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Should Illegal Immigrants Get In-State Tuition Rates? April 23, 2009

Posted by jayejfenderson in Articles.
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4 comments

College Board has announced that it is backing the Dream Act, a bill that would, according to U.S. News & World Report “allow students who have lived in the country since age 15 to apply for conditional legal residence after graduating from high school. They would then be able to work and pay in-state college tuition rates. Those who attend college or join the military could ultimately become citizens. The College Board says that in addition to helping the estimated 360,000 undocumented students of college age now, the Dream Act could open the doors to higher ed for 715,000 more students between the ages of 5 and 17 who are living in the country illegally.”

It is a controversial issue, for sure.  On the one hand, I think everyone should have the opportunity to go to college, and I do support allowing undocumented students to enroll in college in the U.S. But it gets a little dicey for me when we talk about giving those students in-state tuition discounts since we already have a HUGE problem of enrolling academically qualified low-income U.S. citizens in college. I get nervous that giving undocumented students in-state tuition rates will add enormous pressure to our already inadequate financial aid system and end up making college admission to state schools, like the UC’s even more competitive than they already are. Just last year, the UC system made the decision to enroll more out-of-state students because they needed to increase their revenue.

I haven’t researched this adequately enough to come to a definite conclusion, but those are just my initial thoughts.  I’d love to hear what you think about the Dream Act.  Should illegal immigrants be allowed to enroll in college and pay in-state tuition rates?  Do you agree with the College Board’s decision to support the Dream Act?

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