Residency requirements may change

By By Natalie Hale

By Natalie Hale

Receiving in-state tuition has never been a simple or quick process for out-of-state students, but legislators are considering streamlining the process.

House Bill 118, sponsored by Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan, would offer students who wish to pay in-state tuition rates a fast track to establish residency status.

The bill would allow out-of-state students to receive residency status and the in-state tuition break within one year.

Currently, non-resident students at the U who wish to receive in-state tuition must complete 60 semester credit hours or have attended school for at least three years.

“(The purpose of higher education)? is to educate people to be brighter, more productive and of greater service to society,” Draxler wrote in a statement. “I want to encourage both undergraduate and graduate students to pursue degrees.”

Jennifer Roark, an Idaho resident and senior in political science, said she wishes the bill had been proposed before her final year of college. She said the Utah State Legislature has not done enough to support students pursuing higher education.

The bill is targeted to help attract more out-of-state students near state borders.

Kim Wirthlin, U vice president for government relations, said schools on the Utah state border, such as Dixie State College, are noticing a drop in enrollment.

The legislation would enable these universities to compete with bordering states that have similar laws that allow students to get in-state tuition more quickly.

While the effects of the legislation for the U are unknown, students who wish to take advantage of it will be provided with a significant tuition break earlier in their education at the U.

“This will assist the U in some areas,” Wirthlin said. “It will be interesting to see how this plays out for us at the U.”

The bill also gives Utah colleges the ability to regulate or make stricter regulations for their students to obtain in-state tuition.

HB 118 should go to the House this week for deliberation and a vote.