A guest post by Katherine Gotthardt! Thank for your very thoughtful contribution regarding this very important life issue for so many young people who were brought to this country as children.
According to Inside Higher Ed, “The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling that placed in doubt the legality of a state law granting in-state tuition rates to some immigrant students who lack the legal authority to be residents of the state, the Los Angeles Times reported. While the California Supreme Court’s ruling would only be binding in that state, it could influence debates in other states with similar laws. Higher education officials and advocates for immigrants have worried that the lower court’s ruling, if it stands, could make it impossible for many of the students covered by the law to remain in college, given the large difference in tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students and the limited aid dollars available to students who are not legal U.S. residents.” (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/01/05/qt)
The LA Times article says, “The California Supreme Court case revolves around a 2001 state law, known as AB 540, that permits the tuition breaks. Under the law, illegal immigrant students qualify for in-state rates if they attended a California high school for three years, graduated here and signed an affidavit saying they will apply for permanent residency as soon as they are eligible. The law has remained in effect during the legal challenge.” (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-immigtuition5-2009jan05,0,3248207.story)
Before considering this case, it is important to understand the admissions and financial aid systems.