Senate Democrats outlined initiatives for the upcoming legislative session aimed at improving the quality of life for Latino people Indiana, including a proposed bill that would give undocumented students who have graduated from an Indiana high school in state tuition at Indiana universities.
This initiative is a continuation on a Senate bill from last session that did not pass. The proposed bill granted in-state tuition for any undocumented student that graduated from an Indiana high school after attending the school for three years.
This updated version of the bill would also grant in-state tuition according to these guidelines.
Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, explained the proposals and said the bill from last year had bipartisan support with Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, authoring the bill, giving Lanane hope the bill could become law this year.
“There are many students, many individuals that we know, who because they could not afford the in state tuition rates have had to defer their dreams,” Lanane said. “The time is now to end that. Let’s open up our schools to these wonderful young people, allow them to get the education they need, and allow them to contribute to the state of Indiana.”
To illustrate the need for this bill, Lanane invited Beatriz Preciado, a graduate of Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis and an undocumented student, to speak about her experience trying to afford college since graduating in 2012.
“Being able to pay the in-state tuition rate would help me finish what I started majoring in, which was physics and mechanical engineering. I really want to finish that off and contribute to the economy here in the state of Indiana because this has been home for so long,” Preciado said.
Lanane says from a fiscal standpoint this bill would help the economy by not only adding more able people to the workforce, but by bringing in a crop of students to the state’s universities who are not currently paying tuition.