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Vermont Policy

Updated As Of: April 20, 2017

The state of Vermont has not implemented a policy granting undocumented students in-state tuition.
  • The Vermont Legislature has never proposed a bill that would provide undocumented students with in-state tuition.
  • SB 79 was signed by the Governor on March 28, 2017. The act states that Vermont residents should be free from discrimination based on their immigration status.
  • SB 38 was introduced and passed in 2013.  Starting in 2014, undocumented immigrants are eligible for driving privilege cards.
  • In Arizona v. United States, Vermont wrote an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in opposition of Arizona’s anti-immigration SB 1070 bill.
  • Governor Shumlin and the Department of Public Safety introduce a revised immigration policy in 2011 which states, “Vermont State Police troopers should not try to identify people whose only suspected violation is that they are present in the United States without proper documentation.” 

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.