New Jersey Legislature Passes Tuition Equality Bill

Today, New Jersey achieved true tuition equality and joins 8 other states – from bright blue California to deep red Texas – in allowing undocumented students to apply for state financial aid to secure a college degree. The Garden State becomes the first state on the east coast to have such a policy and is the first state to pass a major progressive immigration bill this year under the Trump administration.

This common-sense policy will put undocumented students – and New Jersey – on the path toward greater economic opportunity and success. It’s an important change that enables undocumented students who graduated from our high schools to have a real shot at earning a college degree. This will help us develop a more highly educated workforce that strengthens our economy and secures a brighter future, and that benefits everyone.

With this policy, New Jersey sends a clear message that our state can mitigate the federal government’s attacks on immigrants by taking actions that both honor our history as the golden door for immigrants and maintain our reputation as a welcoming, inclusive place. Considering the fact that more than half of new jobs will soon require a bachelor’s degree, increasing access to higher education by making it more affordable for all students – regardless of immigration status – is a critical step to ensuring the long-term strength and sustainability of our state’s economy.