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Hundreds Of Undocumented Missouri Students Could See Their College Tuition Double

MU System

College classes start in about a month but just this week a group of students in Missouri were told their tuition might double and some may lose scholarships.

It’s due to a rule change passed by state lawmakers and could affect hundreds of students.

The rule effects students brought to the U.S. as children and are undocumented because their parents entered the country illegally.

These are the so-called dream children who, in most cases, have spent nearly their entire life in the United States.

They’re allowed to stay here under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Missouri lawmakers decided it was unfair for those students to pay in-state tuition or receive merit scholarships grants by state schools.

Faith Sandler runs the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, who fought the change. “It is punitive to a group of students who are graduating high school with our classmates, have grown up in the state of Missouri and deserve a chance to succeed.”

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, some returning students received letters this week saying their in-state tuition of about $9,500 will spike to $25,000.

This change would affect students at all Missouri state schools; the University of Missouri System, including UMKC, state universities and community colleges.

While the MU system declined to comment, University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor R. Bowen Loften told the Post Dispatch he opposed taking in-state tuition away from DACA students. “I personally believe human capital shouldn’t be wasted,” Loftin said. “We value every person we have here at the university.”

Sandler says these students have done nothing more than make the mistake of being born in another country. "These are students, in many cases, who've been here since kindergarten or six months old and have really known no other country than the United States."

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