A Scholarly Review of Undocumented Students’ Access to College

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 31, 2009 1 min read
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For a comprehensive update on where states stand in giving or denying access to undocumented students to college, read a research paper on the issue by Michael A. Olivas, a law professor at the University of Houston, posted over at ImmigrationProf Blog.

Olivas says that 10 states now have statutes that permit undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates for public colleges and universities in those states. They are California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Olivas says that access to higher education for undocumented students, which includes availability of financial aid and in-state tuition rates, has been targeted by both immigrant advocates and opponents as “an important line in the sand.”

The publication of the paper in the spring issue of The Review of Higher Education is particularly timely given the fact that the ‘DREAM Act’ was just reintroduced in Congress (Olivas’ paper is just slightly out of date in saying the act is “stalled.”) That legislation would give undocumented students who graduated from U.S. high schools and attend college or join the military a path toward legalization. The DREAM Act stands for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.