Dreamers at the state’s three universities will continue paying the same tuition as other Arizona residents, at least for the time being.
The Board of Regents voted Thursday to continue its policy of interpreting Arizona law to say that those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals are entitled to the same legal – and financial – considerations as anyone else who meets state residency requirements.
Thursday’s vote comes a week after the Arizona Court of Appeals concluded that a similar policy by the Maricopa community colleges violates Proposition 300, a 2006 voter-approved law that says those not in the country legally are not entitled to in-state tuition. The same law prohibits tuition waivers, scholarships or any other aid funded with public dollars.
But regents Chairman Bill Ridenour noted that the Maricopa board voted Tuesday to appeal that ruling to the Arizona Supreme Court. Ridenour, who called the appellate court decision a “difficult lose” for DACA recipients, said he wants to wait to see what the state’s high court decides before making any policy changes.
Ridenour also noted that students begin returning to campuses for the fall semester in August.
“We are very appreciative of the need for some kind of certainty for those students with our universities,” he said. Ridenour said there is no reason that the current tuition policy, adopted two years ago, should be scrapped unless and until there’s a final Supreme Court ruling.
Only regent Jay Heiler voted against keeping tuition for dreamers at the in-state rate.
“We have a Court of Appeals decision founded largely in state law as enacted by the voters,”…
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