Bill Would Make In-State Tuition for Immigrants Law

Mar 20, 2013

Two Providence lawmakers are throwing their support behind a bill that would upgrade in-state college tuition for undocumented students from a state policy to a state law. It’s a bill that’s been introduced before.

Two years ago the Board of Governors for Higher Education signed off on a policy that provides in-state tuition for undocumented students who have attended a Rhode Island high school for at least three years. State Senator Juan Pichardo of Providence says it’s time to upgrade that policy to a state law.

Lawmakers hold press conference at the Statehouse on bill giving immigrants in-state tuition.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

“It is so important because administrations and people get elected and laws are permanent,” says Pichardo. “Yes you could appeal them but laws are permanent. Policies can change with a new administration.”

Currently 59 undocumented students are taking advantage of the in-state tuition rate. Stephanie Alvarez, a student at CCRI, is one of them. “If I had to pay out of state I just wouldn’t be able to go because I wouldn’t be able to afford it,” says Alvarez. “It’s really expensive paying out of state tuition.”

The same bill has been introduced every year for the past decade and has never gotten out of committee.

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