FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2002
UC News Office (510) 987-9200
AB 540 - UC TUITION EXEMPTION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. What exactly did the Board of Regents approve?
The regents conditionally approved a tuition exemption that
will allow certain nonresident students (those who attended
for at least three years and graduated from a California high
school, and certify that they are taking steps to legalize
his or her immigration status or would do so as soon as they
are eligible) to be exempt from paying the Nonresident Tuition
Fee. In 2001-02, the annual amount of UC's nonresident tuition
fee is $10,704.
However, for the new policy to take effect, further legislative
action is necessary. It is expected that the Legislature will
take action this year, which means that the provisions will
go into effect no later than January 2003.
2. Why did they take action at this time?
The regents' action aligns UC's tuition criteria with state
policies signed into law last October (Assembly Bill 540,
authored by Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, D-Los Angeles) that
apply to California State University and California Community
College campuses. That legislation went into effect Jan. 1,
3. Who is potentially eligible for this new benefit?
The university estimates that between 200 and 390 currently
enrolled students would be eligible for the exemption if it
were in effect today. (It is expected that additional eligible
students in these categories may enroll because of the lowered
cost). This total includes undocumented and domestic students
who, for various reasons, are classified as nonresidents.
These documented students may have attended a California high
school, but their parents did not live in California or later
moved away. Students who met in-state criteria and then established
residency in another state, but are now returning to California
to pursue a graduate degree, may also be eligible for the
new tuition exemption. The exemption will apply to both undergraduate
and graduate students.
4. What will be the estimated cost to the University of
Costs to the university are estimated at between $2.3 million
and $4.4 million, depending on the exact number of students
who receive the exemption.
5. What are the criteria to qualify for this tuition exemption?
To be eligible for the tuition exemption, the student must
meet all five of the following criteria:
- Attended a high school in California for three or more
- Has graduated from a California high school or has attained
the equivalent thereof; and
- Is not a nonimmigrant alien (as defined by federal law,
including, for example, those who have been issued a "student"
- Is enrolled, or is registering to be enrolled, at the
University of California after
Jan. 1, 2002; and
- Is subject to the Nonresident Tuition Fee.
In addition, if the student is without lawful immigration
status, the student must file an affidavit stating that he
or she has filed an application to legalize his or her immigration
status, or will file an application as soon as he or she is
eligible to do so.
6. When does the exemption go into effect?
The regents' action is conditioned on additional state legislation,
which would then determine when the provisions could take
effect for UC students.
7. Are "home-schooled" students eligible?
A student who is "home-schooled" in an arrangement
where a parent schools his or her child but does not hold
a California teacher credential is not eligible, because that
"school" would not meet the exemption definition
of a "high school in California." The university
is still in the process of determining whether students home-schooled
by a credentialed teacher would qualify for the exemption.
8. Can students living out of state enroll in a private
California "Internet high school," complete their
course work via distance learning or correspondence, and meet
the California high school enrollment and graduation requirement?
No. This type of private school would not meet the requirements
of Section 48222 of the California Education Code, which defines
what constitutes a "high school in California" for
the purposes of exemption eligibility.
9. Does the high school enrollment have to be at the same
California school and for three consecutive years?
No. The three years for a student's 9th through 12th grades
need not be consecutive or completed at a single California
school. For example, if a student attended 9th grade at a
California middle or high school, left the state to attend
10th grade in another state, and returned to a second qualified
California high school to complete 11th and 12th grades, that
student would still meet the requirement of three years of
high school attendance in California.
10. Does this new policy change a student's eligibility
to receive financial aid?
No. Eligibility for the nonresident tuition exemption does
not affect the eligibility standards or requirements for any
form of student financial aid. However, if the exemption is
granted retroactively, it could impact the amount and, possibly
type, of financial aid a student received for the winter 2001-02
quarter (spring semester).
11. Where should students go for additional information
about this new policy?
Additional information about the tuition exemption is expected
to be available sometime after February 1 on the UC system
Web site: www.ucop.edu/sas/sfs/ppolicies/UCTEFAQ.PDF
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