Unauthorized Immigrants’ Access to Higher Education: Fifty States, Different Directions

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The University of North Carolina School of Government


The aim of this article is to put North Carolina higher education policies and possible changes in context. The article provides detailed information on federal laws and other states’ laws and actions relating to immigrants’ access to higher education. Specifically, it describes the federal law and pending legislation on the provision of higher education benefits to unauthorized immigrants. It also surveys various state government actions in this area, focusing on whether unauthorized immigrants qualify for in-state tuition rates and for admission to public higher education institutions. The article then briefly examines the impact of existing laws allowing unauthorized immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition rates. Finally, it describes the recent history and the current status of unauthorized immigrants’ access to the 16 universities in the University of North Carolina (UNC) system and the state’s 58 community colleges.0



Undocumented students, in-state tuition, education, higher--North Carolina, access to higher education, State universities and colleges--Admission, Federal-state controversies