Tuition for Undocumented Students Debated

In Denver, hopes are lofty among undocumented students who will be graduating from high school this spring.

Those students looking to attend college in the fall are optimistic, with a bill currently in the legislature to determine whether or not undocumented students will be allowed to attend state universities. While students would not get to attend the schools at in-state tuition rates, the bill states that those students attending without U.S. citizenship or a student visa would still be paying less than students coming from out of state.

The bill, which marks the sixth time that such a proposition has been presented to the legislature, has been defeated by both the Senate and House in the past. However, advocates for the bill believe the Democrat-led Senate will be more likely to pass this bill than previous measures. The main obstacle, then, remains the Republican-controlled House. However, a lawmaker of Mexican descent has been discussing the bill, and could positively influence its success, according to The Associated Press.

Having gone through numerous previous incarnations, one of the current bill’s primary strengths is its contribution to the state’s revenue. Colorado Senator Michael Johnston, a sponsor of the legislation, estimates that 300 to 500 undocumented students would benefit from the bill, with the state’s colleges taking in approximately $2 million in revenue, according to the AP.

In Seattle, many undocumented students had their college hopes deflated. Several highly qualified undocumented students currently in the College Bound scholarship program found out that they were unable to apply for financial aid due to their legal status, and are therefore ineligible for the scholarship promised to them as members of the program, according to the Seattle Times. Students are asked to join based on merit, and many educators did not know the legal status of their students when they encouraged them to join the program.