Updated As Of: April 6, 2017
In-State Tuition Policy
Other Relevant Policies
Research and Policy Reports
Federal law has been unsuccessful at addressing comprehensive access to postsecondary education for undocumented students. Despite efforts to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, Congress has not addressed the current ambiguous language in IIRIRA regarding undocumented students' eligibility for educational benefits (i.e. in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid programs). Therefore, much of the policy activity regarding postsecondary access for undocumented students has shifted to state and system levels. As a result, state policymakers and higher education institutions take varied approaches to either broadening or restricting access to postsecondary education and educational benefits. Others states have yet to take formal action on this issue, leaving the decision to individual campus leaders.
Under the provisions of this ambiguous policy context, undocumented youth encounter contentious environments with policies that range from inclusive, restrictive, or unstipulated stances.
Inclusive: States with policies that explicitly grant in-state tuition and/or eligibility for public financial aid for undocumented students.
Restrictive: States with policies that explicitly deny eligibility for admission and/or in-state tuition for undocumented students.
Unstipulated: States that do not have stated policies that explicitly address undocumented student access to postsecondary education.
State and system policies are volatile and continuously changing. For the latest, please visit the uLEAD Newsdesk. For information specific to individual state context, click in the subheadings below.