ASSEMBLY, No. 3162

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 25, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  MARLENE CARIDE

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  ANGEL FUENTES

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  RUBEN J. RAMOS, JR.

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblyman  SEAN CONNORS

District 33 (Hudson)

Assemblywoman  ANGELICA M. JIMENEZ

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

Assemblyman  GARY S. SCHAER

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  LOUIS D. GREENWALD

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Watson Coleman

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Higher Education Citizenship Equality Act;” defines domicile for dependent students for the purpose of eligibility for State student loans, grants, or scholarships and in-State tuition rate.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning higher education and supplementing chapter 62 and chapter 71B of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Higher Education Citizenship Equality Act.”

 

     2.    a.  A dependent student shall be considered domiciled in this State for the purposes of determining eligibility for a State student loan, grant, or scholarship if the student meets the following criteria:

     (1)   the student is a United States citizen;

     (2)   the student has resided in the State for a period of not less than 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the academic period for which State student assistance is being requested; and

     (3)   the student’s parent or guardian provides the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority with documentation that the parent or guardian has filed a New Jersey and federal income tax return, or with evidence of withholding of income tax, for the most recent tax year.

     b.    A dependent student may not establish eligibility for a State student loan, grant, or scholarship pursuant to subsection a. of this section if the student’s  parent has not lived in this State for a period of at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the initial academic period for which State student assistance is being requested.

     c.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the eligibility for a State student loan, grant, or scholarship of any student who does not meet the requirements of this section but is otherwise eligible for State student assistance in accordance with law or regulation.

 

     3.    a.  A dependent student shall be considered domiciled in this State for the purposes of determining eligibility for the in-State undergraduate tuition rate at a public institution of higher education if the student meets the following criteria:

     (1)   the student is a United States citizen;

     (2)   the student has resided in the State for a period of not less than 12 consecutive months before first enrolling in a public institution of higher education; and

     (3)   the student’s parent or guardian provides the public institution of higher education with  copies of any New Jersey and federal income tax return filed by the parent or guardian, or with evidence of withholding of income tax, for the most recent tax year.

     b.    A dependent student may not establish eligibility for the in-State undergraduate tuition rate pursuant to subsection a. of this section if the student’s parent has not lived in this State for a period of at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the student’s initial enrollment in a public institution of higher.

     c.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the eligibility for the in-State undergraduate tuition rate of any student who does not meet the requirements of this section but is otherwise eligible for the in-State undergraduate tuition rate at a public institution of higher education in accordance with law or regulation.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall first be applicable to the determination of State student assistance for the 2012-2013 academic year.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     The purpose of this bill is to address the difficult and unfair situation that faces some students who were born in the United States and are therefore citizens of this country, and are residents of the State of New Jersey but are unable to qualify for State student tuition assistance programs or the in-State undergraduate tuition rate upon enrollment in a public institution of higher education. This inability to qualify is due to the fact that the student is considered a dependent student because he or she is under 24 years of age, and eligibility for State student assistance or the in-State tuition rate for dependent students is determined by the domicile status of their parents.  The parents of these students are unable to establish domicile in New Jersey either because they do not have legal status in this country or they entered the country on a nonimmigrant visa.

     This bill provides that a dependent student will be domiciled in the State for the purposes of determining eligibility for a State student loan, grant, or scholarship and eligibility for the in-State undergraduate tuition rate if the student:

     (1)   is a United States citizen;

     (2)   has resided in New Jersey for a period of not less than 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the academic period for which State student assistance is being requested or, in the case of the undergraduate tuition rate, 12 consecutive months before first enrolling in a public institution; and

     (3)   the student’s parent or guardian provides the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority with documentation that the parent or guardian has filed a New Jersey and federal income tax return, or with evidence of withholding of income tax, in the case of determining eligibility for a State student loan, grant, or scholarship.  In the case of determining eligibility for the in-State undergraduate tuition rate, the student’s parent or guardian must provide the public institution of higher education with copies of any New Jersey and federal income tax return filed by the parent or guardian, or evidence of withholding of income tax for the most recent tax year.