NJ allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition

BY newsdesk  December 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM EDT

The NewsHour Weekend reported on the issue of tuition equity in New Jersey on September 27, 2013. Correspondent Rick Karr talked to Cynthia Cruz, an undocumented immigrant who was forced to drop out of Rutgers University due to high tuition costs.

Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Friday that decreases the cost of college for undocumented students in New Jersey; allowing them to pay in-state tuition. Previously, these students had to pay more expensive out-of-state rates.

The difference is significant. If you’re a New Jersey resident, the tuition and fees for one year as a full-time undergraduate at Rutgers, the state’s flagship public university, is just over $13,000. If you’re not a resident, tuition costs almost twice as much — nearly $28,000.

New Jersey joins the ranks of 14 other states who currently have tuition equity laws on their books. That list includes Texas and California, the two states with larger foreign-born populations than New Jersey.

Christie came out in support of the bill, often referred to as the DREAM Act, during his recent re-election campaign. He had previously objected the law because of its cost, but not the principle of equality for students. Critics of the legislation say in-state tuition is a privilege that should be reserved only for U.S. citizens and have accused Christie of changing sides on the issue.

H/T Lauren Ehrler