Regents: Immigrants Qualify For In-State Tuition - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Regents: Immigrants Qualify For In-State Tuition

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

The Ohio Board of Regents has decided that thousands of young immigrants in Ohio participating in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are eligible for in-state tuition rates at Ohio public colleges and universities.

The DACA program gives immigrants who arrived here under the age of 16, two years of legal status, allowing them to work and drive a car without fear of deportation.

Immigration activists delivered a letter Monday to John Carey, Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents,  urging that he inform Ohio public colleges and universities that DACA recipients qualify for in-state tuition rates.

The Board issued the following statement: "After consulting with the Attorney General, it has been determined that these individuals would be eligible if all other all residency conditions under Ohio law are met. The Board of Regents is now in the process of determining how to give appropriate guidance to colleges and universities as they make these case by case residency determinations."

That's great news for 24-year-old Zun Lin, who arrived from China at the age of 11.

Lin recently graduated from Columbus State Community College where he paid the International Student tuition rate - nearly three times the rate for Ohio residents.

Lin wants to attend The Ohio State University but can't afford the International Student tuition rate of $26,445 per year.

"I'm still stuck in this immigration limbo where I can't go any further, either because of my immigration status where I have to pay international rate or I cannot even get into school because of my immigration status," Lin said.

Last week, Columbus State changed its policy and will now allow students in the DACA program to pay the in-state tuition rate.

A spokeswoman for OSU told NBC4 "the university will continue to monitor the developments and comply in accordance with the Board of Regents decision on the matter."

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