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Toolkit | Access to Postsecondary Education


State Laws & Policies

Maps: State Laws & Policies on Access to Higher Education for Immigrants

Table: Laws & Policies Improving Access to Higher Education for Immigrants

States with Pending Bills on Access to Higher Education for Immigrants

Model Language: Tuition Equity



Currently, at least seventeen states have laws allowing students who meet specific requirements, regardless of their immigration status, to pay in-state tuition rates at public postsecondary institutions: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Wisconsin’s law, enacted in 2009, was repealed in 2011. Rhode Island's Board of Governors for Higher Education and the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents also has adopted policies permitting eligible students to pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of their immigration status. The University of Michigan's Board of Regents adopted a similar policy for its campuses. Laws in four states — California, New Mexico, Texas and Washington — provide access to state financial aid to students who meet certain criteria, regardless of their immigration status. California, the University of Hawaii, Illinois, and Minnesota offer access to privately funded assistance for these students.

(Updated June 5, 2015)

State Year enacted Bill number Requirements:
Years of high school in state
In-state tuition State financial aid Privately-funded scholarships Links to bill text, fiscal notes, analyses, and testimony, where available
CA 2001





AB 540

AB 130

AB 131

AB 1899

AB 2000

SB 1210
3 years

Yes Yes, effective 1/1/2013 Yes California State Legislature -
AB 540

California State Legislature -
AB 130

California State Legislature -
AB 131

California State Legislature -
AB 1899

California State Legislature -
AB 2000

California State Legislature -
SB 1210
CO 2013 SB 13-033 3 years Yes N/A N/A Colorado General Assembly
CT 2011

HB 6390

HB 6844

2 years
Yes N/A N/A Connecticut General Assembly

Connecticut General Assembly
FL 2014 HB 851 3 years Yes No N/A Florida House of Representatives
HI 2013 Section 6-9 1 year in Hawaii;
3 years in U.S.
Yes Yes Yes University of Hawaii Board of Regents Policies
IL 2003

HB 60

SB 2185
3 years Yes N/A Yes Illinois General Assembly - HB 60

Illinois General Assembly - SB 2185
KS 2004 HB 2145 3 years Yes N/A N/A Kansas Legislative Archive
MD 2011 SB 167 3 years Yes, at community college; can transfer if earn AA or 60 credits N/A N/A Maryland General Assembly
MN 2013 SF 1236 3 years Yes Yes Yes Minnesota Legislature
NE 2006 LB 239 3 years Yes N/A N/A Nebraska Legislature
NJ 2013 SB 2479 3 years Yes No N/A New Jersey Legislature
NM 2005 SB 582 1 year Yes Yes N/A New Mexico Legislature
NY 2002 SB 7784 2 years Yes N/A N/A New York State Assembly
OK 2003

SB 596

HB 1804
(preserved discretion)
2 years Yes, Board of Regents policy Yes, certain grants N/A Oklahoma Legislature - SB 596

Oklahoma Legislature - HB 1804
OR 2013

HB 2787

SB 932
3 years in Oregon high school; 5 years in elementary or secondary school in U.S. Yes Yes, financial aid, scholarships and grants N/A Oregon Legislature

Oregon Legislature
RI 2011 Residency Policy S-5.0 3 years Yes, effective Fall 2012 semester N/A N/A Board of Governors for Higher Education Policy Manual
TX 2001

HB 1403

SB 1528
(amends HB 1403)
3 years Yes Yes N/A Texas Legislature - HB 1403

Texas Legislature - SB 1528
UT 2002

HB 144

SB 253
3 years Yes N/A Yes, for UT high school graduates Utah State Legislature -
HB 144

Utah State Legislature -
SB 253
WA 2003

HB 1079

SB 6523
Complete full senior year of high school and lived in state for 3 years prior to diploma

Yes Yes N/A Washington State Legislature