PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona high school graduates living in the country illegally will get expanded access to a special tuition rate at the state's three public universities, the Board of Regents decided Thursday.

The board voted to drop a requirement for students to be enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in order to qualify for the special rate.

The move came after President Donald Trump's administration froze enrollment in the program.

Arizona has for years let students who are in the U.S, illegally but have a history in state schools pay 50 percent more than their in-state classmates but less than the out-of-state tuition rate. University officials say that fully covers the cost of their education without a state subsidy.

The lower rates also apply to legal U.S. residents who graduated from Arizona high schools but moved away, losing their status as Arizona residents before returning to college.

The change takes effect immediately.

About 400 students paid the preferential tuition rate last semester, not all of them immigrants, according to officials from the three universities. It was unknown how many more students might take advantage of the tuition discount as a result of the rule change.

The move is the latest effort by the regents to provide access to immigrants, often called "Dreamers," who have spent much of their lives in Arizona but aren't legally in the country.

Voters in 2006 barred in-state tuition or publicly funded scholarships for them. After President Barack Obama created the DACA program, universities and community colleges charged in-state tuition to students in the program but the practice was rebuffed by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Regents say Arizona has made an investment in educating students through high school, and the state has an interest in helping those who want to pursue a degree to stay in the state.

Board chairman Larry Edward Penley said the universities will see enrollment drop in about a decade because birth rates dropped during the Great Recession. Combined with a growing number of retirees, the economy will need an educated workforce.

"The problem we confront means that we have a responsibility in this state to educate as many people as we can," Penley said.

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(7) comments


Sorry, but the board had voted and agreed that when they went to high school and completed it then I agree that they would be paying the same. They have been in Arizona for the required amount of time and not leave. Look into the program and it says funds from state is not used or needed. This is a good reason and not taking advantage of anyone as they was in this state... Collage can discount anyway they vote to.. Good Job!!!


So very sad that bigots attack those who, through no fault of their own in most cases, have lived virtually their entire lives in Arizona. Sorry, but I am not interested in your family members from other states - they are not Arizona residents! But of course these people they are "those" people and God forbid we recognize them and do everything in our power to hold them back.

Somehow DOTs and the weak minded consider DACA recipients to have no value. Let's look at what it takes, or before the draft dodger, to be eligible for DACA.

Came to the United States before their 16th birthday

Have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007

Were under age 31 on June 15, 2012 (i.e., born on June 16, 1981 or after)

Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS

Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012

Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school

Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety

To show proof of qualification (verify these requirements), applicants must submit three forms; I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and I-765WS, Worksheet, as well as supporting documentation along with a fee totaling more than $500

It took courage - actual human courage and concern - for the regents to come to their conclusion and I support them 100%.


You can of course support whomever you choose HwyRovr even if it is a bunch of Regents who are providing benefits to a group of individuals who are not citizens while forcing American students who happen to be citizens to pay more. In response to your statement I offer the following.

"Came to the United States before their 16th birthday". An American citizen also falls into this category.

"Have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007" As have American students as citizens.

"Were under age 31 on June 15, 2012 (i.e., born on June 16, 1981 or after)". "Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school" "Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety".

Using those guidelines every American student who is a citizen can qualify.

Why do you believe there is a need to discriminate for the benefit of some special interest group? It is just wrong to single out any race, ethnic group or other non citizen group to show favoritism to. This is nothing more than providing a special benefit and/or privilege to a select group of students which are no more deserving than any other group of students; citizen or non-citizen. It's sad you believe it is o.k. to subsidise DACA students while American students must pay a higher rate. That my dear sir is discrimination and wrong thinking.


This is just wrong on so many levels. DACA students should NOT be treated any differently than any other student who has lived in AZ for years. In fact, the whole residency, non residency, DACA non DACA thing is racist and discriminatory.

While my granddaughter who was born and raised in HI and is therefore a U.S. citizen must pay out of state tuition. But as Regents you are basically saying that an illegal immigrant is deemed to be a legal citizens by your procumulation without compliance or consideration of Federal Law. I find it quite amazing that as Regents you appear to act as a legal body capable of bypassing Federal statutes. Yes I know that many DACA individuals were brought here in some cases against their will but that does NOT make it somehow LEGAL for YOU to show favoritism. How is that NOT discrimination and/or racist since many DACA student are from many countries not just from the U.S. It just so happens that many are of Hispanic descent. For heaven's sakes Regents if you can't vote to have equal rights for all students then at least you should stop showing favoritism and just ELIMINATE the out of state tuition classification entirely . By your own admission lesser fees cover the full cost of an education. Stop playing the race game.

I am normally a huge supporter of education but I do not support this policy which is clearly showing favoritism to a certain class of people who just happen to be in our country illegally. As Regents do you even realize what you are teaching our next generation? There is just no legal justification for treating DACA students as an entirely different class of student. All you are doing is supporting the notion that doing something ILLEGAL [or something your parents did] will get you into school for less COST. Is that what we want our next generation of students to promote? Maybe I should be telling my granddaughter to take a hispanic surname, move into a hispanic neighborhood and to perform some illegal misdemeanor act so she can get in state tuition.

This is just wrong on so many levels.


I'm a resident of Az, on a tight retirement budget. My adult daughter moved here 6 months ago to go to school here, and she is. She got a job immediately, as a part time waitress and paying her Fed and Az taxes. Because she has not fulfilled the 1 year residency requirement, she pays out of state rates. Like most states, that's the rule. Those rates were set up to give Az students a break in their own state. My daughters rates will be reduced in another 6 months, when she legally meets Az residency requirements. The fact that illegal students(out of country) get lower rates than out of state, US citizen, students is mind boggling to me. I assist my daughter with my limited retirement savings that was accumulated over working hard for 45 years. My opinion is, as a non citizen you should not payless than US citizen. Govt has gone mad.


I agree whole heartedly.


Good for the Board of Regents.

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