State laws permitting illegal immigrants to take advantage of in-state tuition at public universities don’t seem to have fueled an increase in the number of illegal immigrants actually enrolled. According to an article by Andrea Fuller in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Ten states have passed laws allowing such students who live in the state and meet other criteria to pay in-state tuition at public colleges. Tuition for state residents is often half as much as for out-of-state students. The first states to pass such laws were Texas and California in 2001.

But laws allowing those students to pay in-state tuition have not translated into a statistically significant rise in probability for illegal immigrants to enroll in college….

This information comes from a paper by University of Houston economists Aimee Chin and Chinhui Juhn published by the national Bureau of Economic Research.

This is despite dire warnings from conservative groups like American Resistance Foundation, which warned that,

When an illegal alien is granted in-state tuition and admission to a state university, he or she is directly competing with American students for that educational slot. This competition is unfairly biased against American students in other states who must pay out-of-state tuition to attend the university, while the illegal alien student is given in-state tuition preference.

According to Chin and Juhn only one group, Mexican men between 22 and 24, attended college at higher rates after passage of laws giving them in-state tuition.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer