The Colorado State University System Board of Governors voted Friday to support Senate Bill 13-33 in the Colorado General Assembly.
The bill would allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from a Colorado high school to pay in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities.
“This isn’t about immigration status — this is about ensuring that the pathways to opportunity are open to all Colorado’s children,” said Mary Lou Makepeace, a member of the CSU System Board of Governors in a news release.
Senate Bill 13-33 was introduced in the senate last month by Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver). According to Johnston’s official website, the bill has bipartisan support and is expected to quickly pass through the Colorado General Assembly this year.
On his website Johnston explained that since the state invests a substantial amount of money in K-12 education for undocumented workers, taxpayers aren’t getting a good return on the investment if those students are not able to attend college because they can’t afford out-of-state tuition.
“What we’re looking at is a simpler, more equitable approach to tuition,” wrote Sen. Johnston.
CSU-Pueblo is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution, meaning more than 25 percent of the student population is of Latino descent.
CSU system chancellor Mike Martin said Colorado and our nation as a whole benefit from having an educated populace.
“What happens to these kids if we deny them access to higher education?” Martin said. “What is the impact on their lives, the economy and our state?”