2011 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges; Appropriations
By: Representative Dickson
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-103-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE ELIGIBILITY FOR IN-STATE TUITION FOR CERTAIN STUDENTS WITHOUT DOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION STATUS AND PERSONS HOLDING A STUDENT OR OTHER TEMPORARY VISA TO ATTEND STATE-SUPPORTED INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND COMMUNITY AND JUNIOR COLLEGES; TO REQUIRE THOSE PERSONS TO MEET CERTAIN CRITERIA BEFORE BECOMING ELIGIBLE FOR IN-STATE TUITION; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS CONFERRING DOMICILIARY STATUS ON THOSE PERSONS OR AS THE PROCEDURE BY WHICH THOSE PERSONS MAY ESTABLISH DOMICILE; TO PROVIDE THAT STUDENTS PROVIDED ELIGIBILITY UNDER THIS ACT FOR IN-STATE TUITION SHALL BE ENTITLED TO THE SAME RIGHTS AND BENEFITS AS OTHER ELIGIBLE STUDENTS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-103-7 AND 37-103-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-103-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-103-25. (1) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the boards of trustees of the community colleges and junior colleges are authorized to prescribe the amount of tuition and fees to be paid by students attending the several state-supported institutions of higher learning and community * * * and junior colleges of the State of Mississippi.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the total tuition to be paid by residents of other states shall not be less than the average cost per student from appropriated funds. However, the tuition to be paid by a resident of another state shall be equal to the tuition amount established under subsection (1) of this section if:
(a) The nonresident student was born in the State of Mississippi but subsequently relocated and resided outside the state as a minor under the care of the minor's father or mother, or both;
(b) The nonresident student is a veteran who served in the Armed Forces of the United States;
(c) The nonresident student is domiciled in Mississippi no later than six (6) months after the nonresident student's separation from service, as evidenced by a Report of Separation from Military Service or other military discharge document, for the purpose of enrolling in a state institution of higher learning or a community or junior college; or
(d) The nonresident student is an evacuee of an area affected by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita. This waiver shall be applicable to the 2005-2006 school year only.
(3) Any student without documented immigration status or who holds a student or other temporary visa may establish eligibility to pay tuition equal to the amount established under subsection (1) of this section by a showing of clear and convincing evidence that he or she:
(a) Has resided in the state for a continuous period of not less than five (5) years;
(b) Has received a high school diploma from a public or private school in the state or has received a General Educational Development (GED) certificate in Mississippi;
(c) Is enrolled as a student in a state institution of higher learning or a community or junior college;
(d) Has submitted evidence that he or she, or in the case of being a dependent student that at least one (1) parent, guardian or person standing in loco parentis, has filed, unless exempted by state law, Mississippi state income taxes for one (1) or more years before the date of enrollment; and
(e) (i) Has filed an affidavit with the state institution of higher learning or a community or junior college in which he or she is enrolled affirming that he or she is not currently in removal proceedings; and
(ii) Has affirmed to the state institution of higher learning or a community or junior college that he or she will file a petition to become a permanent resident of the United States with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services within ninety (90) days of the date in which he or she becomes eligible to seek permanent residency.
The provisions of this subsection shall not be construed as conferring domiciliary status on those persons or as the procedure by which those persons may establish domicile for the purpose of obtaining eligibility for in-state tuition.
(4) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, persons who meet the requirements for in-state tuition under subsections (2) or (3) of this section shall be entitled to the same rights and benefits as other eligible students, including eligibility for state financial aid.
SECTION 2. Section 37-103-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-103-7. For purposes of determining whether a person pays out-of-state or in-state tuition for attendance at universities and community and junior colleges, the residence of a person less than twenty-one (21) years of age is that of the father, the mother or a general guardian duly appointed by a proper court in Mississippi. If a court has granted custody of the minor to one (1) parent, the residence of the minor is that of the parent who was granted custody by the court. If both parents are dead, the residence of the minor is that of the last surviving parent at the time of that parent's death, unless the minor lives with a general guardian duly appointed by a proper court of Mississippi, in which case his residence becomes that of the guardian. A student residing within the State of Mississippi who, upon registration at a Mississippi institution of higher learning or community college, presents a transcript demonstrating graduation from a Mississippi secondary school and who has been a secondary school student in Mississippi for not less than the final four (4) years of secondary school attendance shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition. A student granted an exception under and meeting the requirements of Section 37-103-25 shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition. This section shall not apply to the residence of a person as it relates to residency for voter registration or voting.
SECTION 3. Section 37-103-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-103-23. Except as otherwise provided in Section 37-103-25(3), all aliens are classified as nonresidents for purposes of determining tuition rates for attending the several state-supported institutions of higher learning and community and junior colleges of the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2011.