Provide In-State Tuition for All State Residents

Philadelphia Inquirer editorial supporting DREAM

Editorial: They're not going away


Children who grew up in the same neighborhoods and went to the same schools may pay more than their classmates to go to college, if they came to this country illegally.

That may sound fair. But, for the nation, it's a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Greeley teen has the smarts but not the citizenship

Greeley teen has the smarts but not the citizenship

Greeley Central student's illegal immgrant status hinders his hopes to go to college



DREAMing of a Better Tomorrow: In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants

In contrast to the drumbeat of anti-immigrant attacks in past legislative sessions, this year has seen states across the country proposing in-state college tuition rates for undocumented students, a move mirrored by Congress' proposed DREAM Act, which was re-introduced at the federal level on March 25th.  

Dreaming of a Better Tomorrow: In-State Tuition at the Forefront

States across the country are proposing in-state college tuition rates for undocumented students, a move mirrored by Congress' proposed DREAM Act, which was re-introduced at the federal level on March 25th. Currently ten states allow undocumented immigrants to enroll in state colleges and universities under the cheaper in-state tuition rate category: California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington. In recent years, anti-immigrant legislators sought to modify or repeal laws providing access to in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants, though they've failed each time. This session, those efforts failed again in Utah and Nebraska. Kansas didn't even bring up repealing it.

RELEASE: Policy recommendations from Corzine panel would put NJ at forefront of immigration reform

JERSEY CITY, NJ — At a press conference this morning, Gov. Jon Corzine unveiled the results of his Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration Policy, which included recommendations for the establishment of an Office on New Americans to help integrate immigrant families into the state’s culture and work force.  Policy experts at the Progressive States Network (PSN) were quick to praise the panel’s recommendations, which they placed within an emerging trend among state lawmakers to include working immigrant families into plans for shared economic growth.

According to PSN Interim Executive Director Nathan Newman, who authored a comprehensive 50-state analysis of state immigration policy last September, “The story that states are rushing out to punish undocumented immigrants is really a smoke screen. When you look at the facts, you see that more and more states are finding ways to integrate immigrants into a growing workforce and thriving small business community.  States like New Jersey realize that there is a far better economic future in working together than there is in dividing the population against itself.”


One key to integrating the children of new immigrants into our communities is making sure they can get a college education.  In 2006, Nebraska joined nine other states that have passed laws, often called DREAM acts, to provide the in-state tuition rate to undocumented immigrants who attend state colleges and universities.  In 2007, the Connecticut legislature voted to do so as well, although unfortunately the Governor in that states vetoed the bill.  Attempts to repeal Nebraska and Utah's DREAM acts failed in both states in 2008.

States can also ensure access to state or locally funded financial aid and scholarships, regardless of immigration status:

  • California's SB 1, which was enacted by the legislature in 2007 but vetoed by the governor, would have made California high school graduates who meet the non-resident in-state tuition requirements eligible for a fee waiver at community college, and enabled them to participate in the Cal Grant state financial aid program.
  • In 2007, New York's proposed A4653 would have expanded scholarship opportunities for immigrant students.

See also:

New PSN Report: The Anti-Immigrant Movement that Failed

Today, the Progressive States Network is releasing a new report: The Anti-Immigrant Movement that Failed: Positive Integration Policies by States Still Far Outweigh Punitive Policies Aimed at New Immigrants.   The Executive Summary is available online, as well as the full report in PDF and HTML format.