A bill being introduced in the California state legislature would allow some Mexican students who live near the U.S.-Mexico border to pay in-state tuition for local community colleges in San Diego.
San Diego Assemblymember David Alvarez introduced the legislation that would allow low-income students who live within 45 miles of the state’s border with Mexico to be exempt from the nonresident tuition fee if they have “demonstrated a financial need for the exemption.”
It would place a limit of 10% of students per San Diego and Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association (SDICCCA) college to be exempt from the nonresident tuition fee each academic year.
“We live in a dynamic border region where we need to educate more students to fill the jobs required for growth” Alvarez said in a statement. “This bill will allow low-income residents who live close to the border to attend local community colleges.”
CBS8 reported that international students pay an average over $8,000 per semester for community college tuition, compared to about half of that for in-state students.
Alvarez’s office, in a release, said that San Diego needs to double the number of people with post-secondary education by 2030 to meet the demand of the local economy.
The bill has the support of Southwestern College.
“Southwestern College is the cornerstone for affordable and accessible higher education opportunities in the South County” said Superintendent and President Dr. Mark Sanchez said. “Expanding affordable access to low-income, binational students will make a significant contribution to our region’s binational workforce and economy.”
CBS reported that the legislation now needs to go through the state’s education committee before being voted on in the chamber itself.
Legislation went into effect in California at the beginning of this year that removed the provision in California law that an individual must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States in order to become a police officer so long as they are legally authorized to work.