Domicile Appeals Process

(Refer to 23-7.7 Code of Virginia)

  1. Initial Determination - The Office of Admissions & Records is responsible for making an initial determination of eligibility for in-state tuition rates. The decisions shall be based on information provided on the “Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates”, supporting documents, and statements made by the student. The Office of Admissions & Records shall follow guidelines issued by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) in making determinations of eligibility for in-state tuition rates. All documents needed to support determination of domicile must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Records prior to the first day of the semester. Information about a student’s domicile status is available to the student immediately following the application process. A student can also review his or her domicile status at any time by checking their Self-Service Account or calling the Admissions and Records Office. If the student is in disagreement with the initial determination, the student may request another review by submitting additional documents and information to the Registrar on or before the student’s first day of class. If a student who has been attending Blue Ridge Community College as an out-of-state student believes that they have become eligible for in-state tuition, the student can complete the “Application for Reclassification of a Student’s Domicile Status” form and submit it to the Registrar with supporting documentation. The deadline for submitting materials to change domicile status for a given term is the first day of class for the term. It is in the best interest of the student to submit the application and materials prior to the deadline to allow the student time to provide additional documentation if needed. If an application is incomplete as of the first day of the term, then the determination for that term will be made based on what was turned in as of that day. Requests for reclassification of domicile that are submitted after the first day of classes can only be used to change domicile status for the following term. The initial determination remains in effect unless the student initiates a reclassification. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Registrar if there is a change in their circumstances that may impact their domicile eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of their domicile status and take action to initiate changes if necessary. If the student has not taken the requisite steps needed to initiate a change on or before the first day of the term, the student has forfeited the ability to escalate their appeal at a later date.
  2. Intermediate Review - A student who is aggrieved by an eligibility determination made by the Office of Admissions & Records may appeal the decision to the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services.  The student must file a written appeal within five calendar days of initial determination. Supplemental documentation may be required, if the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services determines that additional domicile information is necessary. Within ten calendar days of receipt of an appeal, the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services will review the initial determination. The student shall be provided with the opportunity to present information either in person, or in writing. In reviewing the initial determination, guidelines issued by the State Council of Higher Education shall be followed. The Vice President of Instruction and Student Services will notify the student of the outcome of the review in writing. Notification shall be within twenty calendar days of receipt of the appeal.
  3. Final Administrative Review - A student who is not satisfied with the outcome of the review by the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services may appeal to the Domicile Appeals Committee. The Domicile Appeals Committee shall consist of three members of the Blue Ridge Community College faculty and/or staff appointed by the Vice President of Instruction and Student Services. No member of the committee may be a person who serves at a lower level of the domicile determination process. The student must file a written appeal to the chairperson of the Domicile Appeals Committee within five calendar days of notification. Within ten calendar days of receipt of an appeal, the chairperson of the Domicile Appeals Committee shall schedule a meeting to review the initial determination and intermediate review. A “Supplemental Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates” may be required, if the chairperson determines that additional domicile information is necessary. The student shall be provided with the opportunity to present information to the committee, either in person, or in writing. In reviewing the initial determination, the committee shall follow guidelines issued by the State Council of Higher Education. The committee shall maintain a written record of the proceedings of the meeting. The decision of the committee shall be in writing, and a copy of the decision shall be sent to the student via certified mail with return receipt requested. The letter shall clearly explain that the decision is final unless the student appeals to the Circuit Court within 30 days after receiving the decision. Notification shall be within thirty calendar days of receipt of the appeal.
  4. Review by Circuit Court - A student who is not satisfied with the outcome of the review by the Domicile Appeals Committee may appeal to the Circuit Court of Augusta County. The student must file a petition for review with the Court within thirty days of receipt of the decision by the Domicile Appeals Committee. Upon notification of filing a petition for review, the chairperson of the Domicile Appeals committee will provide the Court with a copy of:
    1. “Guidelines” issued by the State Council of Higher Education;
    2. the Blue Ridge Community College Appeals Process;
    3. the written decision of the Domicile Appeals Committee;
    4. the student’s “Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates” form; and
    5. all other documentary information pertaining to the initial determination and subsequent reviews. The chairperson of the Domicile Appeals Committee shall also notify the State Attorney General’s Office upon notification of filing a petition for review with the Circuit Court.
  5. Time Limitations
    1. Extension of Time - It is important to good relationships that appeals be processed as rapidly as possible. Every effort shall be made by all parties to expedite the process. The time limitations specified for either party may be extended by written mutual agreement.
    2. Effect of Failure to Appeal Within Time Limit - If there is no written mutual agreement to extend the time limits set herein and if a decision at one level of the procedure is not appealed to the next level of the procedure within the time limit specified, it shall be determined settled on the basis of the last decision rendered.
    3. Effect of Failure to Respond Within Time Limit - Failure at any level of the appeals process to initiate communication of a decision to the student within the specified time shall permit the lodging of an appeal at the next level of the procedure within the time which would have been allocated had the decision been communicated by the final day.