With the enactment of legislation on June 9, 2014, Florida joined thirteen other states in making some undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state tuition at state-funded educational institutions. Despite criticism of the bill from within his party, Governor Rick Scott (R) supported the provision, making higher education accessible to undocumented immigrants who have attended a Florida high school for at least three years.
In his Press Release, Governor Scott said, “Making sure all Floridians have access to an affordable higher education is one of my top priorities. Signing this historic legislation today will keep tuition low, and allow all students who grew up in Florida to have the same access to affordable higher education.”
By making some undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition, the Florida law will help young people to pursue the goals and their dreams, and to better fulfill their personal and career potential. It is time for more states to implement similar provisions, and to make financial aid available to young people facing the dead-end dilemma of the undocumented.
Prior to the new law, undocumented students who wanted to attend Florida state and county schools would face the very high barrier of out-of-state tuition. With this change, DREAMers in Florida can pursue degrees and certificates which will equip them for better opportunities and prepare them for residency, if not future citizenship, in the United States. For additional information about educational opportunities for international students, click here.