North Carolina's Durational Residency Requirement for In-State Tuition: Violating the Constitution's Inherent Right to Travel
Charlotte Law Review, Vol. 1, p. 199, 2009
24 Pages Posted: 8 May 2009 Last revised: 24 Feb 2010
Date Written: February 19, 2010
North Carolina's current residency requirement mandates that a student establish legal domicile and subsequently satisfy a twelve-month waiting period before being recognized as a resident for in-state tuition purposes. This Article first provides background information detailing the history of North Carolina’s durational residency requirement for university tuition. Next, the Article analyzes Supreme Court jurisprudence in the context of durational residency requirements as they relate to the fundamental right to travel and to the privileges and immunities afforded to American citizens by the Constitution. The Article then utilizes this framework to analyze the UNC system-wide tuition policy to determine its constitutionality. The Article concludes by offering an alternative approach whereby the state of North Carolina can structure its residency requirement for tuition to meet its objectives without infringing on the constitutional rights of a subset of its university students.
Keywords: Constitution, right to travel, fundamental right, durational residency requirement, in-state tuition, resident tuition, North Carolina, university system, educational benefits, nonresident
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