Supreme Court rules DACA recipients no longer eligible for in-state tuition
May 29, 2018
Arizona students participating in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, are no longer eligible for in-state tuition due to a Supreme Court ruling last month.
DACA recipients such as Maricopa County Community College District student Lizette Zamudio were given lawful status but not legal status. Due to their status, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against them receiving in-state tuition.
Matt Hasson, director of communications for MCCCD, says a student taking 30 credits will pay an in-state tuition of roughly $2,500. A student being charged the out-of-state cost will pay about $9,800 for the same number of credits.
“It was something that we’ve heard prior to this administration, the threats of DACA being removed …” Zamudio says. “When it finally happened it wasn’t a surprise. It was still upsetting because we had this two-year plan and now we have to plan again because we’re going to have to pay three times more than an in-state student.”
DREAMzone is a resource at Arizona State University for undocumented and DACA students. One of the organization’s founders, Edder Diaz-Martinez, says DREAMzone was created to help raise money and provide information that may help students and educators.
“Our hope is that we have enough money to fund the gap that has been created because of the recent decision,” Diaz-Martinez says. “We want to make sure a permanent solution is made nationally. Ultimately the best remedy for all of this is having a permanent solution for DACA recipients. It might be difficult but that’s what’s going to solve this issue once and for all.”
Zamudio says it’s been difficult trying to work toward a life goal when the status of DACA recipients are constantly changing. She says she’s unable to plan over two years ahead, and it can become discouraging when nothing feels permanent.
“Why would I be paying out-of-state tuition to something I’ve given everything to and a place I call home?” Zamudio says. “If I go back to my home country, I couldn’t tell you how to get anywhere. I don’t know my home country because at the age of five I was brought here.”
Hasson agrees that the uncertainty among DACA students is going to discourage them from even going to school. He says it’s important that they stay since 89 percent of MCCCD graduates stay in the area which helps boost the local and state economy.