Monday, May 13, 2013

About that in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants ...

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 11:57 AM

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If you haven’t heard by now, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper recently signed into law Senate Bill 033, allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain in-state tuition status in Colorado.

Now, if you're an out-of-state-but-a-citizen-of-these-United States-yet-can't-obtain-residency-status-until-two-years-so-paying-high-tuition student like myself, then you no doubt shook your head in frustration as you made your student loan payment this month. And with the national student loan debt having crested $1 trillion, it's even more apparent now that we need deals on our education.

I, like so many are already setting out to do, was ready to begin beating the war drums demanding my tuition be lowered. I wanted to scream it from mountaintop that I deserve to be considered for in-state tuition as well. But once the caffeine in my system had diminished, I read article after article to further understand the gist of the bill. And after reading the actual bill (and not what other people thought the bill to be), I understood the various hoops through which undocumented immigrants have to leap to even be considered for in-state tuition.

(See attached pdf for actual bill:)

Here are a few stipulations to be considered:

1) The student must've attended three years of high school, or attained a GED in the state of Colorado.
2) The student must attend a college or university within 18 months of finishing high school.
3) The student must have applied for legal presence in the state.

These are among a plethora of other requirements that U.S. citizens don't have to go through.

Referred to as ASSET (Advanced Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) bill, SB 033 makes Colorado one of 12 or so states to embrace such legislation. I've read that the bill makes Colorado a "haven" for undocumented immigrants, and that is bypasses the rights of citizens. But in my reading, the reality is it does nothing to compromise the level of education in colleges and universities.

Through this bill, Colorado embraces student longevity and opportunity for those that don't have it in their homeland. Lets face it: It's not like undocumented immigrants are getting a free education. I, for one, think that there is enough brain-learning to accommodate anyone. And personally, I would like to welcome undocumented immigrants to the world of student loans.

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