In-state tuition

What do you mean by in-state tuition?

In response to the lack of federal legislation that addresses the needs of undocumented students some states have taken the initiative to provide in-state tuition to undocumented students who are residents of the state and have graduated from a High School within that state. There are currently nine states that have passed legislation to provide in-state tuition to undocumented students.

Does the federal DREAM Act legislation include provisions for in-state tuition?

The short answer is no. The federal DREAM Act legislation DOES NOT include any language about in-state tuition.

Older version of the bill have included language that granted states the explicit right to determine residency requirements for purposes of in-state tuition. The language did not mandate the availability of in-state tuition to undocumented students.

The absence of federal policy has caused controversy around state level legislations and prompted several unfortunate events, such as Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoing of in-state tuition bill in the state of Connecticut citing lack of federal policy as an excuse for her bigotry.

“I understand these students are not responsible for their undocumented status [...] The fact remains, however, that these students and their parents are here illegally, and neither sympathy nor good intentions can ameliorate that fact.”

I understand that they are innocent. The fact remains, however, that they must serve the sentence.

The in-state tuition language has been the most controversial and misrepresented part of the older versions of the federal DREAM Act legislation. The latest version of the legislation still suffers from this misrepresentation as our opposition continues to bend the truth around the "in-state argument" knowing that the bill does not include any language about in-state tuition in the first place.

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