Eligibility Verification

What is EVEA?

The Tennessee Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act (EVEA) became effective on October 1, 2012 and 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. ETSU 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.


What students are not subject to EVEA verification?

 ETSU does not have to verify citizenship or lawful presence of students who:


  • Are under 18 years of age and have not graduated from high school and are applying as dual enrollment students or joint enrollment students.




  • Have not applied to receive in-state tuition, a scholarship, grant, loan, tuition or fee waiver or other financial assistance which is subsidized or paid in whole or in part with state funds.


What documentation can be provided to satisfy EVEA requirements?

A citizenship-confirmed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students claiming U.S. citizenship without a citizenship-confirmed FAFSA may provide one of the following:

  • A valid regular Tennessee driver license or photo identification license (temporary driver license or identification license or permit (XD) is NOT acceptable);
  • 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).

Students claiming to be an alien lawfully present in the United States , must verify their 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)


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 (temporary driver license or identification license or permit (XD) is NOT acceptable);
  • 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.

How does Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals affect EVEA?

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.