MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Universities and Colleges; Appropriations

By: Representative Moak

House Bill 256

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN SENIOR CITIZENS TO ENROLL IN COURSES, FREE OF TUITION, AT THE STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

†††† BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

†††† SECTION 1.† (1)† As used in this section, the term "senior citizen" means a person who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older.

†††† (2)† A qualified senior citizen who is a legal resident of the state may enroll in a course or courses offered at a state institution of higher learning without paying the tuition and any applicable fees ordinarily assessed by the state institution for attendance at that institution.† Both full-time and part-time senior citizen students may register for and enroll in courses to earn academic credit in fulfillment of the requirements of a degree or for auditing purposes only.† A senior citizen student also may register for and enroll in courses made available at a state institution of higher learning for which no academic credit is awarded.

†††† (3)† In order to qualify for registering for and enrolling in courses without paying tuition and applicable fees at a state institution of higher learning, a senior citizenís individual taxable income, for Mississippi income tax purposes, for the year preceding the year in which enrollment is sought must not have exceeded Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00).

†††† (4)† Qualified senior citizens registering for a course or courses under this section are exempt from paying tuition and fees ordinarily assessed by the state institution of higher learning other than fees that may be charged for materials to be used in a particular course, such as laboratory fees.† Senior citizens registering for courses must comply with the admissions requirements of the state institution.† The institution shall determine its ability to offer a course for which a senior citizen has registered and may elect to cancel it if an insufficient number of students has registered for that course.

†††† (5)† The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the purposes and intent of this section.† The rules and regulations must include a process to ensure that tuition-paying students are accommodated in a course before senior citizens registering for that course under this section are enrolled.† However, a state institution of higher learning may make individual exceptions if a senior citizen has completed seventy-five percent (75%) of the requirements for the degree toward which the senior citizen is working.

†††† SECTION 2.† This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.