Dozens of students from across the state visited the Capitol building on Wednesday for the fifth year in a row to rally together and speak with state legislators about tuition equity. The “Undocugraduation” event was organized by the Adelante Education Coalition, a statewide network of organizations focused on expanding educational opportunities for Latinx/Hispanic and immigrant youth. Some students who attended the event wore their graduation regalia to meetings with legislators, and spoke with them about their hopes and dreams in higher education. Advocates also asked legislators to support HB 734 and SB 652, two bills that would open the door to higher education by allowing undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition. Approximately 66,000 undocumented immigrant students in North Carolina would benefit from a tuition equity law.
Since 2001, eighteen states have passed legislation to grant in-state tuition rates for undocumented immigrant students. Four other states have granted in-state tuition through individual university systems. North Carolina, however, is not among those states. In NC, undocumented immigrant students are still considered out-of-state residents despite the fact that many have called this state their home for most of their lives. This means that many are locked out of higher education due to the high cost of out-of-state tuition for colleges and universities. Read more