Photo: State Sen. Victor Ramirez
In Maryland, an amended DREAM Act is moving along to the state senate, and if passed, will give undocumented immigrant students in-state college tuition rates.
The Maryland state DREAM Act – Senate Bill 167 – “is the right thing to do,” said the bill’s sponsor Sen. Victor Ramirez. “We want the strongest and most educated work force possible.”
To be eligible for the in-state tuition rates, an undocumented student would have to be a graduate of a Maryland school, or have obtained a GED in the state. Also, the student or their parents would need to show proof that they’ve had Maryland tax withholding during the year before the student’s high school graduation.
The amendment to the bill limits the application of in-state rates to community colleges to begin with. Once a student had 60 credits or an associate degree, they could move along to a four university and still only pay in-state tuition.
The gape between tuition rates is quite large. Looking at the rates for Maryland’s Frostburg State University – Sen. Ramirez’s alma mater – yearly in-state tuition is $7,128 while out-of-state is $17,020 for the year.
So far, 10 states across the country have passed laws allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, and according to the media reports, Texas is the only state to have seen an substantial increase in undocumented students attending their public institutions of higher education.
Ramirez is Maryland’s first Latino state senator.