Minors (persons under 18 years of age) usually have the domicile of their parents, but certain special cases are recognized by the residence classification statute in determining residence for tuition purposes.
- If a minor's parents live apart, the minor's domicile is deemed to be North Carolina for the time period(s) that either parent, as a North Carolina legal resident, may claim and does claim the minor as a tax dependent, even if another law or judicial act assigns the minor's domicile outside North Carolina. A minor thus deemed to be a legal resident will not, upon achieving maturity before enrolling at an institution of higher education, lose North Carolina legal residence if that person (1) upon becoming an adult "acts, to the extent that the person's degree of actual emancipation permits, in a manner consistent with bona fide legal residence in North Carolina" and (2) "begins enrollment at an institution of higher education not later than the fall academic term following completion of education prerequisite to admission at such institution."
- If a minor has lived for five or more consecutive years with relatives (other than parents) who are domiciled in North Carolina and if the relatives have functioned during this time as if they were personal guardians, the minor will be deemed a resident for tuition purposes for an enrolled term commencing immediately after at least five years in which these circumstances have existed. If under this consideration a minor is deemed to be a resident for tuition purposes immediately prior to his or her 18th birthday, that person on achieving maturity will be deemed a legal resident of North Carolina for at least 12 months' duration. This provision acts to confer in-state tuition status even in the face of other provisions of law to the contrary; however, a person deemed a resident of 12 months' duration pursuant to this provision continues to be a legal resident of the state only so long as he or she does not abandon North Carolina domicile.