Seventeen states and the District of Columbia offer in-state tuition to unauthorized immigrant students by state legislative action and seven states by state university systems. Seventeen state legislatures—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington—and the District of Columbia—enacted laws to allow in-state tuition benefits for certain unauthorized immigrant students. These laws typically require attendance and graduation at state high schools, acceptance at a state college or university, and promising to apply for legal status as soon as eligible.
At least seven state university systems—the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, University of Maine Board of Trustees, University of Michigan Board of Regents, Ohio Board of Regents, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Rhode Island’s Board of Governors for Higher Education—established policies to offer in-state tuition rates to unauthorized immigrant students.
Delaware has considered but not enacted legislation, but two universities in that state—Delaware Technical Community College and the University of Delaware—allow undocumented students to be eligible for in-state tuition and financial aid.
In 2018, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington enacted laws allowing certain immigrant students, such as students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), to be eligible for financial aid. In 2019, Arkansas allowed DACA students or those with federal work permits to receive in-state tuition. In 2020, Virginia allowed students who meet certain criteria to be eligible for in-state tuition regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. Criteria includes attending a Virginia high school for at least two years, graduating and being accepted to a higher education institution. Students, or if dependent, their parents, must have paid Virginia income tax for two years.
At least eleven states—California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington—offer state financial assistance to certain undocumented immigrant students including DACA students. Several states, including Utah, allow public universities to use private sources of funding to support financial aid to unauthorized immigrant students.
Six states—Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri and South Carolina—bar unauthorized immigrant students from in-state tuition benefits.