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Residency Requirements

Section 23-7.4 of the Code of Virginia governs eligibility for in-state tuition. A Virginia resident is one who has been domiciled in and has been an actual bona fide legal resident of Virginia, and has paid taxes to Virginia for one full year prior to enrolling.

Domicile involves more than presence in Virginia for a one-year period. It involves the intent to be a Virginian and the unqualified intention to remain so. The burden of proving domicile rests with the applicant. The intent of domicile is evidenced through the filing and payment of state income tax, voter registration, automobile registration, driver’s license, and the like. All applicants to the college who claim entitlement to Virginia in-state tuition rates must complete the domicile items on the application for admission.

Students under the age of 24 who do not qualify as independent students in Section B of the form must have a parent or legal guardian complete Section C of the form. Domicile for these students is based on their parents’ or legal guardians’ domicile. A Virginia instate resident is one who has been domiciled in Virginia, and is and has been an actual bona fide legal resident of Virginia for a period of at least one year prior to the commencement of the term or semester for which enrollment is planned.

Residency Determination Appeal
Responsibility for the initial determination of domiciliary residence rests with the Admissions and Records Office. The Admissions and Records Office will use information from the Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates and the guidelines on interpretation of Section 23-7.4 of the Virginia Code.

A student who wishes to appeal residency status may request a review by the dean of student development.

A student who wishes to appeal the decision of the dean of student development may request a review by the vice president for instruction and student affairs. The steps in this process are outlined in the Student Grievance Procedure in the Student Handbook.

International Students

RCC has been approved by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the U.S. Department of Justice to enroll international students. International students entering the U.S. on a visa less than permanent will not be admitted on a temporary or part-time basis. International students in the U.S. for full- time study must hold an F-1 student visa. F-1 students will pay tuition at the out-of-state rate.

The deadline for submission of international student applications with all required documentation is June 1 for the Fall semester and October 1 for the Spring semester.

International student applicants must:

  • Submit all required international application materials and documents to the College Registrar by the required semester deadline listed above. All documents must be in English or have an official English translation.
  • Complete an RCC online application for admission.
  • Submit an RCC I-20 application.
  • Submit official original language and official English translations of all high school/secondary and college/university academic records. All applicants must be high school graduates and provide an official transcript that indicates the graduation date.
  • Submit a completed Affidavit of Support (I-134) with the sponsor’s three most current financial statements. This will demonstrate the sponsor’s ability to pay for all educational expenses at the out-of-state tuition rate as well as personal expenses.
  • Submit a letter from the sponsor’s employer to verify employment status, length of employment, and annual salary. The letter must be written on company letterhead.
  • Demonstrate that English is the native language, or proficiency in English. The college requires a score of 80 on the TOEFL iBT test for admission to an academic program. An official score report from the Educational Testing Service is required. Information on the TOEFL test can be found at http://www.ets.org/toefl. RCC does not offer an English as a Second Language Program.
  • Submit an I-901 to the I.N.S. with the required fee. The I-901 form can be found on the Dept. of Homeland Security web site http://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901/index.htm. Provide a copy of the I-901 receipt to RCC.
  • Complete the RCC placement testing in reading, writing, and math upon arrival at the college.

An I-20 will be issued to those international students accepted to the college upon receipt of all required documentation. Students admitted on an I-20 must be in an Associate degree program and maintain full-time student status. Normally, a period of three years shall be considered the maximum time for which an individual will be certified under an F-1 status.

F-1 students transferring from other U.S. colleges must have completed one semester at the institution at which they were originally accepted and submit a Foreign Student Report with a SEVIS transfer date from that institution. A student not eligible to return to the original institution for academic or other reasons will not be considered for admission to RCC.

In order to maintain valid F-1 status, international students who enroll at the college agree to comply with all Immigration requirements as explained on their Form I-20, including full-time enrollment each semester. The College Registrar will provide complete information upon the student’s arrival at the college.

Contact the College Registrar for additional information or to request an International Student packet for admission.

It is the policy of the College to admit qualified immigrants already residing in the service area. RCC admits applicants who are immigrants residing in Virginia who have graduated from a Virginia high school with a high school diploma or equivalent, even if they are not able to document their legal presence. Applicants who are undocumented will pay tuition at the out-of-state rate.


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