DENVER (CBS4)– Metro State College of Denver is considering a tuition break for undocumented immigrants.

State lawmakers are against the idea but the university said it plans to move ahead on its own.

A state law aimed at lowering tuition rates for illegal immigrants failed in the state legislature last session.

Metro State is aware that it is creating controversy, according to the Metro State Associate VP for Enrollment Judi Diaz.

“What we are trying to do here at the university is educate some students,” said Diaz.

About 300 students would benefit from the tuition change. Those students would also have to meet admission standards. The plan would cut the cost of tuition in half for those students.

The new tuition rate breaks down like this: $6,716.60 per year for a full-time undocumented immigrant student. This compares to nearly $15,985 per year for out-of-state tuition and $4,304.40 per year for in-state tuition.

A couple of committees will take up the issue Wednesday. If the proposal is recommended, then the Metro State Board of Trustees will vote Thursday to create a new category of tuition for undocumented Colorado students.

If that’s approved, the new rate will take effect this fall.

Rep. Cheri Gerou doesn’t like the proposal because she claims Colorado gives Metro State millions of dollars each year.

“I don’t think it’s wise of a president of a college to risk that funding just because he’s passionate about something,” said Gerou, a Republican representing Evergreen. “I’m concerned that he’s leading them down a path that they’ll be stuck with student loans or student debt and they won’t be able to get a job because they can’t get a Social Security number.”

Diaz believes that what students do with their education after they leave campus is up to them.

“We can’t guarantee any student that goes to any of our colleges and universities a job after they graduate,” said Diaz.

Metro State College of Denver will officially change its name to Metro State University of Denver on July 1.


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