Local News

States differ on illegal immigrants at community colleges

Posted March 19, 2009 6:58 p.m. EDT
Updated March 19, 2009 9:29 p.m. EDT

— Policies on allowing illegal immigrants to attend community colleges vary widely nationwide, a consultant told the board of the North Carolina Community College System on Thursday.

Maryland-based JBL & Associates surveyed policies in 11 states as part of the North Carolina system's effort to develop its own policy on the immigration issue.

The system's board in August affirmed its ban on allowing illegal immigrants to enroll, reversing a policy adopted in late 2007. The move came despite assurances from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that there was no federal regulation prohibiting illegal immigrants from enrolling.

California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and Texas allow illegal immigrants to enroll in their community college systems at in-state student rates. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Virginia charge the immigrants out-of-state tuition, according to the consultant.

South Carolina prohibits illegal immigrants from enrolling, the consultant said.

Because out-of-state tuition more than covers the cost of educating a student, a state could make money by allowing illegal immigrants to enroll at the higher rate, the consultant said.

No recommendations were made, and the board expects to receive the full report in April.