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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Progress Report: Department of Education Improves Rules Guiding Resident Tuition Determinations, Report No. 05-41, August 2005
Full report in PDF format

The Department of Education, State Board of Education, and Board of Governors have taken most of the actions recommended by our 2003 report on student residency determinations. The board approved several amendments to residency rules in the Florida Administrative Code, clarifying
  • minimum documentation standards,
  • definitions for student dependent and independent status, and
  • standards concerning the reclassification of students from non-resident to resident status.

The department intends to modify the Postsecondary Residency Guidelines to reflect these changes in residency rules. However, the department decided not to require periodic internal reviews to identify errors that lead to costly misclassifications.

The 2005 Legislature passed a bill that would further tighten the rules for reclassifying non-resident students as residents; however, the Governor vetoed the bill due to concerns about its potential effect on some students. If changes in the policies and procedures governing reclassification of student residency status prevented all out-of-state students from being reclassified as residents and the affected students stayed in Florida, higher education institutions would gain an estimated $56.5 million in additional revenue. However, since at least some residency reclassifications are warranted, such changes are likely to bring in less than that amount.

What were our earlier findings?

Report No. 03-29   Special Review: Non-Residents Qualify Too Easily for Much Lower Resident Tuition Rates, published in April 2003.

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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