Tuition break for illegal immigrants to begin in upcoming school year

Undocumented immigrants that attended high school in the state will begin paying significantly less to attend the state’s public colleges and universities this upcoming school year, as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed a bill into law allowing them to pay in-state tuition rates.

The impact of the law is uncertain. Backers estimate about 200 undocumented students will take advantage of the in-state tuition–a tiny fraction of the 126,000 students in the state’s three college and university systems. Higher education officials, who generally support the bill, have said few undocumented immigrants are enrolled now, and advocates say many will still fear coming forward and declaring their illegal status to receive the reduced rate.

The 12 other states that allow in-state tuition for undocumented students require them to attend one to three years of high school in-state, according to a National Conference of State Legislators report. Connecticut’s new law that will begin for the upcoming school year will require students prove they attended four years of high school in the state.

In-state tuition and fees are about one-third of the cost of out-of-state rates.