By Annie-Rose Strasser
The state of Massachusetts will soon allow undocumented immigrants protected under the President’s deferred action program to pay in-state tuition at public universities.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) will direct the Board of Higher Education to grant in-state rates to any student who has obtained a work permit, a state official told the Boston Globe over the weekend.
This applies to undocumented students who were given relief from the fear of deportation earlier this year, when the President announced a deferred action program to help such young people gain the right to work.
Patrick’s directive will take effect immediately, and will drastically lower the cost of higher education for young immigrant students:
- Patrick’s announcement dramatically slashes the cost of a college education for immigrants who until now had to pay out-of-state rates.
- For example, the flagship University of Massachusetts Amherst costs $26,645 this year for nonresidents, compared with $13,230 for residents, while Bunker Hill Community College costs $5,640 this year for residents, compared with $13,880 for nonresidents. And Framingham State costs $8,080 for residents this year, compared with $14,160 for nonresidents.
In the past, paying for college was exceptionally hard for undocumented students, since they were ineligible for federal student loans or programs such as Pell grants. In some states, that is likely to continue: While there are 12 states that allow undocumented students to pay an in-state rate, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and Indiana have laws that specify such immigrants are not allowed to pay an in-state rate.