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Article Posted July 13, 2012

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Verifying Eligibility for In-State Student Tuition (Lawful Presence)

The OIAC recently began an system-wide review of the implementation of BOR Policy Manual:

• § 4.1.6 – “Admission of Persons Not Lawfully Present in the United States”, and;

• § 4.3.4 – “Verification of Lawful Presence”

The review is designed to determine the level of compliance at each Institution with the requirements of these policies. The review will verify:

a)if students who receive in-state tuition are appropriately verified as eligible to receive in-state tuition rates because they are legal citizens established through citizenship, naturalization or permanent residency, and;

b)if ineligible students were enrolled at institutions that denied admission to all academically qualified applicant during the previous two academic years.

In addition to the requirements described by the BOR Policy Manual, institutions are required to include the following on all application forms:

  • Language describing the penalties for false swearing as defined by O.C.G.A. § 16-10-71; and,
  • An opportunity for the applicant to declare the eligibility or ineligibility for in-state tuition.

The specific language necessary to satisfy these requirements can be found on the USG Office of Student Affairs Web site.

While BOR Policy Manual § 4.1.6 is currently applicable to only five USG institutions, the criteria that governs this policy is relevant to all USG institutions. Institutions are held accountable for reviewing their admissions activity to ensure that their classification has not changed. Institutions seeking to change their admission classification status must send a letter of intent to the Office of Student Affairs prior to adopting the selective admission process. If approved, the institution will receive notification and instructions for implementation.

Beginning with the Fall 2011 term, USG institutions were required to verify the lawful presence of any student claiming eligibility for in-state tuition and who was enrolled for the first time at a USG institution. Per BOR policy, a student’s eligibility for in-state tuition must be verified before that student is designated as eligible. The following forms of documentation have been approved as sources to verify a student’s eligibility for in-state tuition:

  • An approved FAFSA form or other documentation demonstrating eligibility for federal financial aid
  • A Certified U.S. Birth Certificate showing the student was born in the U.S. or a U.S. territory (a photocopy is not acceptable)
  • A U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS form N‐550 or N‐570)
  • A U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (USCIS form N‐560 or N‐561)
  • A U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (DS‐350) or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS‐240)
  • A current U.S. Passport
  • A current Driver’s License issued by the State of Georgia after January 1, 2008
  • A current ID issued by the State of Georgia after January 1, 2008
  • A current military ID (service member only, not dependent)
  • A current, valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS form I‐151 or I‐551)
  • An F, J, or M visa
  • Verification through the SAVE program

Institutions should carefully review the processes used to demonstrate a student’s eligibility including FAFSA forms.

Posted by Ted Beck
Published in: Policy Briefs

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