Panel passes bill giving immigrants tuition break |

Panel passes bill giving immigrants tuition break

A Colorado State House bill aimed at lowering the price of college tuition for children of undocumented immigrants cleared the House Committee on Education by an 8-2 vote Monday, and was referred to the Appropriations Committee.

HB 1178, introduced by State Rep. Val Vigil, D-Thornton, counters a 1996 federal law that mandates children of undocumented immigrants must pay out-of-state college tuition regardless of their residency. The Colorado legislation is modeled after a similar Texas law

The Colorado Mountain Collage Board of Trustees voted in December to support HB 1178.

The tuition savings for children of undocumented immigrants would be significant. Students who reside in-state pay $69 per credit hour at CMC, compared to $220 for out-of-state students. That comes out to $2,170 per year for full-time in-state students carrying 15 credit hours per semester, versus $6,600 for out-of-state students.

“This will open the doors for those students not just a little bit, but a lot,” said State Rep. Fran Coleman, D-Denver, the bill’s co-sponsor.

Vigil said the bill would also allow college districts such as CMC to offer in-district tuition – a deeper discount – to children of undocumented immigrants.

CMC’s in-district tuition is $41 per credit hour, which translates to $1,230 per year for full-time students.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534

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