The Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA) became effective on October 1, 2012. The EVEA requires state public institutions of higher education to verify that persons seeking a “state public benefit” are either a “United States citizen” or “lawfully present” in the United States. We must verify the citizenship or lawful presence of students who apply for admission for terms beginning Spring 2013 or later and are assigned a residency category that is eligible for state benefits. (The term “state benefit” includes in-state tuition, lottery scholarship, academic scholarship, or any other form of tuition assistance or waiver funded with state-appropriated dollars. State benefit does not include tuition assistance funded privately, such as a scholarship from the institution’s foundation or a privately endowed scholarship.)
Documentation can be submitted directly to the Admissions office, scanned/photographed and uploaded through the Secure Document Upload tool (available within myPellissippi), or mailed to 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN 37932. Fax and e-mailed documentation is not accepted.
We do not have to verify the citizenship or lawful presence of students who
Verification procedures for all other students seeking a "state benefit", U.S. citizenship, qualified alien status, or lawful presence shall be verified in one of the following ways:
One of the following documents together with a valid, government issued picture ID including a regular driver license, temporary driver license, government issued DL/ID card from any U.S. state, Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766);
Those who are granted "deferred action" status are eligible for work authorization. They can also obtain social security cards, work authorization cards and, in some states, driver licenses. This deferred action status does NOT confer "lawful presence" status under federal law or Tennessee state law. Specifically, "deferred action status" does NOT satisfy the requirement of "lawful presence" under the EVEA.
Driver licenses, photo identification cards or work authorization cards issued on the basis of an individual's deferred status are NOT sufficient to satisfy EVEA requirements. Tennessee grants Temporary Driver Licenses and Temporary Identification Licenses to persons in deferred action status. Those licenses, by themselves, do NOT satisfy EVEA requirements because they are not supported by adequate documentation to establish lawful presence.
Please review the approved legislation for more details.