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In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants and its Impact on College Enrollment, Tuition Costs, Student Financial Aid, and Indebtedness

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  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    () (San Diego State University)

  • Sparber, Chad

    () (Colgate University)

Abstract

The 1996 Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act barred states from giving unlawful residents postsecondary education benefits that states do not offer to U.S. citizens. In contrast to this federal law, several states have passed legislation explicitly allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates. We use a difference-in-difference estimation methodology to assess intended and unintended consequences of this tuition policy. First, we find evidence consistent with past studies that postsecondary enrollment rates of Hispanic non-citizens have increased in treatment states relative to control states without negatively impacting the enrollment rates of native-born Americans. Second, state policies benefiting undocumented immigrants have not increased tuition and fees at comprehensive and community colleges attended by the vast majority of students, though rates have risen at flagship universities. Finally, despite some weak association with increased indebtedness among Hispanic natives, resident tuition subsidies for undocumented immigrants do not appear to have reduced financial aid or increased indebtedness for other demographic groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Sparber, Chad, 2012. "In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants and its Impact on College Enrollment, Tuition Costs, Student Financial Aid, and Indebtedness," IZA Discussion Papers 6857, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6857
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:162-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Conger, Dylan & Turner, Lesley J., 2017. "The effect of price shocks on undocumented students' college attainment and completion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 92-114.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    college tuition; immigration; DREAM Act;

    JEL classification:

    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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