College tuition reductions for undocumented immigrants will be a hot topic in Colorado’s upcoming legislative session. The state’s Democratic-controlled legislature will be pressed to pass a bill that would cut costs for students who have spent years living in the state. University of Colorado student leaders said this week that passing the bill, known as ASSET, should be a top priority among CU regents and the Intercampus Student Government group that plans to lobby legislators on the tuition bill.

The idea of giving Colorado’s undocumented students tuition breaks has been a flashpoint in the legislature as recently as this spring, when an immigrant tuition bill was killed on a party-line vote in the state’s House Finance committee. The decision, in part, led to extensive debate among Colorado’s educational leadership and eventually saw the renamed Metropolitan State University establish a new tuition rate for its undocumented students. The controversial move, Metro’s president hoped, would lead to further changes in the way Colorado educates its undocumented residents at the college level.

If it’s passed in its previous form, ASSET will create a new tuition tier somewhere between in-state and out-of-state rates for immigrants who have lived in Colorado for at least three years. Metro’s tuition change means undocumented students now pay roughly $3,300 per semester compared to the roughly $8,000 in out-of-state tuition they previously coughed up.

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