Thursday Jan. 17, 2013
Good news, potentially, for illegal immigrant college students in Indiana, who are required to pay higher non-resident tuition rates at the public universities here per 2011 legislation.
Indiana Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, has co-authored a proposal that would rescind the higher tuition rate requirement for those who were enrolled in state educational facilities on or before July 1, 2011, when the 2011 law took effect. Sen. Jean Leising is also listed as an author.
I’ve not yet delved into all the specifics, just stumbled across the proposal, Senate Bill 207, today, in fact. But, as proposed, it would allow those who were already in college paying lower in-state rates when HEA 1402 took effect in 2011 to resume paying the lower tuition. It’s been sent to the Committee on Education and Career Development.
Here’s a key sentence from the digest of the bill, on the Indiana General Assembly website:
Provides that the law that prohibits resident tuition rate for individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States does not apply to individuals who were enrolled in state educational institutions on or before July 1, 2011.
HEA 1402 has hit many undocumented immigrant students hard. Some have dropped out of college altogether, unable to pay the higher tuition. Others have transferred to lower-cost institutions:
- Look at this story I did in 2011, talking to some of the students impacted by HEA 1402.
- Here’s another 2011 story, looking at potential numbers impacted and the tuition difference for in-state and non-resident students.
- Here’s a story from last May, in which undocumented students at a Goshen College seminar talk about their experiences.
It’s early on in the legislative session, so who knows where SB 027 will go. Indiana lawmakers, though, haven’t been too terribly sympathetic to undocumented immigrants.
Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Ind., www.etruth.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-296-5884. Visit him/subscribe to him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.