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In-State Tuition Bill passes the House

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tuition billTallahassee, FL – By a vote of 111-4, the House recently passed HB 7051, In-State Tuition for Resident Purposes. This bill attempts by Democrats over the last several years to allow legal residents (U.S. born children) who are of undocumented parents to receive in-state tuition rates at Florida colleges and universities. Last year, I co-sponsored a similar bill, HB 441 with Representative Reggie Fullwood (D-Jacksonville). The bill was never heard in a committee. Last summer, a Miami judge struck down the Florida administrative rule that denied our US citizen children the right to in-state tuition. HB 7051 effectively codifies that ruling in addition to doing other things as mentioned below. 

“Students who have grown up in Florida, attended school here, and now, only because they came to our state at a young age and have undocumented parents should not have to pay out-of-state tuition”, said Representative Rogers. This bill provides that a United States citizen who is a dependent child may not be denied classification as a resident for tuition purposes based solely upon the immigration status of his or her parent. It amends the definitions of “dependent child” and “parent” regarding establishing residency for tuition purposes.

The bill also allows, under certain circumstances, dependent students to establish residency for tuition purposes by submitting evidence of their own residency in Florida. Further, institutions would not be required to reevaluate the classification status of a student classified as a resident for tuition purposes so long as there is no inconsistent information suggesting an erroneous classification and there is no break in the student’s enrollment of 12 months or longer.

The bill provides that a student who resides in Florida may be classified as a resident for tuition purposes if he or she marries a person who qualifies as a resident for tuition purposes. It also allows a student who has been classified as a nonresident to reclassify as a resident upon subsequently marrying a person who already qualifies as a resident for tuition purposes.

The bill classifies as residents for tuition purposes individuals who receive certain tuition waivers and exemptions under Florida law and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, including reserve components, who physically reside in Florida while enrolled in a Florida institution of higher learning.

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