Residency Information

Mississippi Code Sections on Residency for Tuition Purposes

§ 37-103-1.  Applicable standards in determining residency
The board of trustees of each junior college in this state, the board of trustees of state institutions of higher learning, and the administrative authorities of each institution governed by said boards, in ascertaining and determining the legal residence of and tuition to be charged any student applying for admission to such institutions shall be governed by the definitions and conditions set forth in sections 37-103-1 to 37-103-23.

§ 37-103-3.  Residency requirement for state resident
No student may be admitted to any junior college or institution of higher learning as a resident of Mississippi unless his residence has been in the State of Mississippi preceding his admission.  Residence shall be as defined in Sections 37-103-7 and 37-103-13 unless excepted in this chapter.

§ 37-103-5.  Attendance at educational institutions; effect
A person who has entered the State of Mississippi from another state and enters an educational institution is considered a nonresident.  Even though he may have been legally adopted by a resident of Mississippi, or may have been a qualified voter, or a landowner, or may otherwise have sought to establish legal residence, except as otherwise provided in Section 37-103-25(2), such a person will still be considered as being a nonresident of Mississippi if he has entered this state for the purpose of enrolling in an educational institution.

§ 37-103-7.  Residence of minor
For purposes of determining whether a person pays out-of-state or in-state tuition for attendance at universities and community and junior colleges, the residence of a person less than twenty-one (21) years of age is that of the father, the mother or a general guardian duly appointed by a proper court in Mississippi.  If a court has granted custody of the minor to one(1) parent, the residence of the minor is that of the parent who was granted custody by the court.  If both parents are dead, the residence of the minor is that of the last surviving parent at the time of that parent’s death, unless the minor lives with a general guardian duly appointed by a proper court of Mississippi, in which case his residence becomes that of the guardian.  A student residing within the State of Mississippi who, upon registration at a Mississippi institution of higher learning or community college, presents a transcript demonstrating graduation from a Mississippi secondary school and who has been a secondary school student in Mississippi for not less than the final four (4) years of secondary school attendance shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition.  This section shall not apply to the residence of a person as it relates to residency for voter registration or voting.

§ 37-103-9.  Children of educational institution employees
Children of parents who are members of the faculty or staff of any institution under the jurisdiction of the board of trustees of any junior college in this state or the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning may be classified as residents for the purpose of attendance at the institution where their parents are faculty or staff members.

§ 37-103-11.  Parents moving from state; effect
If the parents of a minor who is enrolled as a student in a junior college or in an institution of higher learning move their legal residence from the State of Mississippi, the minor shall be immediately classified as a nonresident student.

§ 37-103-13.  Residence of adult
The residence of an adult is that place where he is domiciled, that is, the place where he actually physically resides with the intention of remaining there indefinitely or of returning there permanently when temporarily absent.

§ 37-103-15.  Residence of married person
A married person may claim the residence status of his or her spouse, or he or she may claim independent residence status under the same regulations set forth in section 37-103-13 as any other adult.

§ 37-103-17.  Military personnel on active duty; National Guard members
Members of the United States Armed Forces on extended active duty and stationed within the State of Mississippi and members of the Mississippi National Guard may be classified as residents, for the purpose of attendance at state-supported institutions of higher learning and community and/or junior colleges of the State of Mississippi.  Resident status of such military personnel who are not legal residents of Mississippi, as defined in Section 37-103-13, shall terminate upon their reassignment for duty in the continental United States outside the State of Mississippi.

§ 37-103-19.  Spouse or child of member of Armed Forces of the United States

  1. Resident status of a spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on extended active duty shall be that of the military spouse or parent for the purpose of attending state-supported institutions of higher learning and community/junior colleges of the State of Mississippi during the time that the military spouse or parent is stationed within the State of Mississippi and shall be continued through the time that the military spouse or parent is stationed in an overseas area with last duty assignment within the State of Mississippi, excepting temporary training assignments en route from Mississippi.  Resident status of a minor child terminates upon reassignment under Permanent Change of Station Orders of the military parent for duty in the continental United States outside the State of Mississippi, excepting temporary training assignments en route from Mississippi, and except that children of members of the Armed Forces who attain Mississippi residency in accordance with the above provisions, who begin and complete their senior year of high school in Mississippi, and who enroll full time in a Mississippi institution of higher learning or community/junior college to begin studies in the fall after their graduation from high school, maintain their residency status so long as they remain enrolled as a student in good standing at a Mississippi institution of higher learning or community/junior college.  Enrollment during summer school is not required to maintain such resident status.
  2. The spouse or child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies or is killed is entitled to pay the resident tuition fee if the spouse or child becomes a resident of Mississippi within one hundred eighty (180) days of the date of death.
  3. If a member of the Armed Forces of the United States is stationed outside Mississippi and the member’s spouse or child establishes residence in Mississippi and registers with the Mississippi institution of higher learning or community/junior college at which the spouse or child plans to attend, the institution of higher education or community/junior college shall permit the spouse or child to pay the tuition, fees and other charges provided for Mississippi residents without regard to length of time that the spouse or child has resided in Mississippi.
  4. A member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the child or spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Mississippi residents under another provision of this section while enrolled in a degree or certificate program is entitled to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Mississippi residents in any subsequent term or semester while the person is continuously enrolled in the same degree or certificate program.  A student may withdraw or may choose not to reenroll for no more than one (1) semester or term while pursuing a degree or certificate without losing resident status only if that student provides sufficient documentation by a physician that the student has a medical condition that requires withdrawal or nonenrollment.  For purposes of this subsection, a person is not required to enroll in a summer term to remain continuously enrolled in a degree or certificate program.  The person’s eligibility to pay tuition and fees at the rate provided for Mississippi residents under this subsection does not terminate because the person is no longer a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the child or spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States.

§ 37-103-21.  Military personnel certification of residence
A military person on active duty stationed in Mississippi who wishes to avail himself or his dependents of the provisions of section 37-103-17, must submit a certificate from his military organization showing the name of the military member; the names of the dependent, if for a dependent; the names of the organization of assignment and its address (may be in the letterhead); that the military member will be on active duty stationed in Mississippi on the date of registration at the state-supported institution of higher learning or junior college of the State of Mississippi; that the military member is not on transfer orders; and the signature of the commanding officer, the adjutant, or the personnel officer of the unit of assignment with signer’s rank and title.  A military certificate must be presented to the registrar of the state-supported institution of higher learning or junior college of the State of Mississippi each semester or tri-semester at (or within ten days prior to) registration each semester for the provisions of said section to be effective.

§ 37-103-23.  Aliens
All aliens are classified as nonresidents.  (Note: Jagnandan case held Sec. 37-103-23 violates equal protection and due process clause of 14th Amendment; disregard Sec. 37-103-12).

§ 37-103-25.  Fees for attendance

  1. The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the boards of trustees of the community colleges and junior colleges are authorized to prescribe the amount of tuition and fees to be paid by students attending the several state-supported institutions of higher learning and community colleges and junior colleges of the State of Mississippi.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the total tuition to be paid by residents of other states shall not be less than the average cost per student from appropriated funds.  However, the tuition to be paid by a resident of another state shall be equal to the tuition amount established under subsection (1) of this section if:
  1. The nonresident student was born in the State of Mississippi but subsequently relocated and resided outside the state as a minor under the care of the minor’s father or mother, or both;
  2. The nonresident student is a veteran who served in the Armed Forces of the United States;
  3. The nonresident student is domiciled in Mississippi no later than six (6) months after the nonresident student’s separation from service, as evidenced by a Report of Separation from Military Service or other military discharge document, for the purpose of enrolling in a state institution of higher learning or a community or junior college; or
  4. The nonresident student is an evacuee of an area affected by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita.  This waiver shall be applicable to the 2005-2006 school year only.

(Note: MS AG Op., Stonecypher (Aug. 13, 2007) opined that intent of the Legislature was to require a nonresident student to meet Section (2) (a), (b), and (c), not (2) (a) alone, (2) (b) alone or (2) (c) alone, in order to qualify for resident tuition.

§ 37-103-27.  Registering under proper residence status
The responsibility for registering under his proper residence status is placed upon the student.  In addition to any administrative action which may be taken by the governing authorities of the state-supported institutions of higher learning or junior colleges concerned, any student who willfully presents false evidence as to his residence status shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof may be fined not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100.00).

§ 37-103-29.  Admission of nonresidents not required
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to provide that the board of trustees of state institutions of higher learning or the board of trustees of any junior college is required to consider for admission the application of a nonresident.