Fewer Undocumented Students Take Advantage Of In State Tuition Policy Than Predicted

Dec 20, 2013

Seventy four undocumented students have enrolled at the state’s public colleges and universities.

They’re taking advantage of a policy the state adopted in 2011.

Only one undocumented student is taking advantage of an in-state tuition policy at Rhode Island college; the vast majority have enrolled at CCRI. Two are at URI

The controversial policy allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at any of Rhode Island’s schools of higher education. The seventy-four students taking advantage of the policy is about half the number lawmakers predicted. Ana Cano-Morales is the head of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. She offers several reasons for the lower-than-expected numbers.

“I think economics plays a lot into it.  Even our land grant university and state colleges are still unattainable for many first generation students.  So that’s one, the other would be, perhaps, we needed to do more to get the word out that this policy is in place.” 

Morales also recognizes that some undocumented students could be afraid to take advantage of the program if that means being candid about their undocumented status.