Equity & Diversity

Community Colleges in N.C. Move to Bar Illegal Immigrants

By Scott J. Cech — May 20, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

North Carolina’s community college system last week began turning away undocumented immigrants wanting to enroll in credit-bearing classes.

By all accounts, the state system is now the only one in the nation to restrict college admission based on immigration status. The 16-campus public University of North Carolina system continues to admit undocumented immigrants, who must pay out-of-state tuition.

Until last week, the North Carolina Community College System, which as of the 2006-07 academic year had 112 degree-seeking undocumented high school graduates among about 800,000 students of all kinds at its 58 campuses, followed the same policy.

Some state systems allow their colleges to make their own policies on undocumented immigrants. Over the past several years, an increasing number of states have passed laws letting undocumented immigrants pay in-state tuition.

The community college system’s 180-degree policy shift stems from a reply to a letter officials sent in November to state Attorney General Roy A. Cooper, seeking clarification of an earlier directive.

The attorney general, a Democrat running for re-election this year, told officials on May 6 to revert to a 2001 directive prohibiting undocumented students from taking credit-bearing classes. The memo does not restrict adults from taking non-college-level courses or high school students from taking community college classes.

Audrey Kates Bailey, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Community College system, said it is complying, but asked Mr. Cooper to get additional legal clarification about the matter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“When and if that comes, if it changes, we will respond accordingly,” Ms. Bailey said.

While it is unclear how many students are being affected, she said, “there were students who were panicked.”

A version of this article appeared in the May 21, 2008 edition of Education Week


Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
STEM Fusion: Empowering K-12 Education through Interdisciplinary Integration
Join our webinar to learn how integrating STEM with other subjects can revolutionize K-12 education & prepare students for the future.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
School & District Management Webinar How Pensions Work: Why It Matters for K-12 Education
Panelists explain the fundamentals of teacher pension finances — how they are paid for, what drives their costs, and their impact on K-12 education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Opinion We Can End Academic Tracking Fast—Or We Can Do It Right
Eliminating ability grouping can give students better opportunities, but teachers must be ready to get students to grade-level standards.
Miriam Plotinsky
5 min read
 Diverse group of students sitting on chairs looking away at an abstract background.
iStock/Getty Images + Education Week
Equity & Diversity States That Require Period Products for Free in Schools
More and more states are either requiring K-12 schools to stock pads and tampons, or provide funding for schools to do so.
1 min read
A menstrual product dispenser inside a women's restroom in Purdue University Stewart Center on Feb. 6, 2020, in West Lafayette, Ind. More than half of the states have legislation on the books either requiring products be stocked in schools, or provide funding to purchase them.
A menstrual product dispenser inside a women's restroom in Purdue University Stewart Center on Feb. 6, 2020, in West Lafayette, Ind. Legislation in a number of states seeks to provide more access to pads and tampons for students in K-12 schools.
Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier via AP
Equity & Diversity More Schools Stock Tampons and Pads, But Access Is Still a Problem
Period products are becoming more commonplace in schools. But there are gaps in funding—and in access, a barrier for lower-income students.
7 min read
Photograph of hygienic tampons and a sanitary pad on a blue background.
Equity & Diversity A School Board Reinstated Confederate School Names. Could It Happen Elsewhere?
Shenandoah County's school board voted in May to reinstate two Confederate names. Researchers wonder if others will, too.
7 min read
A statue of confederate general Stonewall Jackson is removed on July 1, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Shenandoah County, Virginia's school board voted 5-1 early Friday, May 10, 2024, to rename Mountain View High School as Stonewall Jackson High School and Honey Run Elementary as Ashby Lee Elementary four years after the names had been removed.
A statue of confederate general Stonewall Jackson is removed on July 1, 2020, in Richmond, Va. The Shenandoah County, Va. school board voted 5-1 on May 10, 2024, to restore the names of Confederate leaders and soldiers to two schools, four years after the names had been removed.
Steve Helber/AP