Undocumented youth are not likely to go to college. Usually they do not qualify for financial aid and often come from low-income families with little ability to pay college tuition.
A new study in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management found that providing tuition subsidy in the form of in-state tuition increased the college enrollment and educational attainment of non-citizen, Mexican young adults, a group comprising a majority of undocumented individuals in the United States.
Results show that the in-state tuition policy was associated with a 31 percent increase in college enrollment and a 33 percent increase in the proportion of Mexican young adults with a college degree.
“Without opportunities for college education, the undocumented youth may be pushed into an underground economy and remain isolated from the mainstream American society,” the author concludes. “Access to affordable higher education can potentially open new opportunities for these youth, which may improve their future economic prospects, productivity, and contributions to the U.S. economy.”
Neeraj Kaushal, PhD, of Columbia University used data from the Current Population Survey, which provides information on the citizenship status of a foreign-born person, to analyze whether the provision of in-state college tuition affected college enrollment and educational achievement.
- Kaushal et al. In-state tuition for the undocumented: Education effects on Mexican young adults. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, October 2008; 27 (4): 771 DOI: 10.1002/pam.20366
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