Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

In-state tuition for undocumented students not a partisan issue, study finds

Date:
July 25, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Political ideology and partisanship don't play much of a role in whether a state considers extending in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants, according to a new study.

Political ideology and partisanship don't play much of a role in whether a state considers extending in-state college tuition to undocumented immigrants, according to a new study in the American Journal of Education.

Over the last decade 12 states have passed bills expanding in-state tuition. Another 10 states gave such bills serious legislative consideration, even though they failed to pass. Michael McLendon, a dean and professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt University, wanted to find out what factors might put such a controversial initiative on the legislative agenda.

"Against the backdrop of an increasingly restrictive environment for immigration at the federal level, why have some states considered adopting laws that cut across the political grain…?" write McLendon and his colleagues, Christine Mokher and Stella Flores. "Curiously, the topic has attracted little empirical attention."

For their study, McLendon and his colleagues surveyed state legislative activity on the issue from 1999 to 2007, looking for political, economic, or demographic characteristics common to states that consider in-state tuition bills. They found that states with a large foreign-born population, higher relative unemployment, and a higher percentage of women in the legislature were more likely than others to consider tuition bills. Surprisingly, states considered politically liberal, and those where legislatures are controlled by Democrats, were no more likely than others to take up tuition legislation.

That ideology and partisanship play little role is a "noteworthy nonfinding," McLendon says, and it raises interesting questions about how partisanship affects education policy at the state level.

As for why female legislators matter, the researchers point to previous studies showing that female lawmakers tend to favor policies that expand civil liberties for traditionally disadvantaged groups. That tendency is likely in play for in-state tuition bills, which greatly expand college access for immigrants. Higher unemployment likely matters because expanding in-state tuition is often presented as a workforce development plan, which high-unemployment states may be inclined to initiate.

The study also found that the number of Latinos in a state's legislature is not associated with in-state tuition consideration. It's unclear exactly why that is, but McLendon and his team surmise that Latinos generally hold too small a percentage of legislative seats to strongly influence the legislative agenda.

The tuition issue is likely to remain an important one for the foreseeable future, McLendon says. In 2005 alone, more than 65,000 children of undocumented workers graduated from U.S. high schools.

"Discerning the conditions under which [in-state tuition] policies become positioned for legislative consideration in some places may help shed light on the prospects for expanded postsecondary access for undocumented students elsewhere," the researchers write. "Understanding the origins of these policies also may help policy makers better anticipate future claims on state coffers." -


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael K. McLendon, Christine G. Mokher, Stella M. Flores. Legislative Agenda Setting for In-State Resident Tuition Policies: Immigration, Representation, and Educational Access. American Journal of Education, 2011; 117 (4): 563 DOI: 10.1086/660770

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "In-state tuition for undocumented students not a partisan issue, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725123553.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, July 25). In-state tuition for undocumented students not a partisan issue, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725123553.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "In-state tuition for undocumented students not a partisan issue, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110725123553.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins