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Florida SB 106 seeks to change rules regarding college tuition

Throughout the nation undocumented immigrants are facing struggles when it comes to trying to educate themselves beyond high school. The struggle has to do with how to pay for post secondary education. Currently, there are four states that actually do not allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition despite the fact that they reside in the state. Florida is one of those states.

At this point in Florida, even when a student is born in the United States, he or she may be denied in-state tuition at a Florida college. This is because it is the tuition that needs to be paid is actually based on the immigration status of the parents of the student.

Legislators in Florida have been working to change this. Previously, a bill that targeted students who were born in the U.S. was previously voted on in the house. It failed. This failure has not deterred lawmakers however. SB 106 addresses foreign born students in addition to those who are born in the U.S.

According to an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, there are a couple reasons lawmakers may decide to support such a bill.

The first reason is that ultimately, states come out ahead economically when students who are high achievers are encouraged to attain a higher level of education. Fiscal studies appear to indicate that states that have made tuition equity bills laws generate revenue.

Another reason that lawmakers may choose to support such a bill, even crossing party lines to do so, is to gain support from those who would be aided by the bill becoming law.

There is certainly more to come on this. We will post updates as they become available.

Source: Colorlines, "States Move on Tuition Equity for Undocumented Students," Julianne Hing, Feb. 16, 2012

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