The Daily Grind Video

Good news out of Florida this week, as the state Senate approved in-state tuition for illegal immigrants on Thursday — a move that is sure to set the stage for other states considering passing laws to make higher education accessible to those without permanent U.S. residency.

The Florida tuition equity bill will bring the number of states to allow undocumented youth to enroll in public institutions while paying the same as legal residents to 20. On Tuesday, Virginia State Attorney General Mark Herring (D) also extended in-state tuition to undocumented students.

According to the Think Progress:

Like many other state-level DREAM Act bills, this Florida tuition equity bill would allow undocumented immigrants, who attended high school for three years and graduated or are already in college, to qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges. State Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D) pointed out that the average tuition at the public university would be about four times as much for undocumented immigrants. The average cost of out-of-state tuition hovers around $29,000 as opposed to $6,300 for in-state students, or about $587 per credit hour for compared with $126 per credit hour for in-state residents.

“Tomorrow will be my last day of my 12th session,” State Sen. Jack Latvala (R), just one of 21 bipartisan sponsors, said before the bill went up for debate. “I would estimate that I have sponsored 400 to 500 bills, but this is the bill that will stick with me. We are making college education more affordable for our students in Florida. We are helping to prepare our young people from all walks of life, for improving the job force, for improving the economy.”

The measure was passed on a 26-13 vote. For more information regarding the approval, click here to read the bill’s text.

SOURCE: Think Progress, Fl. Senate | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty