YUMA, Ariz. – The Arizona Board of Regents who control Arizona’s three universities tuition rates are considering proposition 300. The proposed change would lower payments for Arizona students qualified under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students. They’ve been raised in Arizona, but currently pay out-of-state tuition. Board Chairman Mark Killian says, “Those are all the lives they know, no other place but Arizona, but yet they have the burden of the legality of their family.”
If the bill passes, the DACA students would still pay 150% more than in-state tuition, but significantly less than out-of-state costs. Ricardo Rivas, a college student in Arizona, said, “We as immigrants or as people residing here in the U.S. we need to get lower tuitions in order to proceed to a better education.”
Killian adds Arizona communities would benefit from the change, as lower cost for higher education will add working professionals independent of government handouts. “They don’t want to be on the welfare rolls, they don’t want to get access, they don’t want food stamps, they want to work and contribute to our society,” said Killian.
Another Arizona college student, Braiden Campbell, feels high tuition rates aren’t just an issue for immigrants. “I have mixed feelings about this, I think a lot of people more and more need help paying for college. So I think there should be a decrease in tuition for everybody though,” said Campbell.
A decision is expected this May.