For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX
State Rep. Carlos Mariani
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Minnesota House of Representatives Contact: Joan Nichols
District 65B (651) 296-9417 (651) 296-8891
563 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 Joan.Nichols@house.mn
History was made last week in the Minnesota House when the Dream Act, also known as the In-State Tuition for Immigrant Status Bill passed, 71-61. Last year the Dream Act barely made it out of committee; this year both chambers are supporting this initiative, asking for a comprise that will clearly benefit Minnesota's future by ensuring an educated workforce.
The Dream Act will allow undocumented students currently in our K-12 schools to quality for in-state tuition rates (which they still need to pay all out of pocket as they are not eligible for financial aid) at state universities and colleges instead of the current, higher out-of-state rates at most public institutions of higher learning. If this act becomes law, all students will be eligible for flat tuition if they meet specific conditions:
· Attended high school in the state for three years
· Graduated from a Minnesota high school or acquired the equivalent of a high school diploma
· Registered as an entering student at or currently enrolled in a public institution of higher education
Clearly, we live in an era of global competition. Huge demographic changes are occurring that will require states to increasingly compete for people interested in attending higher education institutions. Eliminating higher out-of-state tuition is a powerful incentive that will attract prospective students, add to their skills and therefore fuel a strong high-knowledge economy. Establishing such an inclusive policy we guarantee a stronger economy and greater social well being for future generations of Minnesotans and position our state to avail itself of bright, energetic young people as the federal government fixes our immigration laws and creates new pathways for citizenship.