Section IV: Students

Subsection A. General

Where statutes or administrative regulations of the state or federal government require development and promulgation of rules, policies, procedures, guidelines, or similar operational standards concerning student issues, the university president or designee is delegated authority to act on behalf of the Board of Trustees to establish, review and adopt such standards while assuring full and appropriate legal compliance and implementation. The Board of Trustees reserves its statutory power to review and revise such standards relating to student matters as it may deem necessary or appropriate.

Adopted rules, policies, procedures, guidelines or similar operational standards concerning students shall be published in appropriate university publications annually. Revisions or new standards shall be announced and published through university communications.

Applicable state and federal statutes and regulations shall be followed by the university. University standards shall be applied in a manner that is consistent with applicable legal standards.

Subsection B. Student Records

1. Definitions

a. Student

For purposes of this Regulation, a student is defined as an individual who is or has been admitted to and is in attendance at the university, and with respect to whom the university maintains an educational record.

b. Educational Record

For purposes of this Regulation, an educational record is defined in conformity with state and federal law as any record which contains personally identifiable information directly related to a student. Not included in the term "educational record" is (1) a record relating only to the student as an employee (2) a record which is in the sole possession of the maker thereof (3) a record maintained by university law enforcement units solely for law enforcement purposes (4) a record created and maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other professional or paraprofessional operating in his or her capacity as a professional or paraprofessional and used in the treatment of a student.

c. Directory Information

For purposes of this Regulation and in accordance with federal law, directory information is defined as including the student's name, address, telephone listing, e-mail address and/or photographic or electronic picture or image, date and place of birth, major field of study, classification, gender, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended.

2. Right to Review

The university provides a procedure whereby a student may review and inspect the educational records of that student. Such procedure shall include the student's right to receive a response from the institution to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations as well as the right to obtain copies, and the right of the student to challenge entries that he/she feels are inaccurate or misleading.

3. Disclosure of Student Records

The university shall establish procedures for the disclosure of student records to third parties consistent with applicable state and federal laws. Such procedure shall contain adequate notice of the university procedures regarding disclosure. Such notice shall be disseminated not less than three times a year prior to fall registration, spring registration, and summer registration. The procedure and the notice of said procedure shall clearly indicate that the written consent of the student is required before the university will disclose personally identifiable information from the educational records. It shall also indicate the circumstances under which the prior consent for disclosure is not required.

To publish or otherwise disseminate "directory information" in any form, the university must give notice per the requirements of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. Such notice shall include the purposes for which that information is published and the parties who may have access to that data. In the interests of privacy protection, university procedures will restrict that dissemination to the degree possible to sources that are nonpolitical and noncommercial in nature.

Subsection C. Affirmative Action

1. Recruitment and Retention

The university shall use procedures and practices consistent with state and federal law aimed toward ensuring equal opportunity for minority and women students.

2. Academic Programs

Educational programs and materials shall reflect the historical and contemporary roles and contributions of minorities and women.

3. Services

The university shall endeavor to provide services which reflect a recognition of diverse cultural backgrounds, past educational imbalances, and the need for new opportunities for all students.

Subsection D. Residency Status

For the purpose of this Regulation an "adult" is considered to be a person 18 years of age or over; a "minor" student is a person under 18 years of age. The term "the State" means the State of Illinois. Except for those exceptions clearly indicated in this Regulation, in all cases where records and related evidence establish that the person does not meet the requirements for Resident status as defined in this Regulation, the Nonresident status shall be assigned.

1. Residency Determination

To establish bona fide residence in Illinois under this Regulation a person must demonstrate physical presence and general intent to reside permanently in Illinois for reasons other than educational objectives. In reviewing a claim of Illinois residency, the issue becomes one of "domicile" because a person has only one legal domicile at any time. The principal elements which determine domicile in Illinois are physical presence within the state and an intention to remain permanently, or for an indefinite period of time, and not merely to take advantage of in-state tuition rates for educational purposes only. Essentially, a person's domicile is that place to which whenever a person is absent, he or she has the intention of returning to live. Mere physical presence in Illinois, regardless of how prolonged, is insufficient to establish a domicile, without such an intent to remain in Illinois.

Evidence for determination of residence status of each applicant for admission to the university shall be submitted at the time of application for admission. On forms to be provided by the university, a student may apply to be reclassified at any time by the university upon the basis of additional or changed information. However, if the student is classified in error as a Resident student, the change in tuition shall be applicable beginning with the term following the reclassification; if the student is classified in error as a Nonresident, the change in tuition shall be applicable to the term in which the reclassification occurs, provided the student has filed a written request for a review in accordance with this Regulation. A person who fails to notify the university of a change of facts or provides false information which might affect classification or reclassification from Resident to Nonresident status and/or who provides false information or conceals information for the purpose of achieving Resident status may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, as well as other penalties which may be prescribed by law.

2. Adult Student

An adult, to be considered a Resident, must have been a bona fide resident of the State for a period of at least six consecutive months immediately preceding the beginning of any term for which he/she registers at the university, and must continue to maintain a bona fide residency in the State. An adult student whose parents, including the party to a civil union of a parent (or one of them if only one parent is living or the parents are separated or divorced) have established and are maintaining a bona fide residence in the State and who resides with them (or the one residing in the State) or elsewhere in the State will be regarded as a Resident student.

3. Minor Student

Except for the situation of Section IV.D.5., the residence of a minor shall be considered to be, and to change with and follow:

  1. that of his or her parents, including the party to a civil union of a parent, if they are living together, or living parent, if one is deceased; or the surviving party to a civil union, if the parent is deceased; or
  2. if the parents are separated or divorced, that of the parent, including the party to a civil union of a parent to whom the custody of the person has been awarded by court decree or order, or in absence of a court decrree or order, that of the father unless the person has continuously resided with the mother for a period of at least six consecutive months immediately preceding his or her registration at the university, in which latter event the applicable residence shall be considered to be that of the mother; or
  3. that of the adoptive parents, including the party to a civil union of a parent, if the person has been legally adopted and, in the event the adoptive parents become divorced or separated, that of the adoptive parent whose residence would govern under the foregoing rules if that parent had been a natural parent; or
  4. that of the legally appointed guardian of the person if the minor resides with such guardian; or
  5. that of a "natural" guardian, such as a grandparent, adult brother or adult sister, adult uncle or aunt, or other adult with whom the person has resided and by whom the person has been supported for a period of at least six consecutive months immediately preceding his or her registration at the university, for any term if the person's parents or the person's parent's party to a civil union are dead or have abandoned him or her and if no legal guardian of the person has been appointed and qualified.

4. Parent or Guardian

Except as provided in Section IV.D.10. of this Regulation, no parent or legal or natural guardian will be considered a resident of the State unless he or she (a) maintains a bona fide and permanent place of abode within the State, and (b) lives within the State, except when temporarily absent from the State, with no intention of changing his or her legal residence to some other state or country.

5. Emancipated Minor

If a minor has been emancipated, is completely self-supporting, and actually resides in the State, hr or she shall be considered to be a Resident even though his or her parents or guardians or the party to a civil union of his or her parent may reside outside the State. An emancipated minor who is completely self-supporting shall be considered to "actually reside in the State of Illinois" if he or she has maintained a dwelling place within the State uninterruptedly for a period of at least six consecutive months immediately preceding the beginning of any term for which he or she registers at the university. Marriage or active military service shall be regarded as effecting the emancipation of minors, whether male or female, for the purposes of this Regulation. An emancipated minor whose parents (or one of them if only one parent is living or the parents are separated or divorced) have established and are maintaining a bona fide residence in the State and who resides with them (or the one residing in the State) or elsewhere in the State will be regarded as a Resident student.

6. Marriage or Civil Union of Students

  1. If a Resident student marries or becomes a party to a civil union of a nonresident of Illinois, then the Resident student shall continue to be classified as a Resident unless he or she requests reclassification to a Nonresident status, and as long as he/she remains a Resident based on the residence criteria.
  2. If a Nonresident student marries or becomes a party to a civil union of a resident of Illinois, then the Nonresident student shall continue to be classified as a Nonresident unless he or she executes a declaration of residency, in such form as may be prescribed by the designated university residency official in the Office of Registration and Records, to request reclassification to Resident status.

7. Persons Without United States Citizenship

To qualify as a Resident, a person who is not a citizen of the United States of America must have permanent resident status with the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) or hold a visa which does not preclude an intent to reside permanently in the United States and must also meet and comply with all of the other applicable requirements of this Regulation to establish Resident status.

8. Armed Forces Personnel

A person who is actively serving in one of the armed forces of the United States and who is stationed and present in the State in connection with that service and submits evidence of such service and station, shall be considered a Resident for enrollment purposes. His or her spouse, party to a civil union (and dependent children of the employee or his or her party to a civil union) will also be considered Residents, as long as he/she remains stationed and present in Illinois and the spouse, party to a civil union, (or children of the employee or his or her party to a civil union) also lives/live in the State.

9. Children of Parents Transferred Outside the United States

The children of persons who have resided in the State for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to a transfer by their employers to some location outside the United States shall be considered Residents. However, this shall apply only when the children of such parents enroll in the university within five years from the time their parents are transferred by their employer to some location outside the United States.

10. Staff Members of the University and Faculties of State-supported Institutions of Higher Education in Illinois

Staff members of the university and faculties of state-supported institutions of higher education in Illinois, holding appointment of at least one-quarter time, and their spouses, party to a civil union, and dependent children of the employee or his or her party to a civil union) shall be treated as Residents. The term "staff member" shall not include graduate assistants or student hourly workers.

11. Teachers in Private and Public Schools in Illinois

Teachers in the private and public elementary and secondary schools in Illinois shall, if subject to the payment of tuition, be assessed at the Resident rate during the term in which the teacher holds such an appointment at least one-quarter time. This privilege also extends to the summer session immediately following the term for which such appointment was effective.

Any Nonresident student who qualified for Resident tuition by reason of an appointment as an Illinois elementary or secondary school teacher shall become subject to Nonresident tuition for the entire term if the appointment qualifying him or her for the Resident benefit is vacated prior to the close of the term. Vacating such an appointment in the spring term also cancels the eligibility for the Resident tuition privilege in the following summer.

12. Public Act 93-0007 Provisions

Effective Fall 2003, an individual will be considered an Illinois resident, if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The individual resided with his or her parent or guardian or the party to a civil union of his or her parent or guardian while attending a public or private high school in this State.
  2. The individual graduated from a public or private high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this State.
  3. The individual attended school in this State for at least 3 years as of the date the individual graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma.
  4. The individual registers as an entering student in the university not earlier than the 2003 fall semester.
  5. In the case of an individual who is not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, the individual provides the university with an affidavit stating that the individual will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so.

13. Definition of Terminology

To the extent that the terms "independent," "dependent," and "emancipation," are not defined in this Regulation, definitions shall be determined by the Office of Registration and Records, in consultation with designated University Legal Services counsel, according due consideration to all of the facts pertinent and material to the question and to the applicable laws and court decisions.

Bona fide residency, i.e. “domicile,” must be maintained in Illinois for at least 6 consecutive months immediately preceding the beginning of any term for which a student registers at the university, and the student must continue to maintain such residency to qualify for Resident tuition rates. The following circumstances, although not necessarily conclusive, in their totality have probative value in support of a documented claim for bona fide residency in the State:

  1. Continuous physical presence -- defined as no more than a three-week absence from the State of Illinois except for hardship reasons -- for at least 6 months as described above.
  2. Domicile in Illinois of parent(s), legal guardian, the party to a civil union of his or her parent or guardian, spouse, or party to a civil union.
  3. Voting or registration for voting in Illinois.
  4. Illinois driver's license or identification card and automobile registration.
  5. Financial independence and payment and filing of Illinois income/property taxes and/or ownership of property in Illinois during the tax year or partial tax year immediately preceding the term for which the person is requesting resident classification. Just the filing of Illinois state income taxes, or filing without substantial Illinois income earned, will not be judged as significant criterion for reclassification.
  6. Six months of gainful employment in Illinois or prove reliance upon resources in Illinois for more than fifty percent of the income sufficient to provide for tuition, fees, and normal living expenses, e.g., food, clothing, housing and transportation. Reliance upon income earned from loans is not viewed as evidence of intent to establish residency. Graduate assistantships or other student employment does not count towards this showing of gainful employment in Illinois.
  7. The lease of living quarters and payment of utility bills in Illinois.
  8. Former domicile in the state and maintenance of significant connections therein while absent.
  9. Admission to a licensed practicing profession in Illinois.
  10. Long-term military commitment in Illinois and/or proof that Illinois is the home of record.
  11. Domicile for six months in the state for other than educational purposes
  12. Establishment of financial accounts at Illinois institutions.
  13. Public records, for example, birth and marriage records, and state or federal court records.
  14. Other official documents verifying legal, official connection with Illinois or with organizations or institutions within the state of Illinois.
  15. Exclusive use of the Illinois address when home or mailing address is requested.

Neither length of university attendance nor continued presence in the university community during vacation periods shall alone be construed to be proof of Illinois residence.

The term "staff member" as used in this Regulation shall mean a person appointed to an established position for a specific amount of time at a salary commensurate with the percentage of time required, under an appointment requiring service for not less than three-fourths of the term. The term "staff member" as defined herein shall not apply to graduate assistants, to persons employed on an hourly basis in either an academic or nonacademic capacity under rules prescribed by the Civil Service Merit Board for student and extra help appointments, or to persons on leave without pay.

14. Procedure for Review of Residency Status And/Or Tuition Assessment

A student who takes exception to the residency status assigned and/or tuition assessed shall pay the tuition assessed but may file a claim in writing to the designated university residency official in the Office of Registration and Records for a reconsideration of residency status and/or an adjustment of the tuition assessed. The university may request documentation of the evidence. However, the burden of establishing that a person is domiciled in Illinois for reasons other than educational purposes is upon the student. The written claim must be filed within 30 calendar days from the date of assessment of tuition or from the date designated in the official university calendar as that upon which instruction begins for the academic period for which the tuition is payable, whichever is later, or the student loses all rights to a change of status and/or adjustment of the tuition assessed for the term in question. If the student is dissatisfied with the ruling in response to the written claim made within said period, he or she may appeal the ruling to the Vice Provost by filing a written request with the designated university residency official in the Office of Registration and Records within 20 calendar days of receipt of the notice of the ruling. If such a written request is filed within said period, available information on the question of residency status under the provisions of this Regulation and of applicable laws shall be referred by the designated university residency official in the Office of Registration and Records to the Vice Provost, whose decision shall be final.

Subsection E. Student Financial Aid and Opportunities for Employment

1. Definition

For the purposes of this Regulation, student financial aid includes scholarships, fellowships, grants, loans, tuition waivers and employment opportunities which are provided for students primarily to assist them in meeting the expense of university attendance. Paid internships or graduate assistantships are provided for students primarily to supplement direct academic experiences and study as well as to provide partial financial support. Student financial aid does not include forms of assistance such as waivers of tuition which are granted to university employees enrolled in classes as a fringe benefit to their employment.

2. General Statement

a. Policy

Northern Illinois University shares with federal and state governments the responsibility for providing residents of Illinois with the opportunity to attend an institution of higher education. Further, the university recognizes the desirability of attracting students who do not demonstrate financial need but do possess particular qualifications which make their presence beneficial to the educational process.

b. Implementation

Consistent with the foregoing policy and this Regulation, Northern Illinois University administers student financial aids provided by authority of the Board of Trustees and coordinates financial aid provided for university students and sponsored by agencies or parties external to the university. All grants from an external agency to the university for student financial aids shall be reported in the President's Report at a regular Board meeting following the receipt of the grant.

3. Tuition Waivers

The president or a designated representative may grant undergraduate students waivers up to a total number not to exceed 4.0 percent of the total fall term chargeable undergraduate tuition. Waivers for post-baccalaureate students may be provided in a manner determined by the president or a designated representative. Award criteria for the granting of these waivers may include demonstrated scholarship, high school or college-level talent in university-related activities, participation in an internship, fellowship or graduate assistantship, or financial need as determined by the university. The president or a designated representative may also grant tuition waivers to students who participate in National Science Foundation Institutes or other special programs when such a waiver is required for participation in the specific program.

4. Student Employment

a. Student Hourly Workers

The university may provide employment for students on an hourly basis in accord with the needs of various departments, available authorized funds, and the provisions of the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS). Student employees must be enrolled or accepted for admission, or in the case of special program students (occupational or vocational rehabilitation), approved by the university.

Provisions for student hourly employment are established to provide financial aid to students. Policies and limitations pertaining to student work, hours and schedules of work, enrollment requirements, FICA contributions, wage rates and ranges for student hourly workers shall be established by the university in accord with SUCSS procedures and applicable provisions of federal and state law.

Any changes in the rate of compensation shall reflect recognition of the increased value that a student employee may earn through personal growth and continued service on the job. Pay increases or decreases shall be approved by the president or a designated representative. Faculty, administrative, or civil service personnel shall not be eligible for student employment during any period of appointment.

b. Graduate Assistants

Graduate assistantships are established to supplement a graduate student's class work and study with work experience appropriate to his or her academic pursuits. No person shall be employed by the university in another status while simultaneously holding appointment as a graduate assistant. Graduate assistants must be admitted to the Graduate School or to the College of Law and must hold at least the baccalaureate degree or its equivalent. They do not hold faculty rank. They must be enrolled in good standing on the effective date of the assistantship and they must be enrolled in the amount of course work specified by the university.

Graduate assistants shall be designated according to the function performed. Teaching assistants shall aid in instruction. Research assistants shall assist faculty or staff with academic or other research. Staff assistants shall perform duties relevant to their course of study in roles other than teaching or research (e.g., as residence hall advisors, counselors, administrative assistants or library assistants).

The maximum work load for graduate assistants shall not exceed 20 hours per week.

c. Conditions of Employment

  • (1) University Rules
  • All student employees shall fully comply with all:
    • -- applicable state and federal laws
    • -- policies, regulations and decisions of the Board of Trustees
    • -- policies, regulations and decision of the president or a designee.
  • Pursuant to Illinois Educational labor Relations Act definitions of "educational employees," student employees (hourly and graduate assistants) are ineligible for participation in a certification election or a bargaining unit.
  • A student employee shall not, through his or her position with the university (a) coerce, command, advise or solicit anyone to pay, lend or contribute money or other thing of value to any partisan party, organization, agency or person for political purposes; (b) use Board or university funds, resources or time for any political candidate or partisan purpose other than educational.
  • The university shall make and publish additional rules and/or procedures appropriate and necessary to carrying out the purpose and intent of these Board Regulations pertaining to graduate-assistant appointments or student employment.
  • (2) Equal Opportunity
  • Students shall be afforded equal opportunity for employment in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations. NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran statues, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and order pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. Students are offered employment opportunities without regard to relationship by blood, marriage or civil union in accordance with appropriate qualifications for and performance of specified duties. However, no individual participate in personnel decisions involving employment, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence or other direct benefit to an individual employee who is a member of the same immediate family or immediate household. Immediate family includes an employee's spouse, party to a civil union, parents, brothers, sisters, children, and children of an employee’s party to a civil union.
  • (3) Wages and Salary Benefits
  • Wage and salary administration shall be conducted in a uniform manner regardless of the source of funds. Students are not eligible for the employee benefits (e.g., paid sick leave, leaves of absence, retirement plans) of faculty, administrative, or civil service employees.
  • Student employees are covered by the Illinois Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases Acts and may file claims per university rules for work-related illness or injury.

5. Disclosure of Beneficial Interests

Contracts for real property where a state official, a university employee, or the spouse, party to a civil union, child, child of a party to a civil union or other relative of an official or employee has a beneficial interest in the property shall be presented to the Board for approval.

Subsection F. Student Financial Aid and Opportunities for Employment

1. Expenditures

Equipment purchases, travel expenses, and other expenditures exclusively in support of intercollegiate athletics shall not be made from the General Revenue Fund.

2. Insurance

The university may self-insure, purchase insurance which provides for medical risk coverage for students while participating in intercollegiate athletics or activities related thereto, or permit coverage for its student athletes under the student medical insurance plan.

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