California among states allowing residency, in-state tuition

Many families in California raise their kids with the hope that they will, which may include the opportunity to attend college. However, many undocumented immigrants have had trouble overcoming the often prohibitive cost of a college education.

Until California policymakers permitted undocumented immigrants to claim residency in our state, those who sought a college education at public institutions were forced to pay in-state tuition rates, which are usually quite high. Beyond this, California is set to open up financial aid for this segment of the population beginning in 2013, which will allow many more to obtain a degree.

Recently, one more state joined the growing list of those that allow undocumented immigrants to claim residency. Governor Deval Patrick, of Massachusetts, announced that his state would begin to accommodate aspiring college students in the immigrant community so their educational goals aren’t so far out of reach.

Even though the Obama Administration has agreed to stop deporting immigrants brought into the United States as young children, lacking permanent resident or citizen status prevents many from being able to further their education. Thankfully, however, recent changes may be a signal for positive changes down the road.

The reality is many young undocumented immigrants want to make greater contributions to their communities. By having access to higher education, these motivated individuals may be able to do just that.

Anyone looking to gain permanent residency for educational purposes may want to consider exploring their options under current policies. Despite recent improvements in policy on the state and federal level, immigration law can be confusing and frustrating to navigate without experienced help.

Source: The New York Times, “Immigrants to Pay Tuition at Rate Set for Residents,” Richard Pérez-Peña, Nov. 19, 2012

  • Our firm has experience helping individuals and families in California obtain changes in their immigration status. To learn more, please check out our immigration law page.