Michigan may give Undocumented Students a Break on Tuition

Many states continue to propose and pass laws that restrict undocumented students’ ability to study at U.S. universities and colleges. In contrast, the University of Michigan is proposing an act that would give all students who have lived in Michigan, regardless of their green card or student visa status, the right to in-state tuition.

The proposition for in-state tuition for undocumented students will be discussed by the university’s Board of Regents at a meeting next week, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Interestingly, University of Michigan students are split on whether the proposition would be a step in the right direction.

“If you’re here illegally, you shouldn’t be getting a break on college cost,” said Mary Erickson, a current University of Michigan freshman, to the Free Press. “U-M should stay with their current policy. It makes sense.”

However, for many undocumented students who have lived in the state their whole lives, the decision would be life changing.

Daniel Morales, an undocumented resident, would have gotten enough financial aid to cover his school tuition if he had U.S. citizenship. Instead, he was expected to pay $38,000 annually for his education.

According to the Free Press, charging in-state tuition for undocumented students is already practiced in the state by several universities. At Western Michigan University, students are given in-state tuition as long as they can prove they live in the state, and Wayne State University doesn’t ask for any form of citizenship verification from its students. One of the most advanced pro-immigration schools in the state, however, is Saginaw Valley State University, which gives migrant workers’ children waivers to receive in-state tuition.