In-State Tuition Policies for Undocumented Youth
Vargas, Edward D.
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This paper is an investigation into why U.S. states have enacted, banned, or continued with the status quo regarding in-state tuition policies for unauthorized youth. Using data from multiple government and nonprofit sources, a series of multinomial logistic regressions are estimated to explain the determinants of state behavior across the country in 2008. This question of why some states pass or ban in-state tuition legislation for unauthorized migrants is important for several reasons. From a public finance perspective, not much is known of the relationship between fiscal and state budgets and the decision of a state to pass legislation regarding undocumented citizens. From an economic stimulus perspective, does poverty or per capita spending in higher education explain this behavior? The findings may help us understand how fiscal, political, public mood, and demographic indicators affect states’ actions toward in-state tuition policies and why some members of Congress may be pushing for a federal education policy such as the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.