On Wednesday, June 13, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said that he is reviewing the legality of Metro’s new tuition rate for undocumented students.
Colorado law says that no state benefit can be given to illegal immigrants. Suthers is reviewing whether or not Metro’s Board of Trustees had the authority to approve the new tuition category.
“The issue is, has Metro State given a state benefit to undocumented aliens?’ Suthers said. “The problem here is there’s been no legislative action,” according to the Denver Post.
Metro’s lower tuition rate for these students was approved following the defeat of the ASSET bill, or Senate Bill 15, in the State House of Representatives earlier this year. This bill would have created a new category of tuition, lower than out-of-state, but higher than in-state.
“I believe that Metro State definitely has overstepped its bounds considering that the legislature has voted the bill down,” said Republican Rep. Jon Becker, District 63 “I think that if they want to be a state college and they want to receive state subsidy, they should follow the legislature.”
Metro’s new tuition rate for undocumented students, set to begin this fall, is $3,358.30 per semester, as opposed to the out-of-state tuition of $7,992.60.
“(It is) an attempt to adopt broad legislation that gives these students the ability to have in-state resident tuition, or some form of subsidy, from the state of Colorado,” President Stephen Jordan said at a Metro Board of Trustees committee meeting on June, 6.
“I know that Metro did a lot of research into this prior to developing the plan,” said Democratic Sen. Pat Steadman, District 31. “I hope [Suthers] comes to the same conclusion the Metro Board came to, which was that it was their decision to make, and they made a thoughtful and well-reasoned decision.”
Also on Wednesday, Republicans sent Gov. John Hickenlooper a letter asking him to step in against Metro State’s decision and warning of future legal action. The governor’s office is declining comment pending the investigation of the Attorney General’s office.