A fresh untruth about tuition for undocumented students
We’ve just checked a claim that a Republican state legislator gave in-state tuition to illegal immigrants – a hot-button topic we’ve already looked at from several angles. We rated this claim Pants on Fire in part because lawmakers created the benefit two years before Rep. Larry Taylor joined the House.
Our look back at the law approved by almost every state legislator and Gov. Rick Perry in 2001 reminded us of popular misconceptions about this tuition-rate issue:
- Is it worth $100,000? Not in most cases. Mitt Romney claimed the Texas law gives undocumented students an "almost $100,000 discount" if they go to the University of Texas, but that figure is a high estimate of the four-year total at one of the most expensive universities in the state. Most who get this tuition break (73 percent) use it to attend a community college.
- Is it cash in hand? No – it’s a "discount." The students still pay tuition, but at the same rate as Texas residents, and they must meet criteria such as having a Texas high school diploma and Texas residency for three years. Financial aid is a separate topic.
- Is it Texas’ version of the DREAM Act? No. As we described in another Romney fact-check, there are significant differences.
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