Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 24 Oct 2019 12am

Headlines:

     

     

     

     

     

    Wednesday, October 23, 2019-11:17:07A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Font Size

Settings

Hart says college supports new law on NMC tuition

NORTHERN Marianas College President Sharon Y. Hart said the signing into law of House Bill 17-294 is “timely” and has the full support of the board of regents.

Northern Marianas College President Sharon Hart, right, speaks before the Senate as regents Malua Peter and Frank Rabauliman listen during the session on Wednesday. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano  Northern Marianas College President Sharon Hart, right, speaks before the Senate as regents Malua Peter and Frank Rabauliman listen during the session on Wednesday. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano The bill, now Public Law 17-78, was introduced by Rep. Janet U. Maratita, R-Saipan. Signed by acting Gov. Eloy S. Inos on Friday, it allows the NMC board to make certain exceptions to residency requirements which will allow more students to pay lower tuition fees.

According to Hart, “The board of regents are in full support of the amendments to 3 CMC section 1316 (p) as these changes reinforce their autonomy for setting policy on such matters as establishing residency requirements to meet the needs and goals of the college.”

Hart said for several months, the board reviewed its residency classification policy “to arrive at criteria that would remove identified barriers to increasing enrollment or affordability of education among current and prospective students.”

The college has two distinct tuition rates per credit hour of enrollment — one for residents and one for nonresidents.

A student is classified as a resident for tuition-paying purposes based on a criteria established by statute as well as Board of Regents Policy No. 8002 Residency Classification.

Hart said the groups whose eligibility were reviewed included low-income students, those ineligible for financial aid, veterans and active members of the U.S. armed forces, students from states or residents of countries with reciprocal agreements with the the CNMI or NMC, and CNMI employees.

Hart said the new law will provide prospective students with greater access and more opportunities to avail themselves of the resident tuition rate.

“This law provides the board of regents with the full authority to establish tuition rates,” she added. “The board is currently reassessing its current criteria for classifying resident students with the goal of removing the financial barriers that may impede on student success.  This includes providing incentives for new students to enroll and continuing students to remain enrolled.”