In a unanimous vote, the Rhode Island Board of Governors voted last night to amend state policy to state that undocumented students may pay instate tuition if the student (1) completed at least three years of high school in Rhode Island; (2) graduated from a high school or received a GED in the state; and (3) signs an affidavit saying they will pursue citizenship as soon as possible.
Public schools have taught undocumented students through 12th grade without question for years, and advocates pushed for the new measure partly to maintain a consistent policy when those students reach college age, [spokesman] Trainor said. They also consider it part of an economic development strategy to ensure a highly trained work force that generates tax revenue and contributes to the economy, he said. Tuition for Rhode Island residents is significantly lower than for out-of-state students at its university and community colleges. For example, at the University of Rhode Island, out-of-state tuition is $27,262, while in-state tuition is just $10,556; at Rhode Island College, it is $16,878 out-of-state and $6,986 in-state; and at Community College of Rhode Island, it is $9,792 out-of-state and $3,652 in-state.