Archive for the ‘undocumented students’ category

Some colleges to offer in-state tuition rates to ASSET students this summer

April 30, 2013

It took 10 years of legislation, but there were smiles all around Monday when Governor John Hickenlooper signed Colorado ASSET (Senate Bill 33) into law on the campus of Metropolitan State University. Some state colleges and universities will begin offering in-state tuition rates to ASSET students this summer, while all public Colorado colleges and universities will offer the rate to eligible undocumented students this fall.

The SB 33 implementation process is fully underway. The Colorado Department of Higher Education has a role in implementing the new law. Colleges and universities have a role in setting up their systems to determine if students are eligible for ASSET after they apply and are accepted.

The best source of information is Colorado ASSET, the home of the Colorado Higher Education Access Alliance (HEAA). Students, parents, college officials, high school teachers and counselors, and members of the public can get information on this site about how ASSET is being implemented.

We hope you will read the historic SB 33 and thank the bill’s sponsors for their work this session. You can find their contact information on the Legislature’s web site directory.

ASSET Implementation

 

 

 

 

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Thank you, Colorado Legislators, for passing SB 33 and helping more students attend college

March 9, 2013

On Friday, the House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 33, the legislation that will make it possible for an undocumented student to attend college in Colorado at the in-state tuition rate. The House was the last stop for the bill before it lands on Governor Hickenlooper’s desk for his signature.

All the Democrats in the both the Senate and the House voted for the bill, along with six Republicans. We ask CEA members to thank all the legislators who voted for the bill, with special appreciation to these Republicans: Sens. Larry Crowder (Alamosa), Owen Hill (Colorado Springs), and Greg Brophy (Wray); Reps. Cheri Gerou (Evergreen), Kevin Priola (Henderson), and Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff (Pueblo). You can find all legislators’ email addresses and web sites in the General Assembly’s Legislative Directory.

Watch for news about Governor Hickenlooper’s plans for signing SB 33.

Our hope may be realized soon as SB 33 approaches the last step in legislative process

March 5, 2013

In 2003, the drive began to get in-state Colorado university and college tuition for undocumented students. Beginning that year, State Rep. Val Vigil (D-Thornton) ran bills for three years, all unsuccessfully.

By then, Colorado was one of only five states in the entire country to make it illegal for higher education institutions to offer in-state tuition to students whose immigrant parents brought them to the U.S., often as small children.

Since 2006, legislators have tried to pass in-state or reduced tuition bills four more times. This year is the year. Senate Bill 33, nicknamed “ASSET,” is expected to pass the House of Representatives this Friday. The bill won second reading endorsement today after several hours of testimony on the House floor. (ASSET stands for Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow.)

Watching the House debate today were numerous students anxious for SB 33 to pass because the bill means, literally, their future. One young woman, a Westminster High School senior, is looking forward to her high school graduation this spring. She said, “This is a long time coming. So many came before me and fought to help make sure that I can afford to go to college next year. I thank everyone who helped over these past 10 years for their support. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better graduation present than ASSET passing.”

We anticipate SB 33 will be heard on its third reading final vote in the House this Friday, March 8. Several Republican lawmakers are expected to join their Democratic counterparts in supporting the bill. Once it has passed, it will go to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk for his signature.

The cost of attending college is the main obstacle facing undocumented students. While there is no federal law prohibiting the admission of undocumented immigrants to U.S. colleges and universities, financial limitations are enough to prevent students from applying and enrolling.

SB 33 will not only give many students the opportunity to go to college in Colorado at resident tuition rates, but it will raise millions of dollars each year in additional tuition revenue for our financially-strapped institutions of higher education. Thus, SB 33 is a way to build up Colorado’s educated workforce and grow our state’s economy.

Under Senate Bill 33, students who graduate from high school and have attended a Colorado school for at least three years will be eligible for the in-state tuition rate regardless of immigration status. Estimates by legislative researchers are that about 1,500 Colorado high school students without legal immigration status graduate each year and, of these, 500 are expected to go to college the first year the new law takes effect. Analysts predict that an additional 250 students will attend college each year after that if SB 33 becomes law.

The Higher Education Access Alliance (HEAA) has been pushing for SB 33 and the approval of resident tuition for undocumented students, along with affordable access to higher education for all Colorado students. CEA is a member of HEAA’s steering committee, represented by CEA Executive Director Tony Salazar. Joining CEA in HEAA’s cause are the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition; Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization; Latin American Educational Foundation; Padres y Jovenes Unidos; Stand for Children; Together Colorado; SEIU Local 105; and Metropolitan State University of Denver.

 

Good news for undocumented students headed to college

February 26, 2013

The State Senate passed Senate Bill 33 yesterday. The bill, nicknamed ASSET, will allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at Colorado colleges and universities if they meet several specific requirements as high school students.

All Democratic Senators voted for the bill along with three Republican Senators: Greg Brophy (Wray), Larry Crowder (Alamosa), and Owen Hill (Colorado Springs).

SB 33 now moves to the House where the House Education Committee will hear it tomorrow. CEA supports the bill and works in a broad coalition which is pushing the bill.

A second CEA-backed bill, HB 1220, won approval in the House Education Committee yesterday. The committee voted 10-2 to pass the bill which would clarify current law by ensuring that individual teacher and principal evaluations are confidential, not published, and available only to administrators and others in school districts who are authorized to see them.

HB 1220 would not limit the publication of aggregate data about evaluations, as long as no data was linked to an individual educator. The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Joe Salazar (D-Thornton). In addition to CEA’s support, the bill has support from the State Council for Educator Effectiveness, CASE, CASB, and the Quality Teacher Commission.

Senate Education Committee to hear ASSET bill, SB 33, on January 24

January 22, 2013

Senate Bill 33, Colorado ASSET, will ensure that all qualified Colorado high school graduates can better afford to go to college by giving them the opportunity to pay in-state tuition. As we have invested in these students during their K-12 years, we should continue our investment in them right through college.

And after college with degrees in hand, these young people are less likely to get caught in a cycle of poverty, are more likely to be productive citizens engaged in their communities – and more able to strengthen the economy by working.

Approving ASSET is one more step toward a better economy. That’s our message to the Senators on the Education Committee: Senators Evie Hudak, Michael Johnston, Rollie Heath, Andy Kerr, Nancy Todd, Owen Hill, Vicky Marble, Scott Renfroe, and Mark Scheffel.

Please join CEA and the broad coalition that supports ASSET in encouraging the Education Committee to pass SB 33 this Thursday, January 24. Sign an online petition and ask other educators to do the same and/or email your Senator and ask for support for SB 33.