Official Title: In-State Tuition Validation Policy
Abbreviated Title: In-State Tuition Policy
Volume: CCGA Policies
Vice President for Student Affairs
Originally Issued: June 28, 2010
Effective Date: July 1, 2010
Revised: December 5, 2016
In-State Tuition Validation Policy
All new applicants and returning students seeking admission to the College of Coastal Georgia for any academic semester beginning on or after July 1, 2010, and requesting instate classification for tuition purposes, will be required to provide validation of residency in both the State of Georgia and the United States.
Reason for Policy
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the College remains fully compliant with all University System of Georgia mandates regarding in-state tuition validation, as generally outlined in Board of Regents (BOR) Policy Manual Section 4 (Student Affairs).
Entities Affected by This Policy
All new applicants and returning students seeking admission to the College for any academic semester beginning on or after July 1, 2010, and requesting in-state classification for purposes of tuition, are covered by this policy.
Who Should Read This Policy
Interested students and families, and all employees of the Division of Student Affairs should be familiar with this policy.
Website Address for This Policy
These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:
- Certificate o f Citizenship (DHS Forms N-560 or N-561): A “Certificate of Citizenship” form is a document issued by the United States Government as proof of U.S. citizenship. An individual who obtained U.S. citizenship either by action of law while residing in the United States or by having been born outside the United States to U.S. citizen parents has the right to apply for this document.
- Certificate of Naturalization (DHS Forms N-550 or N-570): A “Certificate of Naturalization” form is a document issued by the United States Government as proof of a person having obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Only naturalized U.S. citizens can apply for this document.
- Certification of Report of Birth (DS Form 1350): A “Certification of Report of Birth” form is a document issued by the Department of State to U.S. citizens in the United States who were born outside the U.S. and acquired U.S. citizenship at birth. Issuance of this document is based upon the information shown on the “Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen” (From FS-240) and is acceptable for all legal purposes.
- Dependent Student: The term “dependent student” refers to an individual under the age of 24 who receives financial support from a parent or United States court-appointed legal guardian.
- Eligible Non-Citizen: The term “eligible non-citizen” refers to an individual who is not a United States citizen, but is eligible to receive federal student aid under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended). Included within this definition are citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and Marshall Islands.
- In-State Tuition Classification: The term “in-state tuition classification” refers to the status granted to a student, in accordance with the policies of the Board of Regents, who has been determined to be eligible to pay tuition at the in-state rate
- Independent Student: The term “independent student” refers to an individual who is not claimed as a dependent on the Federal or State income tax returns of a parent or United States court-appointed legal guardian, and whose parent or guardian has ceased to provide support and rights to that individual’s care, custody, and earnings.
- Lawful Permanent Resident: The term “lawful permanent resident” refers to an individual who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, the individual is granted a “Permanent Resident Card,” commonly called a “green card.”
- Out-of-State Tuition Classification: The term “out-of-state tuition classification” refers to the status granted to a student, in accordance with the policies of the Board of Regents, who has been determined ineligible to pay tuition at the instate rate.
- Out-of-State Tuition Waiver: The term “out-of-state tuition waiver” refers to a waiver of the difference in tuition paid by students classified as out-of-state and those classified as in-state for tuition purposes.
- Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen (Form FS-240): A “Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen” form is considered a basic United States citizenship document. It is used to establish an official record of a child’s claim to U.S. citizenship at birth when the birth occurs abroad. Children born outside of the United States to military personnel are typically those most likely to have this form.
- Title IV Regulations: The term “Title VI Regulations” refers to the federal regulations governing Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, found in Chapter Six of Title 34 of the Federal Register.
- United States Citizen: The term “United States citizen” refers to a citizen of the fifty (50) states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Marian Islands.
- United States National: The term “United States national” refers to a citizen of American Samoa and Swains Island.
The College is committed to complying with all University System of Georgia mandates concerning the validation of residency requirements for all students seeking in-state classification for purposes of tuition. To qualify for in-state tuition classification, students must demonstrate both State of Georgia residency, as well as United States citizenship, United States nationality, or eligible non-citizen status. A student unable to satisfy both of these requirements will be given an out-of-state tuition classification.
I. Validation of State of Georgia Residency
An applicant seeking in-state tuition classification must first demonstrate that he or she is a resident of the State of Georgia. If this initial residency requirement is not met, the applicant is not entitled to in-state tuition classification and no further inquiry is necessary. Pursuant to BOR Policy Manual 184.108.40.206, in order to validate State of Georgia residency, students must meet the following requirementsfor in-state tuition purposes:
- Independent Students. An independent student who has established and maintained a domicile in the State of Georgia for a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term shall be classified by the College as in-state for tuition purposes.
- Dependent Students (Parent). A dependent student shall be classified as in-state for tuition purposes if such dependent student’s parent has established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term and:
- the student has graduated from a Georgia high school; or
- the parent claimed the student as a dependent on the parent’s most recent federal or state income tax return.
- Dependent Student (Guardian). A dependent student shall be classified as instate for tuition purposes if such student’s United States court-appointed legal guardian has established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia for at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term, provided that:
- Such appointment was not made to avoid payment of out-of-state tuition; and,
- The United States court-appointed legal guardian can provide clear evidence of having established and maintained domicile in the State of Georgia for a period of at least twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term.
II. Validation of Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizen Status
If State of Georgia residency requirements are met, a student must then validate that he orshe is a United States citizen, United States national, or eligible non-citizen for purposes of in-state tuition classification.
- United States Citizenship/Nationality. In order to demonstrate that he or she is a United States citizen or United States national for purposes of in-state tuition classification, an applicant to the College must provide a copy of any of the following documents:
- Eligible Non-Citizens. Eligible non-citizens who are in the country legally must ovide a copy of any of the following documents:
- A current, valid Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-151 or I-551);
- Arrival / Departure Record (Form I-94) with appropriate stamp (e.g., “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” etc.);
- Passport that is stamped “Process for I-551 or I-551C” with expiration date;
- Departure Record (Form I-94) that is stamped “Processed for I-551” with expiration date, or “Temporary Form I-551” with appropriate information filled in; or
- Other qualified visa or United States Customs and Immigration Service documentation for legal status.
III. Financial Aid Eligibility
In lieu of documentation, a student’s legal status may also be verified based on his or her eligibility for federal student aid.
IV. Visa Status
A student’s lawful presence may be verified through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), if the student is on an F, J, or M Visa.
V. SAVE Program
If a student is a naturalized citizen, immigrant, or non-immigrant, the institution may use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement’s (SAVE) Program to establish the student’s lawful presence in the United States.
VI. Out-of-State Tuition Waivers
Consistent with BOR Policy Manual 220.127.116.11, the College may award out-of-state tuition differential waivers and assess in-state tuition for certain non-Georgia residents under very specific conditions (e.g., border county residents).
Notwithstanding this provision, no person who is unlawfully present in the United States shall be eligible for any waiver of the tuition differential. Accordingly, any student who cannot be verified through any of the above methods is not eligible to be considered for in-state tuition classification, pursuant to BOR Policy Manual 4.3.4 (Verification of Lawful Presence).
Positive verification does not necessarily warrant an in-state classification, only consideration for in-state tuition classification. All students applying for in-state tuition classification must also meet the requirements outlined in BOR Policy Manual 4.3.2 (Classification of Students for Tuition Purposes). For non-citizens, this may include providing additional documentation (identified in paragraph II(b), above) to show that they are a lawful permanent resident, refugee, asylee, or other eligible non-citizen, as defined by the Federal Title IV regulations as eligible for consideration for in-state tuition classification, pursuant to BOR Policy Manual 18.104.22.168 (Non-Citizens).
VII. Tuition Classification Appeals
Students classified as out-of-state may petition for in-state classification by completing a “Petition for Classification of Students for Tuition Purposes” form and submitting supporting documentation. Students wishing to petition for in-state classification should submit a completed petition and supporting documentation to the Director of Admissions.
All documentation submitted in accordance with this policy will be maintained by the College consistent with applicable rules and regulations regarding admissions information.
IX. Internal Audits
The Director of Admissions and the Registrar are responsible for compliance. The Vice President for Student Affairs will conduct periodic internal audits, as deemed necessary, and report those findings to the President
The Responsibilities each party has in connection with this policy are:
|Vice President for Student Affairs||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
|Asst. Vice President Admissions||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
|Registrar||Ensure compliance with this policy.|
Petition for Classification of Students for Tuition Purposes