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Verifying Lawful Presence

Verifying Lawful Presence

In 2011, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents implemented a new policy requiring all USG institutions to verify the lawful U.S. presence for each applicant applying for in-state tuition. This change was necessary in order to respond to the state law that requires all students unlawfully present in the U.S. to be charged out-of-state tuition rates. According to USG policy:

“Each University System institution shall verify the lawful presence in the United States of every successfully admitted person applying for resident tuition status, as defined in Section 7.3 of this Policy Manual, and of every person admitted to an institution referenced in Section 4.1.6 of this Policy Manual.”

Below is a list of acceptable documentation to prove lawful presence in Georgia:

  • A current driver’s license issued by the State of Georgia after January 1, 2008.  A limited term license or a license issued for a period of less than four years is not acceptable.
  • A certified U.S. Birth Certificate showing the student was born in the U.S. or a U.S. territory (must be delivered to a GHC campus – fax or photocopy is unacceptable).
  • A U.S. Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS form N-550 or N-570).
  • A U.S. Certificate of Citizenship (USCIS form N-560 or N-561).
  • A U.S Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (DS-1350) or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)/
  • A current U.S. Passport.
  • A current ID issued by the State of Georgia after January 1, 2008.  A limited term ID or an ID issued for a period of less than four years is not acceptable.
  • Permanent Resident Card (USCIS form I-151 or I-551).

Applicants who are not United States citizens must provide one of the following:

  • A current copy of the applicant’s visa and I-94 form;
  • A copy (front and back) of the applicant’s permanent resident card.

Applicants who have no legal documentation to be in the U.S. are eligible to attend GHC but will be charged out-of-state tuition rates.

Effective Fall 2011, all applicants who are accepted for admission or readmission to Georgia Highlands and who seek to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes, will be required to provide validation of residency and lawful presence in both the State of Georgia and the United States. Questions or need for additional assistance should be directed to a representative at one of our campus locations.


GHC – Cartersville
5441 Highway 20 NE
Cartersville, GA  30121
678-872-8013 (fax)
GHC – Douglasville
5901-A Stewart Parkway
Douglasville, GA 30135
678-872-4235 (fax)
GHC – Floyd
3175 Cedartown Highway
Rome, GA  30161
706-295-6341 (fax)
GHC – Marietta at SPSU
1100 South Marietta Parkway
Marietta, GA  30060
678-915-5014 (fax)
GHC – Paulding
25 Courthouse Square
Dallas, GA 30132
678-946-1025 (fax)