After many years in the works, Colorado’s Governor John Hikenlooper signed Senate Bill 33, the ASSET bill, into law on April 29, 2013. This gives qualifying undocumented students residing in the state of Colorado the opportunity to pay in-state tuition, drastically reducing the cost of a college education. Essentially, this means that many more people will now be able to afford college in Colorado.
Generally, to be eligible to for in-state tuition, undocumented students or students who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), must:
- Have attended a Colorado public or private high school for at least 3 years;
- Graduate or obtain a general equivalency diploma (GED) in Colorado;
- Apply and be admitted to a participating college within 1 year of graduating high school; and
- Sign an affidavit stating they will seek “lawful presence” as soon as possible.
There is an exception to the requirement of having been admitted to a participating college within 1 year of graduation, if the student can prove he or she has been physically present in Colorado for the past 18 months and graduated and received a GED before September 1, 2013.
Students qualifying for in-state tuition under the ASSET bill also may be eligible for the College Opportunity Stipend, which covers a portion of in-state tuition costs at participating colleges within Colorado.
The ASSET bill provides undocumented students, many of whom consider Colorado and the United States their home, an opportunity to pursue an increasingly valuable education. This is an important step in Colorado–a practical and much needed step toward recognizing the potential and contributions of our many undocumented youth. However, it also highlights the need for comprehensive immigration reform on a national level so these undocumented youth may become full, participating members of our society as lawful permanent residents and U.S. Citizens after working hard to earn advanced degrees.
Knudson Immigration helps eligible, undocumented youth between the ages of 15 and 30 apply for DACA, and advises students on whether they have other options for obtaining a lawful immigration status. Please contact us for more details.