When graduate student Ricky Law first arrived at UNC, the residency status committee denied him in-state status.
A year and a half later, Law, a residency adviser, gained residency, only to be denied it once again after returning from a year of researching abroad. Only after an appeal did he regain in-state status.
“If I had residency then, why can’t I have it now?” Law said. “Nothing about me has changed. I’m still a resident of North Carolina.”
At a meeting Monday of the chancellor’s advisory committee, officials said the residency process has become an issue not only for law but for graduate students as a whole — and could detract from the University’s academic quality.
“The practice of evaluating applications for in-state students has changed,” said Evelyne Huber, chairwoman of the political science department.
“It’s become harder for graduate students to gain in-state status.”
With unclear residency guidelines and with fewer students accepted for in-state status than two years ago, the graduate school is running out of tuition remission funds to cover the difference between in- and out-of-state tuition, officials said.
Huber, also a member of the chancellor’s advisory committee, said the residency process has made the University less attractive to out-of-state graduate students.
“We need those graduate students to be T.A.’s,” she said, of students who consider UNC but choose not to attend because of the residency process. “What are (professors) going to do? Do multiple-choice exams?