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Undocumented students may continue to attend the state's college and universities at in-state tuition rates rather than pay the higher rates charged to those who live out of state, the California Supreme Court ruled today.
The Court upheld AB 540, which permits students, regardless of their immigration status, to pay in-state tuition rates if they attended California high schools for at least three years and graduated from a California high school. Ten other states, including New York and Texas, have similar laws. Out-of-state students challenged the law, arguing that they should not have to pay higher tuition than undocumented students.
The state law requires that the undocumented students who apply for in-state tuition swear they will attempt to become U.S. citizens. These applicants may not receive federal financial aid.
"Through their hard work and perseverance, these students have earned the opportunity to attend UC," University of California president Mark G. Yudof said in a statement. "Their accomplishments should not be disregarded or their futures jeopardized."