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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    GA: More than 200 undocumented students plan to attend state

    More than 200 undocumented students plan to attend state public colleges

    By Carolyn Crist

    POSTED: August 11, 2010 9:43 p.m.

    The state Board of Regents announced Wednesday that of 50,000 new students stepping into Georgia's public colleges this fall, 242 are undocumented.

    The preliminary numbers were released by the regents' Residency Verification Committee, which Chancellor Erroll Davis created this summer to make sure students are being charged the correct tuition rate. Students outside of the state and country must pay out-of-state tuition.

    All 242 students are being charged the out-of-state rate, the committee chairman, Regent Jim Jolly, said when he presented the numbers.

    At Gainesville State College, 26 undocumented students will start this fall.

    "We're still in the process of completing an audit for all the students," said Mack Palmour, director of admissions.

    These are students who didn't provide documents that they're in the U.S. legally, President Martha Nesbitt said. Most graduated from high schools in Hall County and "have been here many, many years," she said.

    "When they pay out-of-state tuition, they're not getting any state benefits. They're paying the full amount for how much it costs to educate them," she said.

    "Other students are paying 40 percent of what it costs."

    At North Georgia College & State University, three new undocumented students will enroll in the fall, and 13 others are returning.

    "Through this review process, we identified that most (of the undocumented students) are U.S. citizens born out of the country and we tried to obtain further documentation," said Kate Maine, director of public relations for NGCSU.

    "We reviewed 10,000 files and all existing students, and it took a while to obtain this level of information."

    In the university system, 26 institutions have completed checks on all students. The rest will submit a final report before the regents' October meeting.

    "While we are still awaiting reports on returning students from a few institutions, if the trends continue, we do not expect to see any significant change in the final percentage of undocumented students enrolled in the university system," Jolly said.

    The regents committee focused on charging correct tuition, though many Georgia residents are debating whether illegal immigrants should be allowed to attend state colleges at all. During the summer, several members of the committee discussed the same concerns but left it out of the final mission of the group.

    Some lawmakers promise to introduce legislation banning illegal immigrants from public colleges. Under current guidelines, federal law doesn't stop illegal immigrants from attending college, and states "must decide for themselves whether or not to admit illegal aliens," according to a 2008 letter by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2008.

    Georgia, Arizona and Colorado don't allow colleges to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, 11 states give in-state tuition to the students and South Carolina bans them from public colleges altogether.

    "I'm concerned that we can solve this residency verification problem but don't necessarily solve the other large problem about the admission of nonresidents," Regent Felton Jenkins said when the committee met by phone in June.

    "That's a big question that somebody needs to answer." ... cle/36456/
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  2. #2
    keekee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    S.E. Michigan
    Kate Maine states that the school "tried" to obtain further documentation. I am the product of three individual university systems. Let me tell you, not ONE of those universities I attended would lift one finger to help with anything. Nothing at all! Their belief was that they were doing you a favor by allowing you to attend, the rest of the legwork and extensive paperwork was up to you. I'm so tired of this hispandering, why don't they help everyone? I'm sure there are plenty of LEGAL out of state students who would gladly pay the out of state tuition the Georgia system is charging. Geesh!

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