The Foreign Service Journal, March 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2022 67 AFSA NEWS AFSA NEWS THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION In-State College Tuition for FS Families An AFSA-supported provision for Foreign Service families was included in the National Defense Authorization Act that President Biden signed into law on Dec. 27, 2021. The new law will make it easier for families to qualify for in-state college tuition and thereby save some AFSAmembers more than $100,000 per child over a four-year undergradu- ate education. The lawmandates that state-supported colleges grant the in-state tuition rate to Foreign Service members, their spouses and dependents in their state of domicile. It does so by adding Foreign Service families to the long- standing federal lawmandat- ing in-state tuition for mem- bers of the armed forces and their families whose domicile or permanent duty station is the state to which they are applying for public college admission. The new provision does not take effect until the first continuing ties to a state. Past ties include longtime physical presence. There is no required list to prove continuing ties, but they can include absentee voting, maintaining a driver’s license, paying nonresident state income tax (when required), owning real estate, reflecting that state in your will, visiting the state when on leave, and listing the state on your Offi- cial Form-126 Foreign Service Residency and Dependency Report as your state of legal residence. The passage of the in-state tuition provision benefiting the Foreign Service was the result of AFSA’s work with bipartisan supporters in the Senate and House to achieve greater parity for our mem- bers with the military.Without AFSA’s strong advocacy, this improvement would not have made it into law. n period of college enrollment that begins after July 1, 2024, because some state legislatures only meet every two years and may need to amend state law for compliance. Until then, families with strong ties to a particular state can continue to ask for the in-state tuition rate. If denied, please email member@afsa. org so AFSA can contact the admissions office. Because some state-supported col- leges, such as those in the Uni- versity of California system, have usually rejected requests for in-state tuition from FS members, AFSA advocated for the new federal lawmandating a nationwide policy. As 2024 nears, Foreign Service families interested in qualifying for in-state tuition should review their proofs of domicile and take steps to strengthen them by documenting past and CALENDAR Please check for the most up-to-date information. March 14 Deadline: AFSA Scholarship Applications March 16 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting March 30 AFSA Book Notes: Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch April 4 Deadline: 2022 High School Essay Contest April 18 Federal and State Taxes Due AFSA Tax Guide: April 20 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting May 5 AFSA Foreign Service Day Events May 6 Foreign Service Day Payroll Problems: An Update Since the State Department’s Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services switched to an automated payroll system in February 2021, AFSA has received hun- dreds of emails from mem- bers sharing their payroll horror stories. These include missing or incorrect differential and allowances, incorrect pay amounts, leave issues and thrift savings plan contribu- tion issues. Statements of earnings and leave have also frequently been wrong. You’ve expressed your frus- tration and asked what the State Department is doing to fix the problem. AFSA has raised your concerns repeatedly to the very top of the State Depart- ment. AFSA President Eric Rubin discussed the issue with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, with Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Brian McKeon and with Under Secretary for Management John Bass, and has written a letter of concern directly to the Sec- retary as well. State VP Tom Yazdgerdi raises the issue weekly with Global Talent Management staff and in biweekly meetings with the GTM front office. We have passed all individual com- plaints we receive directly to CGFS leadership for action. Continued on page 75