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North Carolina immigrant students might get decrease in tuition

Undocumented foreign-born students  in North Carolina who are attending a college in the state pay as much as $7,000 more than other resident students. This is because the current system does not grant in-state tuition discounts to undocumented immigrant students. A newly proposed bill in the North Carolina Senate could lead to changes that would allow those students to receive the same tuition rate to which other state residents are entitled.

A spokesman for an advocate group recently stated that the current tuition fees of almost $10,000 per semester that undocumented college students must pay are simply not attainable for many of the families affected. The students are charged the same rates as the non-resident student body even though they reside full-time within the state. State Senator Fletcher Hartsell, Jr. has proposed new legislation that would allow undocumented students who are permanent residents to become eligible for in-state tuition fees.

The proposed bill includes certain requirements that would affect eligibility.Students must have attended a state school for three consecutive years before graduating. Also, those applying for in-state rates must have received a high school diploma from a state school. If an undocumented student did not receive a high school diploma, proof of a GED issued from the state must be provided.

It was noted that the newly proposed bill presents valuable opportunities for bi-partisan discussions. Should North Carolina adopt the legislation proposed,  undocumented immigrant students here will gain an important benefit as they pursue a college education. Foreign-born students who are considering applying for entrance to a North Carolina college who might have questions concerning the current state laws or the newly proposed bill may benefit by consulting an attorney with experience in immigration and naturalization law.

Source: twcnews.com, "NC Senate Bill Could Give Undocumented Students In-State Tuition", Vanessa Leon, April 3, 2015

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