Tuition waiver for immigrant students

Sarah Baldeo

Staff Writer, Lake Worth Campus

Being able to pay just the in-state portion of the tuition will open many doors for immigrant students. Many of them dream of becoming contributing members of society. Danyel Delvalle, a student at Palm Beach State College stated, “This out- of- state tuition waiver is a blessing to all kids that have gone through the negative backlash of inactive immigration reform.”

For the first time ever, immigrant students in Florida will have the opportunity to pay in- state-tuition, thanks to the Florida State legislation HB851. This is a tremendous milestone for students who have been struggling to pay the out-of- state fees. Many of these students have been living in the United States for their whole lives but cannot prove their residency because they do not have green cards.

Only some students will qualify for the out-of-state fee waiver. The requirements on the waiver include attending three consecutive years of high school and completing an application to an institution of the Florida College System within 24 months after high school graduation. Eligible students will need to provide a sealed high school transcript from their designated high schools along with their class schedules in order to qualify for the fee waiver.

“I hope that every student takes advantage of this great opportunity,” said Delvalle. “The immigrant community is as capable as the citizens in this country to contribute for its common wealth…. Hopefully eyes will open and we get immigration reform moving,” he said.

Many immigrant students chose not to go to college because they cannot afford the out-of-state tuition. They can take up to four years to complete an Associate’s degree because they have to work multiple jobs to get money for tuition.

PBSC student Berta Felix gave an emotional response when asked about her thoughts on the tuition waiver. “The out-state-tuition waiver is a tremendous gesture. It shows that someone is willing to help.”

Felix recalled filling out the FAFSA and turning in the necessary information needed for financial aid, only to be told she was ineligible for financial aid. “I was hurt to be told that, because every semester I have to come up with the fee to pay for my tuition out of pocket…This waiver gives me the opportunity to worry less, especially when it comes to buying or renting books. It lets me know that I will accomplish my dream of being an early childhood teacher, as long as I continue to strive for the best and be grateful for what I have,” said Felix.

Students who need more information may contact the Dr. Kathryn Davis Center at 561- 868-3973.

Palm Beach State Tuition rates for college credit courses

Per Credit Hour*

$98.25 – In-State

$358.00 – Out-of-State

$259.75 – amount saved per credit hour

Qualifications

Florida students who attend a Florida high school for 3 years and graduated and can

prove college acceptance/attendance within 24 months of graduation.