Hanging in the Balance: Federal Legislation May Chart New Course for States Considering Whether to Grant In-State Tuition to Undocumented Immigrant Students
Roach, Ronald, Diverse Issues in Higher Education
While advising Los Angeles-area high school students on their higher education plans, Ivna Gusmao, a counselor at Reseda High School in the San Fernando Valley, has long counseled hope to those struggling to make it into college. She has tailored that advice to include poor and working-class immigrant students lacking citizenship status. This spring at the predominantly Hispanic school, Gusmao has worked with more than 20 college-bound undocumented immigrant students out of a graduating class of 500. In all, as many as 200 graduating seniors will attend a four-year college next year, she says.
"I know of two undocumented seniors whose families moved to Las Vegas this past year, and I told them they needed to graduate from a California high school to qualify for in-state tuition rates,' Gusmao says. "Both students made arrangements to remain in Los Angeles so they could graduate here this spring."
With California being only one of 10 U.S. states allowing undocumented immigrant students to attend public institutions at in-state tuition rates, academically ambitious immigrants like the ones counseled by Gusmao have slowly trickled into the state's higher education system. Demographer Jeffrey Passel, in a nationwide 2003 analysis, estimated there were between 7,000 and 13,000 illegal immigrant students enrolled in public colleges and universities. By some estimates, U.S. high schools graduate about 65,000 undocumented immigrant students every year.
Experts say college attendance by undocumented students would be much higher if they didn't have the added burden of financing public education at out-of-state or foreign student tuition rates. And because of their undocumented status, they are unable to quality for federal, and in many cases, state financial …
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Publication information: Article title: Hanging in the Balance: Federal Legislation May Chart New Course for States Considering Whether to Grant In-State Tuition to Undocumented Immigrant Students. Contributors: Roach, Ronald - Author. Magazine title: Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Volume: 24. Issue: 8 Publication date: May 31, 2007. Page number: 14+. © 2008 Cox, Matthews & Associates. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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