Arizona’s DACA Recipients May No Longer Qualify For In-State Tuition

DACA recipients in Arizona will now face a tougher time being able to finance their college education. A new ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court mandated that those who benefit from the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals program are no longer eligible for in-state tuition, AZ Central reports.

The federal and state legislation will no longer permit the Maricopa County Community Colleges to offer in-state tuition for members of DACA. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 DACA recipients attend community college or a state university. Now, their costs may be tripled.

According to the news site, residents of Arizona pay $86 per-credit-hour at Maricopa County Community Colleges, while non-residents pay $241. In-state students will have to pay $9,834 next year at Arizona State University, while non-residents will have to shell out $27,618 per year.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is in support of the new law and says it’s a crucial part of following the mandate. He said that by allowing DACA recipients to benefit from in-state tuition, it was a violation of the law.

“It’s about time someone held them accountable, and that’s my job. My role as AG is to make sure you’re following the law,” he said. “What makes this country unique and great … is because the rule of law means something.”

Still, according to Karina Ruiz, the president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition maintains that fundraising will begin soon to help students pay for tuition. “We are an asset. We contribute. For this state to not give us a chance to continue to do so, it’s wrong,” Ruiz said.

However, DACA recipients may not have to pay the full non-resident fee. In 2015, the Arizona Board of Regents passed a lower tuition rate for non-residents, which were considered Arizona’s high school graduates. The rate is at 150 percent of the in-state tuition, which will be $14,751 next school year.