Arizona students at universities and community colleges were denied in-state tuition this year because 4000 of them were not able to prove they were legal residents.
The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona universities and colleges recently began requiring students to prove their citizenship after state voters passed Proposition 300, a ballot initiative that prevents undocumented students from getting in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid.
Undocumented students can still attend colleges and universities, but they must pay out-of-state tuition. At many schools, the out-of-state prices are more than triple the in-state ones.
Maricopa Community Colleges, the state’s largest community college district, had the most students whose legal status was not verified, according to a recent report to the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee. The report shows 1,720 Maricopa students were ineligible for in-state tuition out of its nearly 111,500 in-state students. Of the 1,720, 145 were denied financial aid. Arizona State University reported 207 students ineligible for in-state tuition, while University of Arizona reported 119 and Northern Arizona University reported 20.
College officials are still grappling with the impact of Proposition 300. Some of the effects are hard to measure because college officials have no way of knowing how many students drop out or are discouraged from going to college by the higher prices.
“It’s always difficult for us to make any definitive statement about people who aren’t here,” said Steve Helfgot, Maricopa Community Colleges vice chancellor for student and community affairs.