Fla. Senate Panel Rejects In-State Tuition For Children Of Non-Citizens

Ann McClure's picture

His home ravaged by earthquake, 16-year-old Renato Lherisson returned to his birthplace, the United States, to finish high school and earn a college degree.

The Haitian student envisioned studying political science all the way to the doctoral level and maybe working for the United Nations one day. But now he’s just hoping to afford one class this semester.

Lherisson is one of many students — the number is impossible to determine — who must pay out-of-state tuition even though they are U.S. citizens and Florida residents. It is because they are dependent on their parents, who are not citizens. And in Florida, it is the parent’s status that counts.

A bill that would have extended in-state tuition to such students, if they lived in Florida for at least two years, was voted down Tuesday in a Senate Higher Education Committee meeting.

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