Arizona weighing in-state tuition rate for some non-citizens

Oct 5, 2022, 10:15 AM | Updated: 10:18 pm

FILE - The exterior of Phoenix College, part of the Maricopa County Community College system, is se...

FILE - The exterior of Phoenix College, part of the Maricopa County Community College system, is seen in this photo Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in Phoenix. Non-citizen students at schools like Phoenix College would benefit from Proposition 308, which Arizona voters will be weighing this November. The proposition would allow students regardless of their immigration status to obtain financial aid and cheaper in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin,File)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin,File)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona voters this November will decide whether to allow students regardless of their immigration status to obtain financial aid and cheaper in-state tuition at state universities and community colleges.

At least 18 states, including California and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia now offer in-state tuition to all students who otherwise qualify regardless of status, according to a website that tracks higher education and immigration data.

But there has been little past voter support in Arizona for granting in-state tuition, which is about a third of the rate for out-of-state undergraduate students, to those who arrived in the United States without approval, even if they attended high school in the state for years. Voters in 2006 overwhelmingly approved a proposition that prevented students who entered the U.S. without authorization from getting in-state tuition and other financial benefits.

The current proposal known as Proposition 308, which was referred to this year’s Nov. 8 ballot by Arizona’s Legislature, would repeal some parts of the earlier initiative and allow all students including non-citizens to receive in-tuition rates as long as they graduated from and attended public or private high school or the home school equivalent for two years in Arizona.

Tens of thousands of immigrant students could potentially benefit from the proposition in a state where an estimated 275,000 migrants are living without authorization.

Arizona Republican State Sen. Paul Boyer introduced the measure for the ballot and it was passed by both houses. But a majority of Republicans opposed it.

“They’re here illegally,” Republican state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita said last month during a televised debate on the initiative. “And while I very much sympathize with so-called Dreamers or individuals who no fault of their own have been brought to this country, the reality is their immigration status does not qualify them for in-state tuition.”

Reyna Montoya, CEO of Aliento, a community organization led by immigrant youth, argued for the initiative, saying that students and their parents had been paying taxes for years.

“It’s about fairness and giving a pathway for education,” she said during the debate.

The Arizona Board of Regents this spring approved base in-state undergraduate tuition of $10,978 for the 2022-2023 school year and a $29,952 base tuition rate for out-of-state undergraduate students.

Luis Acosta, who was born in Mexico, has argued for Proposition 308, saying he was forced to seek a university education in Iowa because he could not afford the higher costs in Arizona, where he had lived his entire life after arriving at age 2. He graduated in Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and English.

Diego Diaz, a junior at Arizona State University, was brought to the U.S. by his family when he was 4. He said higher out-of-state tuition costs created an economic burden.

“I’m currently having to take a break from school to get finances under check,” Diaz said at a September news conference promoting the proposition.

Some Arizona business owners say it makes sense to make sure the smartest young people remain and seek jobs in the state, no matter what their immigration status.

“We need more talented workers with degrees and we have now more than ever,” John Graham, chairman and CEO of Sunbelt Holdings, said at the news conference. “That is why I’m supporting this initiative.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Seattle non-profits...

Associated Press

Oregon man convicted of murder in fatal shooting of sheriff’s deputy in Washington state

A jury has convicted an Oregon man of murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy in Washington state.

21 hours ago

Image: Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd during a campaign rally on Monday, Sept...

Associated Press

Judge rules Donald Trump defrauded banks, insurers while building real estate empire

A judge ruled Tuesday that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

1 day ago

FILE - The Amazon logo is displayed, Sept. 6, 2012, in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon's profitable clo...

Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon sued by FTC and 17 states over allegations it inflates online prices and overcharges sellers

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon on Tuesday, alleging the e-commerce behemoth uses its position in the marketplace to inflate prices

2 days ago

KYIV, UKRAINE - 2022/09/03: A man looks at an image generated based on the stories of displaced chi...

Associated Press

Tech companies try to take AI image generators mainstream with better protections against misuse

Artificial intelligence tools that can conjure whimsical artwork or realistic-looking images from written commands started wowing the public last year. But most people don't actually use them at work or home.

2 days ago

Image: Actor David McCallum attends an event for "NCIS" during the 2009 Monte Carlo Television Fest...

Associated Press

David McCallum, star of hit series ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘NCIS,’ dies at 90

Actor David McCallum, who was the eccentric medical examiner in the popular "NCIS," has died. He was 90.

3 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

Biden administration announces $600M to produce and distribute COVID tests

The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it is providing $600 million in funding to produce new at-home COVID-19 tests and is restarting a website allowing Americans to again order up to four free tests per household

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Arizona weighing in-state tuition rate for some non-citizens