Proof of Citizenship/Legal Presence

All Winthrop University students must present proof of citizenship or legal presence in the U.S. before enrolling. This policy has been adopted by the University in order to comply with section 59-101-430 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, which requires that lawful presence in the United States is verified before enrollment at any public institution of higher education. Those unlawfully present in the U.S. are prohibited from receiving a public higher education benefit including scholarships, financial aid, grants, or resident tuition.

U.S. Citizens

All students who successfully complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be cleared as citizenship verification is included in the FAFSA processor's procedures. Remaining South Carolina students are reported to the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education for matching by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. SC DMV will verify citizenship for those students who obtained their initial driver's license on or after January 1, 2002.

Students who are not cleared by the processes above will be asked by the Registrar to provide documentation verifying their citizenship or legal presence in the United States.  The document provided will be retained as a part of the student's enrollment file.

Acceptable Documentation for Verification of Citizenship


  • Copy of a South Carolina Driver's License 
  • Copy of Current US Passport
  • Copy Social Security Card


  • Copy of  Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Copy of  US government issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Copy of  Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561)
  • Copy of  Unexpired US Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID card (DOD DD-2)
  • Statement of employment from a South Carolina public school 

If the student's name has changed since birth, the student must present all legal documents (i.e., adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, and court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from the name which appears on the birth certificate or proof of citizenship to the present.


Non-U.S. Citizens

Verification of immigration status for non-citizens will be conducted by Winthrop's International Center. The International Center is located in Dinkins Hall 218 and can be reached by calling 803/323-2133 or via e-mail.

Except for F1 or J1 visa holders, if you are a non-citizen or permanent resident lawfully present in the U.S. and admitted to Winthrop University, you must complete and submit the Non-Citizen and Permanent Resident Lawful Presence Verification Form.  You must also supply the documentation below which will be used to verify your lawful presence through SAVE. The Non-Citizen and Permanent Resident Lawful Presence Verification Form and supporting documents must be submitted to the International Center. Failure to provide this information will result in an enrollment hold being placed on your student account until your lawful presence is verified.

The University can accept photocopies of documents so long as we reserve the right to demand production of the certified original in the event we have any questions about whether the copy is true and accurate, or in the event any of the information on the copy is unreadable.In submitting additional documents, include a clear scan or photocopy of both the front and back of each document.

To learn more about this law (SC Code of Law Section 59-101-430) go to