Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA)


This act (TCA 4-58-101 et seq.) was passed by the Tennessee legislature in 2012 and is effective for all students applying for admission for terms beginning Spring 2013 and later.  The EVEA requires state public institutions of higher education to verify that persons seeking a “state public benefit” are either a “United States citizen” or “lawfully present” in the United States.

The term “state benefit” includes in-state tuition, lottery scholarship, academic scholarship, common market, or any other form of tuition assistance or waiver funded with state-appropriated dollars.  State benefit does not include tuition assistance funded privately, such as a scholarship from the institution’s foundation or a privately endowed scholarship.

This act in no way affects your admissibility to Columbia State Community College and only affects your fees to attend Columbia State Community College.

 “Deferred action” status does not satisfy the requirement of “lawful presence” under federal or state law. Individuals in “deferred action” status are not eligible for state benefits.


If you are applying to receive a state benefit, your citizenship or lawful presence may be verified in several ways.

  • completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form for which the student's U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status is confirmed by the federal government
  • a valid regular Tennessee driver license or identification only (ID) license
    • A temporary driver TN license, temporary Identification License, or Out of State License is NOT acceptable
  • presenting a valid, unexpired, Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) with ID picture
  • a valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • a certificate of citizenship (N560 or N561)
  • a certificate of naturalization (N550, N570, or N578)
  • a U.S. citizen identification card (I-197, I-179)
  • a valid unexpired Foreign Passport with visa stamped "Processed for I-551"
  • a Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card
  • a Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327)
  • a Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
  • a valid unexpired Foreign Passport with valid visa in a category that permits students at an institution of higher education
  • any other document determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to be acceptable through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program created pursuant to the federal immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986



    One of the following documents together with a valid, governmental issued picture ID including a regular driver license, temporary driver license, government issued DL/ID card from any U.S. state, Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)

    • valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) without ID picture
    • an official birth certification issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction, or territory except for Puerto Rican birth certifications issued before July 1, 2010
    • a U.S. government-issued certified birth certificate
    • a U.S. certificate of birth abroad (DS-1350 or FS-545)
    • a reprint of birth abroad of a citizen of the U.S. (FS-240)
    • arrival/departure record (Form I-94)
    • notice of Approval of Status with bottom I-94 portion attached (Form I-797)



    Applicants are not required to submit verification documentation to Columbia State if:

    • You have not graduated from high school and are under 18 and are applying as dual enrollment students or academically talented/gifted students
    • You are employed by Columbia State and have had their lawful presence verified through the federal E-Verify program (valid I-9 on file with Columbia State)
    • Lawful presence has been verified through the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) (e.g. J-1 and F-1 student visa holders)
    • You are not interested in receiving a state benefit

    Upon receipt of final verification that indicates that an applicant is not a U.S. citizen or an alien lawfully present in the U.S., Columbia State Community College must terminate any recurring benefit. Columbia State Community College must also notify the TN Office of the General Counsel of any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation.

    If you have any questions, please contact our office at admissions@columbiastate.edu or 931.540.2790.

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