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Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act

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. 

The term “state benefit” includes in-state tuition, lottery scholarship, academic scholarship, common market, 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.

Applicants do not have to verify the citizenship or lawful presence if not graduated from high school and are applying as dual enrollment, joint enrollment, or academically talented/gifted.

 An applicant’s U.S. citizenship or lawful presence shall be verified in one of two ways:

  •  The applicant has completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  for which the student’s U. S. citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status has been confirmed by the federal government (“Citizenship-Confirmed FASFA”)

 OR

  •  The applicant presents documentation verifying his/her claim of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S.  Scanned copies of documents may be sent to graduate@mtsu.edu.

 For applicants claiming U.S. citizenship without a Citizenship-Confirmed FASFA submit a copy of one (1) of the following documents:

  • A valid Tennessee driver license or photo identification license;
  • A valid driver license or photo identification license from another state (except for Utah and New Mexico);
  • An official birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction, or territory, except for Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010;
  • A U.S. government-issued certified birth certificate;
  • A valid, unexpired U.S. passport;
  • A U.S. certificate of birth abroad (DS-1350 or FS-545);
  • A report of birth abroad of a citizen of the U.S. (FS-240);
  • A certificate of citizenship (N560 or N561);
  • A certificate of naturalization (N550, N570, or N578); or
  • A U.S. citizen identification card (I-197, I-179).

 For applicants claiming to be an alien lawfully present in the United States, verify the Alien Registration Number (A#) or I-94 Admission Number by:

  • Completing a Citizenship-Confirmed FAFSA.  Please note that this option is only available for the following individuals:
    • U.S. permanent residents (individuals with an I-151, I-551, or I-551C permanent resident card); and
    • Individuals who have an Arrival/Departure Record (I-94) showing one of the following designations:
      • Refugee;
      • Asylum Granted;
      • Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending);
      • Conditional Entrant (Valid only if issued before April 1, 1980);
      • Victims of Human Trafficking (T-2, T-3, or T-4 visa); or
      • Parolee (who meets certain conditions)

 OR

  •  Presenting two (2) forms of documentation establishing lawful presence in the United States.  Examples of acceptable documents include:
    • Valid Tennessee driver license or photo identification card
    • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551);
    • Valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with visa stamped “Processed for I-551”;
    • Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327);
    • Refugee Travel Document (I-571);
    • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766);
    • Arrival/Departure Record (Form I-94);
    • Valid, unexpired Foreign Passport with valid visa;
    • Notice of Approval of Status with bottom I-94 portion attached (Form I-797);
    • Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status (Form I-20); and
    • DS-2019 or IAP-66 for J-1 status holders;
    • Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card; and
    • Any other document determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to be acceptable through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program created pursuant to the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.