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Alaska Policy

Updated As Of: March 21, 2017

  • The state of Alaska does not have explicit legislation that allows or prohibit in-state tuition for undocumented students 
  • Alaska proposed but failed to pass HB 39 in 2003. This bill would have required a student to be a resident of the state for at least one year and a U.S. citizen or legal resident in order to qualify for in-state tuition.
  • HB 1 was passed in 2014 and ties immigrants’ eligibility for driver’s licenses to visa expiration date.
  • SJR No. 11 was passed in 2013. The bill concerns longshore work and requests the federal government and the U.S. President to reform the Alaska exception in 8 U.S.C 15 1288 (d) to ensure that longshore work is performed by U.S. longshore workers. 
  • Alaska Immigration Justice Project: This is the only Alaskan agency dedicated to protecting immigrant and refugee rights. It provides legal and educational services to immigrants.
  • ACLU Alaska: Affiliated with the national organization, ACLU Alaska works to preserve the civil rights of all people through education and litigation.
  • Scholarships for "locked out" states that do not offer in-state tuition or financial aid. 

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 NewsdeskFor information specific to individual state context, click in the subheadings below.