Residency bill passes out of Utah Senate

By By Natalie Hale and By Natalie Hale

By Natalie Hale

A bill that would reduce the amount of time it takes for students to be considered Utah residents at universities passed in the Utah Senate yesterday.

House Bill 118 bill would enable students to receive in-state tuition sooner in their education, which would help ease the burden of high tuition costs.

The bill would repeal former law that requires students to complete 60 semester credit hours or three years at a university in order to qualify for residency status.

Currently, out-of-state students enrolled in 12 credit hours of upper division courses pay $7,048.44 per semester while residents pay $1,997.47 for the same courses, according to Income Accounting and Student Loan Services.

While the legislation would loosen the requirements to qualify for in-state tuition, the bill allows universities to determine their own policies in regard to requirements for residency status.

The U has not yet determined its policy in regard to in-state tuition requirements.

HB 118 passed out of the Senate with little opposition and was sent to the House, where legislators are preparing it to be presented to Gov. John Huntsman Jr. in its final form for him to sign.