ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
SENATE, No. 3119
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: DECEMBER 13, 2021
The Assembly Appropriations Committee reports favorably Senate Bill No. 3119.
Under section 1 of P.L.2013, c.170 (C.18A:62-4.4), a student, including a student without lawful immigration status, is permitted to pay in-State tuition at the State’s public institutions of higher education if the student meets the following criteria:
(1) attended high school in this State for three or more years;
(2) graduated from a high school in this State or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this State;
(3) registers as an entering student or is currently enrolled in a public institution of higher education not earlier than the fall semester of the 2013-2014 academic year; and
(4) in the case of a person without lawful immigration status, files an affidavit with the institution of higher education stating that the student has filed an application to legalize his immigration status or will file an application as soon as he is eligible to do so.
The law specifically states, however, that students who are nonimmigrant aliens within the meaning of section 101(a)(15) of the “Immigration and Nationality Act,” 8 U.S.C. s.1101(a)(15), are not permitted to pay in-State tuition under the provisions of the law. Among those who fall under this nonimmigrant alien category are persons holding a T, U, O-1, or O-2 visa.
This bill provides that if the criteria provided in section 1 of P.L.2013, c.170 (C.18A:62-4.4) are met, a student who holds a T or U visa or a dependent student whose parent or guardian holds an O-1 or O-2 visa will be eligible for in-State tuition at public institutions of higher education.
The bill also provides that if the criteria provided in section 1 of P.L.2013, c.170 (C.18A:62-4.4) are met, a student who holds a T or U visa is eligible to participate in any student financial aid, grant, or scholarship program under chapter 71B of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
A T visa is issued to a person who the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is or has been a victim of human trafficking, is physically present in the United States or a port of entry thereto, has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the federal, state, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking, and who would suffer extreme hardship upon removal.
A U visa is issued to a person who the Secretary of Homeland Security determines has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity and has been or will be helpful to law enforcement investigating or prosecuting the criminal activity, and the criminal activity violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States or the territories and possessions of the United States.
An O-1 visa is issued to individuals with an extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, the arts, motion pictures, or television industry. An O-2 visa is issued to individuals who assist individuals with an O-1 visa in a specific event or performance.
As reported by the committee, Senate Bill No. 3119 is identical to, Assembly Bill No. 5740 which also was reported by the committee on this date.
The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) concludes that the bill would result in an indeterminate annual increase in State expenditures under student financial aid programs administered by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) and the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).
The OLS also determines that the bill would lead to an annual indeterminate impact on tuition revenue for public institutions of higher education.
The magnitude of these effects cannot be definitively ascertained because the OLS has insufficient information to determine the number of students who would become newly eligible for in-State tuition rates or State student financial aid as a result of enactment of the bill.