Maryland "DREAM Act” Passes

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Maryland became the twelfth state to pass a law granting qualifying undocumented immigrant students the right to pay in-state tuition at its public four-year colleges.

Under the new legislation, undocumented immigrants who have graduated from a Maryland high school, completed 60 credits at a Maryland community college and prove that they or their parents have paid income taxes for at least three years will be recognized as residents of the state, meaning they are eligible to pay the in-state tuition fee of $8,416 versus the out-of-state residents fee of $24,831.

“They live in the state of Maryland, they’ve gone through our system, and their parents are paying taxes,” State Sen. Victor Ramirez, who authored the bill, was quoted as saying in the University of Maryland’s Diamondback newspaper. “And they have the grades to be able to go on to further education.” Not a single Republican voted in favor of the bill.

The passage of what became known as Maryland’s DREAM Act is monumental for undocumented student immigrants pursuing higher education because they aren’t allowed to access federal financial aid, grants or loans. Texas was the first state to pass a similar in-state tuition law in 2001.