As Semester Begins, Small Number Of DACA Students Pay In-State Tuition

By Jude Joffe-Block
Published: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 5:59pm
Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 6:01pm

Thursday marks the first day of the fall semester at Arizona State University. It will be the first semester that certain immigrant students can pay in-state tuition rates.

Young immigrants brought here illegally as children who qualify for the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and meet Arizona residency requirements are now eligible for in-state tuition at state universities. The Arizona Board of Regents adopted the policy in May after a judge upheld in-state tuition for these students at the Maricopa Community Colleges.

This fall, just more than 100 students with DACA status are paying in-state tuition at the state’s three universities, according to statistics from the Arizona Board of Regents. Of those students, 76 are enrolled at ASU.

One reason the numbers aren’t higher is likely because students with DACA status are still ineligible for financial aid and most scholarships.

Plus, the future of the policy remains uncertain since Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich continues to fight the issue in the courts. Brnovich is appealing the ruling that upheld in-state tuition for DACA students at the Maricopa Community College District. He argues the policy violates a voter-approved law that denies in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants. 

The Arizona Dream Act Coalition will be hosting a workshop on Thursday evening to help DACA students navigate higher education options.

EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to the Maricopa County Community College District.