EHB 1079





C 95 L 03

Synopsis as Enacted


Brief Description: Expanding the definition of resident student for higher education purposes.


Sponsors: By Representatives Kenney, Cox, Fromhold, Jarrett, McIntire, Chandler, Miloscia, Quall, Sullivan, Veloria, Chase, Hunt, Pettigrew, Darneille, Conway, Cody, DeBolt, Delvin, Hudgins, Lantz, McDermott, Haigh, Kagi and Mastin.

House Committee on Higher Education

Senate Committee on Higher Education



State law provides uniform standards for determining whether a student will be charged resident tuition or non-resident tuition at the state's public colleges and universities. The Higher Education Coordinating Board has responsibility for adopting rules for the institutions to use when making these determinations. Factors used to determine a student's eligibility for in-state tuition include:


    whether the student is financially dependent or independent;

    the permanent home state of the student or his/her parent(s);

    where the student attended and/or graduated from high school;

    the military status of the student, his/her spouse, or his/her parent(s);

    whether the student is a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe; and

    whether the student is attending under a tuition agreement with another state.


Washington high school graduates who lack documentation of official United States residency status are charged non-resident tuition regardless of the length of time they have lived in the state. These students are not eligible for federal financial aid or loans. The difference between undergraduate resident and non-resident tuition rates per academic year varies from $5,200 at the state's community and technical colleges, to $7,700 at Washington State University, to $10,700 at the University of Washington.




Beginning July 1, 2003, the definition of ‟resident student” is expanded by creating an additional set of criteria by which a student may qualify for in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities. A student qualifies as a ‟resident student” for tuition purposes if the student:


1) completes the full senior year of high school and earns a diploma, or earns the equivalent of a high school diploma;

2) lives in Washington for three years immediately preceding the earning of the diploma or its equivalent;

3) lives in Washington continuously since earning the diploma or its equivalent until the time the student is admitted to an institution of higher education; and

4) submits to the college or university an affidavit promising to file for permanent residency at the earliest opportunity under which the student is eligible and indicating a willingness to engage in other activities necessary to acquire citizenship.


This definition of ‟resident student” applies only to families of those who hold, or entered the United States with, a temporary protected status visa, a work visa, or a green card, or who have received amnesty from the federal government.


Votes on Final Passage:


House 75  20

Senate 48  0    (Senate amended)

House 82  15  (House concurred)


Effective: July 1, 2003


Partial Veto Summary: The Governor vetoed the section limiting the application of the act only to families of those who hold, or entered the United States with, certain visas or work permits or who have received amnesty from the federal government.