The Colorado House passed a bill on Friday allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition for state public colleges. For 10 years, the legislature has debated versions of the bill that lets students who graduate from Colorado high schools pay a lower tuition bill, regardless of their immigration status.
The bill passed 40-21 with just three Republicans joining the House Democrats, and it heads to Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) to sign.
A dozen other states allow in-state tuition for certain undocumented students, and more states are considering proposals during the renewed national immigration debate. Last November, Maryland was the first state to grant in-state tuition by popular vote, and Oregon is considering its own bill on college tuition.
According to the National Immigration Law Center, only 5 to 10 percent of undocumented youth who graduate from high school go on to college, compared to 75 percent of their classmates. But the Latino Policy Institute finds states that allow undocumented students to pay lower tuition have seen a 31 percent increase in enrollment and 14 percent decline in high school dropouts among undocumented Latino students.