Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA)

OVERVIEW

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.


U. S. CITIZEN /ALIEN LAWFULLY PRESENT – FAFSA

If you are applying to receive a state benefit, your citizenship or lawful presence may be verified in several ways.  The primary and recommended way to have your U. S. citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status verified is by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application data will be used to confirm U. S. citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status via the federal government (“Citizenship-Confirmed FAFSA”).

U.S. CITIZEN – NO FAFSA        

If you have no plans of completing a FAFSA but would like to receive a state benefit, there are several documents that you may submit to verify your U.S. citizenship:

  • a valid regular Tennessee driver license or regular photo identification license
  • a valid driver license or photo identification license from another state (except for Utah and New Mexico)
  • an official birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction, or territory, except for Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010
  • a U.S. government-issued certified birth certificate
  • a valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • a U.S. certificate of birth abroad (DS-1350 or FS-545)
  • a report of birth abroad of a citizen of the U.S. (FS-240)
  • 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)

 

    ALIEN LAWFULLY PRESENT – NO FAFSA

    If you have no plans of completing a FAFSA or are not eligible to complete a FAFSA but would like to receive a state benefit, there are several documents that you may submit to verify your status as an alien lawfully present in the United States. You must verify your Alien Registration Number (A#) or I-94 Admission Number via TWO of any of the following documents:

    • valid regular Tennessee driver license or regular photo identification card
    • valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
    • valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with visa stamped “Processed for I-551”
    • Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327)
    • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
    • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
    • Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94) showing one of the following designations:
      • Refugee
      • Asylum Granted
      • Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)
      • Conditional Entrant (Valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
      • Victims of Human Trafficking (T-2, T-3, or T-4 visa)
      • Parolee (who meets certain conditions)
    • valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with valid visa
    • notice of Approval of Status with bottom I-94 portion attached (Form I-797)
    • Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status (Form I-20)
    • DS-2019 or IAP-66 for J-1 status holders
    • Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card
    • 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

     

    VERIFICATION DOCUMENTATION NOT NEEDED

    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.

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