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Kansas Policy

Updated As Of: April 25, 2017

As of 2004, the State of Kansas provides in-state tuition to undocumented students through HB 2145.
Student Eligibility Requirements
  • Attended an accredited Kansas high school for at least three years
  • Graduated from either an accredited Kansas high school or earned a general educational development (GED) certificate issued within Kansas
  • Has filed an affidavit stating he/she will apply for legal residency when eligible
  • On May 24, 2004 Kansas State Legislature voted to institute HB 2145 (also known as K.S.A. 76-731a) into law. This statute allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at a college or university.
  • On May 2005, a federal district court heard Day v. Sebelius challenging HB 2145. The case was dismissed for lack of standing and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the ruling in Day v. Bond.
  • HB 2006, a 2011 bill that would have revoked in-state tuition for undocumented students, passed in the House of Representatives but was blocked by the Senate.
  • On January 31, 2013, HB 2192 was introduced to the House of Representatives. If passed, it would have repealed K.S.A 76-731a, in-state tuition for undocumented students. Both the Kansas Association of School Boards and the Kansas Board of Regents testified against HB 2192, along with students who had benefited from in-state tuition.
  • On January 28, 2014, Representative Allan Rothlisberg introduced HB 2521.  It would have required the state to count and report the number of undocumented children attending public schools. The bill died in committee. 
  • In March 2011, House Judiciary Committee halted HB 2372. If passed, the Arizona-style anti-immigration bill would have required police officers to check for citizenship proof and employers to check potential employee’s legal status with E-Verify.
  • In 2012, with Kansas farmers facing a labor shortage, Agriculture Secretary Dale Rodham supported a federal waiver to legitimize undocumented immigrant farm labor in Kansas.  HB 2603 died in the Committee on Federal and State Affairs, but would have made undocumented immigrants who have lived in Kansas for at least five years with a clean criminal record eligible for work at certain businesses certified by the governor as having a labor shortage. 
  • HB 2275 was introduced in February, 2017. If passed, it would prohibit municipalities from enacting sanctuary policies (policies that limit or prohibit the cooperation with federal agencies to verify or report immigration status). It has been referred to the House Federal and State Affairs Committee.
  • SB 158 was introduced in February, 2017. If passed, it would prohibit the enactment of sanctuary policies.
  • ACLU of Kansas: Provides outreach and education to the general public on immigrant rights’ issues.
  • El Centro: Offers services to prepare children, build opportunities, and empower Hispanic families. Their mission is to “strengthen communities and improve lives of Latinos and others through educational, social, and economic opportunities.”
  • KS/MO DREAM Alliance (KSMODA): Coalition of DREAM Act and immigration activists dedicated to serving their communities by advocating for higher education access for immigrant and minority youth, regardless of citizenship status.
  • Sunflower Community Action: Organizes weekly community immigration clinics and strives to protect immigrant rights in order to create a more diverse and stronger community.

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.