Florida’s In-State Tuition House Bill (HB) 851 Is Now Officially Law

TALLAHASSEE – Currently, in the state of Florida, in order to establish residency, a student must be a “U.S.citizen, lawful permanent resident, and an alien lawfully present in the United States who are in an eligible Visa category may be classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes if the applicant or the dependent applicant’s parent/legal guardian has established legal residence in the State for at
least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the first day of classes of the term for which Florida residency is sought.” (Guidelines on Florida Residency for Tuition Purposes, 2012)

On Friday, May 2, 2014, the Florida Legislature passed House Bill (HB851), which establishes additional residency requirements by which a student may be eligible for in-state tuition. Under HB851, a state university, colleges, career centers operated by a school district, and a charter technical career center may waive out-of-state fees to undocumented students.

In order for an undocumented student to establish residency, they must meet the following requirements:

1. Attended a secondary school in this state for 3 consecutive years immediately before graduating
from a high school in this state;

2. Apply for enrollment in an institution of higher education within 24 months after high school
graduation; and

3. Submit an official Florida high school transcript as evidence of attendance and graduation.

Throughout the session, Governor Rick Scott has spoken very publicly around his support for HB851. From the moment the bill hits his desk, the Governor has fifteen (15) days to act, and Florida’s students and families are counting on him to sign it.

Once the bill becomes law, the State Board of Education and the Florida Board of Governors will update the Florida residency requirements for tuition purposes. The effective date of the legislation is July 1, 2014.

In the state of Florida, there are two systems under which public colleges and universities operate. The State University System of Florida is comprised of twelve (12) public universities. The Florida College System is comprised of twenty-eight (28) public community colleges and state colleges.


South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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