H1031: Reduce Barriers to College Completion. Latest Version

Session: 2023 - 2024

Passed 1st Reading

AN ACT to provide in‑state tuition for certain children of lawfully admitted or lawfully present noncitizens.

Whereas, it is projected that by 2030, sixty‑seven percent (67%) of jobs will require a postsecondary degree or credential, underscoring the importance of the educational attainment goal in North Carolina to have two million North Carolinians between the ages of 25 and 44 with a postsecondary degree or credential by 2030; and

Whereas, on its current trajectory, North Carolina will fall short by at least 71,000 individuals to meet our projected workforce needs; and

Whereas, over eighty percent (80%) of employers in the State reported difficulty finding employees for jobs requiring industry‑valued credentials; and

Whereas, jobs requiring industry‑valued credentials are expected to increase by more than eleven percent (11%) in the next six years; and

Whereas, children of H‑1B visa holders who are lawfully admitted or lawfully present and documented residents receive in‑State tuition until they are 21 years old and are not yet finished with their four‑year degrees; and

Whereas, immigrant households contribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal, State, and local taxes that fund our public universities; and

Whereas, North Carolina must increase the number of postsecondary‑, public‑university‑educated individuals so the State can have more potential employees entering the workforce with industry‑valued credentials; Now, therefore,

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  G.S. 116‑143.1 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:

(i1)     A person who was lawfully admitted to this State or is lawfully present in this State and meets the following requirements is eligible to be charged the in‑State tuition rate:

(1)        Has a parent or legal guardian who meets all of the following criteria:

a.         Was lawfully admitted to the United States or is lawfully present in the United States.

b.         Is not a citizen of the United States.

c.         Holds a valid H‑1B visa or L‑1 visa.

(2)        Meets all of the following criteria:

a.         Either of the following:

1.         Holds a valid H4 visa.

2.         All of the following:

I.          Is continuously enrolled at an institution of higher education, including any approved leave of absence from the institution.

II.        Held a valid H4 visa at some point during the period of continuous enrollment.

III.       Was classified as a resident for tuition purposes at some point during the period of continuous enrollment.

b.         Establishes domicile in this State under this section.

SECTION 2.(a)  There is appropriated from the General Fund for the 2024‑2025 fiscal year the following amounts in nonrecurring funds to offset the reduction in tuition receipts due to additional students receiving in‑State tuition pursuant to G.S. 116‑143.1(i1), as enacted by this act:

(1)        Five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) to the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina.

(2)        Two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) to the Community Colleges System Office.

SECTION 2.(b)  Beginning in the 2024‑2025 fiscal year, the Community Colleges System Office shall incorporate any losses in estimated receipts resulting from the increased eligibility for in‑State tuition pursuant to Section 1 of this act into its enrollment funding model without reducing its total requirements.

SECTION 3.  Section 2 of this act becomes effective July 1, 2024. Except as otherwise provided, this act is effective when it becomes law and applies beginning with the 2024‑2025 academic year.