OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6844 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING IN-STATE TUITION ELIGIBILITY.

SUMMARY:

This bill reduces, from four years to two, the number of years of high school education that certain students must complete in Connecticut to receive in-state tuition benefits at the state's public higher education institutions.

The bill also extends in-state tuition eligibility to nonimmigrant aliens who, as specified in federal law, (1) are human trafficking victims or (2) have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of certain criminal activity (8 USC 1101(a)(15)(T-U)). Such individuals must meet the requirements described below. Under current law, no nonimmigrant aliens are eligible for in-state tuition. (A nonimmigrant alien is a person with a visa permitting temporary entrance to the U.S. for a specific purpose.)

By law, with limited exceptions, eligibility for in-state tuition is based on an applicant's domicile, which is his or her “true, fixed and permanent home” and the place where he or she intends to remain and return to when he or she leaves (CGS 10a-28). One of the exceptions allows a person to qualify for in-state tuition if he or she:

1. resides in Connecticut (i.e., maintains a continuous and permanent physical presence, except for short, temporary absences);

2. attended an in-state educational institution and completed at least four years of high school in Connecticut (the bill reduces this to two years);

3. graduated from a high school or the equivalent in Connecticut; and

4. is registered as an entering student, or is currently a student at, UConn, a Connecticut State University, a community-technical college, or Charter Oak State College.

Students without legal immigration status who meet the above criteria must file an affidavit with the institution stating that they have applied to legalize their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are eligible.

*House Amendment “A” makes certain nonimmigrant aliens eligible for in-state tuition.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

SB 398 (File 545, as amended by Senate “A”), which the Senate passed, extends, to certain students who lack legal immigration status, eligibility for institutional financial assistance to attend an in-state public higher education institution.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

14

Nay

3

(03/19/2015)