Indiana Daily Student Logo

EDUCATION

Governor Pence signs resident tuition bill


By Samantha Felix



On May 7, Governor Mike Pence signed a bill allowing undocumented students who were already pursuing their college degrees to complete their education at the resident tuition rate.

“Hoosiers believe in the rule of law and in compassion,” Pence said. “The legislation I signed today gives a handful of young women and men who have already enrolled in college the opportunity to finish what they started.”

Senate Enrolled Act 207 will allow approximately 200-300 undocumented students who have enrolled in an Indiana state college or university prior to July 1, 2011 to pay in-state tuition rates.

“Last year there was a change in the law that said if students were undocumented they had to pay out-of-state tuition rates,” said Christy Denault, communications director for Governor Pence.

Under this law, those students are now exempt from provisions governing in-state tuition rates in Public Law 171-2011, passed during the legislative session in 2011. SEA 207 passed the Senate with a vote of 35-15 and the House with a vote of 70-30.

“Indiana University opposed the original bill when it was enacted, but we support this one,” said Mark Land, assistant Vice President for University Communications. “Some schools saw a lot of students being forced to drop out because the old law nearly tripled their tuition rates.”

For IU, Land said it was unclear exactly how many students stayed at the University after the first bill passed. The law also affected students’ abilities to receive scholarship money.

In Fall 2011, the University had fewer than 1,000 undocumented students.
“This is a basic issue of fairness and the University has made a good faith effort to ensure support for those wishing to finish their degrees,” Land said.

Senators Jean Leising (R), Carlin Yoder (R) and Earline Rogers (D) authored the legislation. Frank Mrvan (D), Greg Taylor (D), John Broden (D) and Lonnie Randolph (D) co-authored it. Representatives Rebecca Kubacki (R) and Mara Candelaria-Reardon (D) co-sponsored the legislation.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Indiana Daily Student.