Colleges see few Dream Act students
Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 9:24 am
Colleges see few Dream Act students By EUGENE W. GOLL Education News Service The Star Democrat
ANNAPOLIS - Maryland community colleges have hardly been hit with a swarm of new students resulting from the Dreamer legislation. At least three community colleges failed to enroll any undocumented students during the spring semester.
The 2013 spring semester was the first time that undocumented Maryland residents could enroll at the local community college and legally pay the in-county tuition rate. Legislation enacted in 2011 met with opposition by vocal citizen groups that petitioned it to become a referendum item on the ballot in the November 2012 election.

Maryland voters backed it by a 58 percent margin. In the months leading up to the election, the issue received media attention. Coverage of the fuss made prior to the referendum included spokesmen for residents of the Hispanic community.
The conventional wisdom is that many undocumented students come from the Latino community. The number attending a subdivision's public schools can help determine how many might enroll in the local, public two-year community college.
Prince George's Community College (PGCC) is among those drawing from local high school graduates. The county has the state's second largest school system with 123,737 students, including 29,904 or 24.2 percent classified as Hispanic.
Deidra Hill, a PGCC spokesman, said that four full and 13 part-time students enrolled under the new legislation's provisions. PGCC full-time students who are county residents are billed $4,200 a year
Had these same students entered in the fall 2012 semester, their annual charges would have reached $9,210. This amount includes what the county and state make up resulting from otherwise lost revenues. Community colleges are primarily supported through three sources: what students pay plus county and state funds.
Karen Smith, a College of Southern Maryland spokesman, said no students subject to the new law entered. Nancy Dysard said that Harford Community College also had none enrolling, nor did Carroll Community College, spokesman Sylvia Blair said.
Chesapeake College had one student, a Talbot County resident, attending part time, college spokesman Marcie Molloy said. At 11.1 percent, Talbot has the highest rate of Hispanic public school students among the college's five sponsoring counties.
Wor-Wic Community College's Cate Trego-Cordrey put the Dreamer count at one full and three part-time students.
According to its media relations director, Hope Davis, the Community College of Baltimore County admitted 12 Dreamers. Three enrolled at Baltimore City Community College, Patrick Onley indicated. Director of Admissions and Advising at Howard Community College, Dorothy Plantz, emailed, “Eighty-six undocumented students enrolled,” with 27 qualifying through the new law.