Colorado, Hawaii and Delaware are among the most recent examples of states trying to made college accessible, regardless of immigration status. Twelve states already have laws on their books that allow some undocumented students who have attended and graduated from primary and secondary schools to pay the same tuition as their classmates at public institutions of higher education.
In Colorado the democratically-controlled Senate voted along party lines to pass SB 15, a bill that would provide a standard tuition rate to qualifying undocumented students. That rate is higher than in-state tuition but lower than out-of-state tuition. Some Republicans in the state have come out in support of the bill though final passage is still uncertain.
In Hawaii SB 2163 provides in-state tuition, state financial aid and fee waivers to qualifying students regardless of immigration status recently passed the Senate Education Committee.
Delaware legislators recently introduced SB 169, a bill that allows undocumented students to pay tuition and fees at the in-state, resident rate at public higher education institutions. The bill would also allow qualifying students to apply for an receive state scholarships and grants.
I don’t think this is what Republicans have in mind when they argue that states should take the lead on immigration matters, but it’s great to see.
Photo from SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations via flickr.