Do In-State Tuition Benefits Affect the Enrollment of Non-Citizens? Evidence from Universities in Texas
Dickson, Lisa M.
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In 2001, the Texas state legislature passed House Bill 1403. With the passage of the law, Texas became the first state to legislate that non-citizens (including illegal immigrants) who graduated from an in-state high school and resided in the state for three years could pay instate resident tuition rates at public universities. As a result of the policy change, the cost of attending college at public universities in Texas fell dramatically for non-citizens. Using administrative data from five universities in Texas, we employ a quasi-experimental design to identify the effects of the policy change on the probability of enrollment at each of the universities. Our results demonstrate a large and significant positive effect of lowering tuition on the enrollment of non-citizens at the University of Texas at Pan American and the University of Texas at San Antonio.