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HB 626 Eligibility for in-state, reduced, or free tuition.

Introduced by: James H. Dillard II | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Eligibility for in-state, reduced, or free tuition. Reorganizes the statutes establishing eligibility requirements for in-state, reduced, or free tuition at public institutions of higher education and clarifies several statutory presumptions for purposes of determining domicile. Very few substantive changes are made. The definition of dependent student is amended to note that a student under age 24 is presumed to receive substantial financial support from his spouse or parents, and to be dependent on his parents or legal guardian unless the student (i) is a veteran or an active duty member of the armed forces; (ii) is a graduate or professional student; (iii) is married; (iv) is a ward of the court or was a ward of the court until age 18; (v) has no adoptive parents or guardian when both parents are deceased; (vi) has no legal dependents other than a spouse; or (vii) is able to present clear and convincing evidence that he is financially self-sufficient. This measure also eliminates the "previous 12-month" requirement that parents of an independent student not claim such student as a dependent on their tax returns. The provision on matriculating students being required to rebut by clear and convincing evidence the presumption that they are not bona fide residents and are in Virginia solely to attend school is moved from subsection C to subsection B of 23-7.4. Separate Code sections authorizing free tuition for certain students--such as children of law-enforcement officers or military personnel killed in the line of duty--have been combined in one new section. Similarly, sections authorizing in-state or reduced tuition charges for students who are nonresidents--such as children or spouses of military personnel--have been also combined in a new section. This section includes new authority, also included in SB 410, for the governing boards of Clinch Valley College and the University of Virginia to charge reduced tuition for out-of-state students enrolled at the College if the student resides within a 50 mile radius of the College and is a Kentucky resident and would be entitled to in-state tuition at a Kentucky institution of higher education, if Kentucky has similar reciprocal provisions for Virginia students.

The existing appeals process for determinations of eligibility for in-state tuition has been set forth in a new section. The standard of review has been changed to arbitrary or capricious from the current "supported by substantial evidence." Institutions may waive tuition for foreign exchange students under certain circumstances (currently, they may be offered in-state tuition), and a cross-reference to the Senior Citizens' Higher Education Act is also added.

This bill is identical to SB 372.