2017 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges; Revenue and Expenditure General Bills
By: Representative Sykes
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 * * *
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 colleges and junior colleges of the State of
(2) Except as otherwise
provided in this subsection and subsections (3) * * *,
(4) and 5 of this section,
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 is either a veteran, as defined by Title 38 of the United States Code, or a person entitled to education benefits under Title 38 of the United States Code. Nonresident students enrolled in a professional school or college at a state institution of higher learning are excluded from this paragraph (2)(a) except for those nonresident students who must be charged tuition equal to the amount established under subsection (1) due to the provisions of Section 702 of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014. This paragraph (a) shall be administered and interpreted in the manner necessary to obtain or retain approval of courses of education by the Secretary of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs;
(b) 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 * * *
(c) The nonresident student's out-of-state tuition was waived according to subsection (3) or (4) of this section.
(3) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning may, in its discretion, consider and grant requests to approve institution specific policies permitting the waiver of out-of-state tuition when such an official request is made by the president or chancellor of the institution and when such request is determined by the board to be fiscally responsible and in accordance with the educational mission of the requesting institution.
(4) The board of trustees of any community college or junior college may develop and implement a policy for waiving out-of-state tuition for the college if the policy is determined by the board to be in accordance with the educational mission of the college and if a local industry or business or a state agency agrees to reimburse the college for the entire amount of the out-of-state tuition that will be waived under the policy. State funds shall be allocated and spent only on students who reside within the State of Mississippi. However, associate degree nursing students who reside outside the State of Mississippi may be counted for pay purposes.
(5) 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 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.
(6) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, persons who meet the requirements for in-state tuition under subsections (2), (3) or (4) 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, 2017.