Garden State Dreams: In-State Tuition for Undocumented Kids

By Anastasia R. Mann

Rewarding hard work is thought to be a typically American ideal. We want to believe that if people work hard enough and are resourceful, they will succeed. But that’s not necessarily the case for children born outside the United States but brought here as children by parents who don’t have proper documentation. In New Jersey, these children, like all others, are provided a free education through 12th grade. Then, because New Jersey does not guarantee them the opportunity of a college education at more affordable in-state tuition rates, their opportunities are often cut short.

This report recommends the state change its tuition policy to allow these undocumented young people the opportunity to make the most of their lives by paying the same in-state tuition for higher education as their schoolmates. It examines the impact of this policy–on these young people, the colleges and the state.

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