Sign of the Economic Times?

“Illegal Immigrants Spend Millions Extra On Tuition”

Amazing! A state law banning illegal immigrants from in-state tuition actually seems to work!

In 2006 over 70% of Arizona voters passed Prop. 300, “rendering undocumented Arizona students ineligible for in-state tuition rates or state scholarships.” Now comes the Arizona Republic with a report documenting that the new law is working as intended, to the dismay of those who opposed it, and, it appears, the author of the Republic’s report. (HatTip to) Note, for example, that “Extra” in the Republic’s headline. Doesn’t that imply “more than they should be paying”? But whether “Extra” or not, they are paying more than would be if they were treated the same as legal state residents.

More than 3,400 community college students and nearly 300 university students paid nonresident tuition because they couldn’t prove they were in the country legally. Thousands more university students never had their immigration status checked because they didn’t seek in-state tuition or state-funded financial aid.
Because nonresident students pay more than the actual cost of providing their education, Arizona’s colleges and universities actually profited from illegal immigrant students.

I was a little perturbed by this. I have never gone to school out of state (two places) that I thought the rates were profitably high.

I was looking it up and found some other perspectives.

An example from California says that unless non-resident fees are more than 3x resident fees, the non-residents there are not paying more. That implies that non-residents are not, in fact, paying higher than the actual cost of their tuition.

On the other hand, California’s law says:

(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that under no circumstances shall an institution’s level of nonresident tuition plus required student fees fall below the marginal cost of instruction for that segment.

That implies they could go up and subsidize education for residents.

Pennsylvania says non-resident cost is to avoid subsidizing. But this may have changed, based on this spreadsheet’s data.

Idaho State’s website says:

Virtually all public universities and colleges in the United States have a two-tier fee structure — resident and non-resident—whereby Non-Residents (visa holders) of the United States pay for the actual cost of instruction while residents of a particular state only pay for part of it and the rest is paid by a taxpayer subsidy.

A spreadsheet on non-resident tution seems to say that many states are charging more than the price of the education.

Texas doesn’t seem to be doing what it says on the spreadsheet though:

Some institutional representatives have questioned this policy, arguing that if the institution charges non-resident tuition to that out-of-state “electronic” student, the state’s costs are therefore covered and the institution should be allowed to submit the credit hours earned by that student for formula reimbursement. In many cases, however, out-of-state tuition does not cover the state’s cost; this is most evident at the graduate level. In general, if distance education courses delivered out-of-state were eligible for formula funding, Texas taxpayers would be subsidizing the education of non-Texans who– unlike non-residents on campus — are not living in Texas, not paying sales and perhaps other taxes here, and not supporting the Texas economy. We do not believe that is the intent of the Legislature. [ed. Some changes for font problems in original, so dashes, quote marks, and apostrophes were reinserted.]

I was wrong. Texas used to charge only the cost of tuition. Texas is now charging non-residents based on OTHER states’ tuition:
Texas explanation of the bill that changed Texas non-resident policy.

Nonresident undergraduate tuition at Texas senior colleges and universities is set [in 1995] at 100 percent of the cost of education (COE), as determined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

HB 1792 would make nonresident tuition at Texas’ public colleges and universities equal to the average undergraduate tuition charged nonresidents at public universities in the five most populous states besides Texas, unless otherwise stipulated in law.

So, I guess, as a means of discouraging non-residents, some states have moved to higher tuition.

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