NC Budget and Tax Center

Tuition equality is gaining momentum nationally

Colorado joined a growing number of states (16 in total) yesterday in recognizing the importance of an affordable post-secondary education to all their residents, regardless of immigration status. The Governor signed legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from state high schools the ability to attend state colleges at the in-state tuition rate.

Meanwhile, a similar proposal in North Carolina is languishing in the Rules Committee, which means young people like Marco Cervantes can’t afford college.

Charging the same tuition rates to all residents is a great way to invest in our state and in our future workforce. The higher tuition rate often charged immigrants—in Colorado the out of state rate is three times in-state tuition—is a barrier for many students and a drain on the economy.  That is because it is increasingly necessary to have some kind of post-secondary degree to attain a family-sustaining job and secure middle-class status.

Today is a great day to call your state reps to voice support for HB 904 and in-state tuition equality. Also, sign the petition here.

As one of the bill sponsors in Colorado noted:  “in Colorado the doors are open and the dream is alive.”

Can North Carolina say the same thing?


  1. Doug

    April 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Marco has the same opportunity to take on a burdensome debt for a degree that he cannot use when he gets out of shool as the rest of us. Student loans are not exactly in short supply.

    Now you are on target for the explosion in tuition rates. All these high priced buildings come at a price. You know when a lot of this started? Let me give you a clue….tuiton is skyrocketing….we have a lot of inferior degrees out there…..and this is one case where we do have too much of the product so horaay! Yes the governement got involved with all the pell grants and student loans back in the 60’s. Ever since then college education has skyrocketed annualy even though inflation is supposed to be only ~3-5% per year. Yet another government debacle. Yes, Marco can thank the government of these United States for his situation.

  2. Jessica Rocha

    April 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Doug, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal student loans. And, as expensive as college is, it’s still the best path to a middle class life. In 2011, North Carolinians’ median income for those with a Bachelors Degree was $22,000 more than those with a high school diploma only, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

    I’d love to work on making college more affordable for everyone. I think HB 904 is one part of that struggle.

  3. RJ

    April 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    So, Pell Grants is what done it? Do you have any idea how much a Pell Grant is worth, at maximum? Maximum for 2012-2013 academic year is $5,550 for a full time student, and you have to be pretty broke to get the max. Duke tuition and fees 2012-2013: $43,623.

    Since I’ve shown you some data, would you care to show me the basis for your assertion that tuition has skyrocketed since the 1960’s? In about 45 seconds, I found this and this: Since you won’t click through, probably, the takeaway is that the rise wasn’t that sharp until the last 10-15 years. It ain’t Pell Grants.

  4. david esmay

    May 1, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Since the 60’s Doug? Always looking for a government conspiracy, when I got out of the army in 1982 and went to the Univ. of Iowa, my tuition was $507 a semester. A great education, at a great price. The government is your enemy argument is stale and moldy, find another based on facts.

  5. Doug

    May 1, 2013 at 11:15 am

    I also mentioned the easy credit available with student loans…which is the main driver in the education bubble, so feel free to only focus in on one of the items I mentioned. But it began with the government getting in with Pell grants….regardless of the size. Think of it as the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent.

    esmay…..once again time to put your tin foil hat on.

  6. gregflynn

    May 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    The point of the original post is that undocumented immigrant students are not currently eligible for either in-state tuition rates or for student loans.

  7. david esmay

    May 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Doug take your tri-cornered tin foil hat off, come out of your circus tent of fun house mirrors and false equivalencies. Doug never misses an opportunity to change the subject in order to spout righty ideological absurdities

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