Metro Board of Trustees today voted 7-1 to lower tuition for undocumented students who graduated from Colorado high schools. Their decision makes Metro the first higher education institution in Colorado to create a new category of non-resident tuition for undocumented students.
The discounted rate slashes tuition for certain students by more than 50 percent. Tuition for a full-time out-of-state student is $7,992.60 per semester. Under the new system, undocumented students who met certain criteria can apply for a rate of $3,358.30.
“I’m really happy that the Board of Trustees made the decision to create this new category for many students that are Latino, that are undocumented,” said Jossie Cordova, a Metro student who has lived in Denver for 12 years and may be eligible for reduced tuition under the new system.
“My heart just feel down to my knees and my feet. I couldn’t believe it. We’ve been fighting really hard.”
To qualify, students must have attended a Colorado high school for at least three years; graduated from a Colorado high school or received a general equivalency diploma; and provide a statement that they are in good legal standing and seeking or intend to seek lawful status. The Colorado Legislature struck down a similar provision, the Asset Bill, in the 2012 session. The board’s decision is controversial, with dozens of comments pouring into the university’s official Facebook page shortly after trustees voted.
“People come to this country and want the freedoms of this country, but don’t want to pay the fees. And I just, I don’t buy into that,” said Guy Cava, a junior at Metro studying math.
“We have always prided ourselves on being an inclusive institution,” said Metro State’s President, Stephen Jordan.
Video by Melanie J. Rice