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Latino Daily News

Tuesday June 7, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Review Ruling on In-state Tuition Rates for Undocumented Students

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Review Ruling on In-state Tuition Rates for Undocumented Students

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Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the ruling on a California law that would have allowed undocumented immigrant students to attend state universities and pay in-state tuition rates. In-state tuition is about one-third less than out-of-state tuition.

Eight other states – Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington – have passed similar provisions allowing undocumented students to pay the lower rate at all public colleges and universities, some even considered the top schools in the country. Required for in-state tuition is a high school diploma from a California school, and attendance at said school for at least three years.

A group of out-of-state students filed a lawsuit challenging the California law, saying that the provision conflicts with the 1996 federal immigration law which states that states are not allowed to offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented students unless the state offers all students the same rates regardless of their residency status.

In November, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that in-state tuition for undocumented students does not contradict federal immigration laws that restrict public education benefits to undocumented immigrants.

Monday’s decision to not review the case simply upholds the November ruling, and allows eligible undocumented students to continue paying in-state tuition rates.