Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is expected to sign into law a measure allowing undocumented high school graduates to pay in-state tuition rates.
The Associated Press reported that Hickenlooper will sign the bill on Monday, making Colorado the 14th state to do so. Undocumented students were being charged out-of-state tuition rates, which are three times higher than the costs faced by Colorado residents.
According to KMGH-TV, students looking to qualify for the reduced tuition under the Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) Bill are required to sign an affadavit stating they have applied for U.S. resident status, or that they “will soon.” They are required to have been admitted to an in-state college within a year after graduating as of September 2013, and have attended three years of high school in-state before receiving their diplomas. Students who graduated or earned their General Education Development certificate before 2013 without enrolling in college within a year are required to have lived in the state for 18 consecutive months.
The ASSET Bill was passed by the state House of Representatives on March 8, capping a 10-year fight by advocates seeking tuition equity for undocumented students. Five previous bills had failed to garner enough votes in the House before three Republicans sided with Democrats in passing the bill by a 40-21 margin.
The AP reported at the time that the decision led to cheers from immigrant students through the state Capitol.
“For all intents and purposes Colorado is their home state, and there is no country to go back to,” said state Rep. Kevin Priola (R), one of the three who broke with party lines. “They’re bright, energetic hardworking kids.”
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