition Rates

Non-residents of Georgia seeking to pay in-state tuition rates should review the Waiver Request Form to determine eligibility for in-state tuition rates. Please note that the number of Superior Out-of-State Waivers and International Student Waivers are limited and are awarded in the order they are received. All waivers must be submitted prior to the start of classes.


USG Board of Regents Residency Policies

The definition of resident of Georgia for the purpose of attending institutions of higher learning are established by the Policies of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and do not necessarily parallel other definitions of residency. For a complete list of the policies governing residency decisions, please visit the Board of Regents website.



The deadline for submitting all residency documents is the last day of registration for the term in which you are requesting a residency change. Documents submitted after deadline will not be considered. Questions about residency can be sent to