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Residency

Your residency classification has an impact on your tuition and fees. Your initial classification is determined by the information you have provided on your application for admission to the Graduate School. Learn how to appeal your residency classification, how to apply for the Work Rule Program, and how status in the U.S. Armed Forces can impact your classification, how to determine tuition for out-of-state distance education students, and how status in the U.S. Armed Forces can impact your tuition and fees.

Appealing Your Residency Classification

You must have an application for admission on file to begin the residency appeal process. If you believe that your initial residency classification is incorrect, you may appeal the classification. Please review the Residency Classification Guide before you begin the appeal process.

You must submit a complete, notarized residency appeal form with supporting documentation to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Required documents may be sent via the UT Vault to graduateadmissions@utk.edu.

Your residency appeal will be reviewed by the residency classifier and you will be notified by email if additional information or documentation is needed, or when a decision has been made. In the event your appeal is denied at the first level of the appeal process, instructions on how to carry forward your appeal to the second level will be included in the email.

You may begin the appeal process at any time after you have submitted your online application for admission, although many students prefer to receive their official Graduate School letter of admission before submitting a residency appeal. After you submit your residency appeal and supporting documentation, the review and decision process make take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the beginning of the upcoming semester. After the residency appeal is submitted, please periodically check the subject line of your emails for “UT Graduate Admissions: Status of Your Residency Appeal,” as the residency classifier may need additional information/documentation from you. If you have not received a decision within a couple of weeks, you may want to contact the residency classifier in the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Please note that review of your residency appeal may take longer if you submit it close to the beginning of the semester, so it is to your advantage to start the appeal process early. To avoid having your schedule cancelled and late fees incurred, please submit your appeal by noon on the last day of priority registration for the semester you wish reclassification to become effective.  The final deadline to submit an appeal for any semester is by the late registration deadline. These deadlines are published each semester by the Registrar in the Timetable Calendar.

The Work Rule Program

In the event you are not eligible to be reclassified to in-state, the Work Rule Program may be an option for you. According to the Residency Classification Guide, under the section “Out-of-State Students Who Are Not Required to Pay Out-of-State Tuition” states:

Part-time students who are not domiciled in this State, but who are employed full-time in the State or who are stationed at Fort Campbell pursuant to military orders, shall be classified out-of-state but not be required to pay out-of-state tuition. This shall apply to part-time students who are employed in the State by more than one employer, resulting in the equivalent of full-time employment.

The Work Rule Program is designed for part-time students who are employed full-time in Tennessee to have the out-of-state tuition waived for up to a maximum of eight (8) credit hours per semester.  The student may be domiciled in this State or a bordering state, provided they are employed in one job or a combination of part-time jobs for the equivalent of full-time employment in Tennessee. If the participating student enrolls in more than the eight-credit hour maximum, then they automatically become ineligible to continue in the Work Rule Program and are responsible for paying the out-of-state tuition for all credit hours taken during that >semester and may affect future participation.

Therefore, it is important that you carefully read the Work Rule Requirements to determine if the Work Rule Program may be a good fit for you. You may also need to check with your department to see whether it allows its students to take courses on a part-time basis.

To apply for the Work Rule Program, you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete the Work Rule Application.
  2. Obtain a letter or letters of employment verification from your in-state employers. The letter(s) must include both the number of hours worked per week and your date of hire. If this information is not clearly stated by your employer in the letter(s), you will be emailed and asked to obtain and submit a new letter or letters.
  3. Submit the Work Rule Application and employment letter(s) to the residency classifier in the Office of Graduate Admissions. The preferred method is to scan/email these documents.  The residency classifier’s name and email address is located at the bottom of this webpage.

Your Work Rule Application and letter(s) of employment verification will be reviewed and you will be emailed if incomplete information has been provided on the Application or the letter(s) of employment verification. If everything is in order, you will be emailed approval of your participation in the Work Rule Program.

In order to avoid having your schedule cancelled and late fees incurred because you cannot afford to pay the out-of-state tuition, please submit your Work Rule Application and letter(s) of employment verification by noon on the last day of priority registration for the semester you wish to participate in the Work Rule Program.  The final deadline to submit a Work Rule Application and employment letter(s) for any semester is by noon on the final registration deadline.

A new Work Rule Application and letter(s) of employment verification must be submitted each semester you wish to have your out-of-state tuition waived for up to the eight (8) credit hour maximum.

Distance Education

If you are an out-of-state student who is considering applying to a Distance Education graduate degree program, you are eligible for the discounted tuition model rate.  For information on costs, please visit One Stop Student Services.

The U.S. Armed Forces

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces (or their spouse or dependent child) who have been on active duty for more than thirty (30) days with Permanent Change of Station orders to Tennessee or Fort Campbell, Kentucky, are eligible to have their out-of-state tuition waived.

Or, perhaps you have separated or retired from the military and are certified to receive Post-9/11 G.I. Bill or Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits.  You (or your spouse or dependent child) may qualify for a waiver of the out-of-state tuition under the Tennessee VETS Act. For additional information, please contact the Veterans Resource Center by e-mail utkva@utk.edu, or by phone 865-974-5420. Additionally, you may contact the residency classifier in the Office of Graduate Admissions or review the Residency Classification Guide.