Nearly 4,000 Arizona college students, nearly half of them community college students, have been unable to prove legal residency status and are being charged out-of-state rates as a result of a voter-approved referendum that prevents undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid, according to The Arizona Republic.
Maricopa Community Colleges, the largest district in the state, listed in a legislative report 1,720 names of students that are no longer eligible for in-state tuition, according to the newspaper. Arizona State University reported that 207 of its students were being reclassified as out-of-state for tuition purposes, and the University of Arizona last week reported that 119 students failed to prove they were in the state legally.
Out-of-state tuition is sometimes triple that of in-state tuition. Private sources have stepped in to pay the tuition of some UA students.
It’s unclear if the new state law aimed at undocumented immigrants has caused students to drop out of college. Some of the colleges in the Maricopa system reported enrollment declines, but the drop started before voters approved Proposition 300.
“Does this (Proposition 300) create an added financial burden?” says Dr. Steve Helfgot, Maricopa Community Colleges vice chancellor for student and community affairs. “Yes, it certainly does. Does it keep them out of school per se? No, it does not.”
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