A question facing an appellate court was whether public universities in Texas can charge out-of-state American students a higher tuition rate than illegal immigrants who live in Texas The court ruled that this practice complies with existing state and federal laws.
As Higher Ed Dive reported that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of illegal immigrants who live in Texas and the University of North Texas.
Some of the legal basis behind the ruling was a 2001 Texas law, which allowed illegal immigrants to qualify for in-state tuition rates if they were residents in the Lone Star State for three years. One local media report said that around 22,000 illegal immigrant students paid in-state rates while at Texas public universities.
The legal challenge was filed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative policy organization based in Texas. The organization contended that federal law from the 1990’s barred Texas public universities from charging out-of-state students more than illegal immigrant students who live in Texas.
In the University of North Texas’s situation, if the appellate court ruling did not go in their favor, it would have lost out in millions of tuition revenue. For example, the university charges in-state students $11,140 per year compared to $20,932 for students who live out-of-state.