Students From Mexico Can Now Pay In-State Tuition at Some California Community Colleges
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
- A new law will allow low-income students from Mexico to pay in-state tuition at certain California community colleges.
- Students will have to live within 45 miles of the California-Mexico border.
- Up to 150 students per eligible college can be exempt from paying nonresident tuition.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law that allows some students who live close to the California-Mexico border to be exempt from paying nonresident tuition at certain California community colleges.
The legislation allows low-income students from Mexico who live within 45 miles of the border to pay in-state tuition at eligible local community colleges, up to 150 students per college.
Assembly Bill 91 was introduced by Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego) in January and signed into law by Newsom on Oct. 13.
In a press release, Alvarez said that Southern California and Northern Baja California operate as one
megaregion, with more than 170,000 people crossing the border daily for work, school, or leisure.
This pilot program can unlock a significant untapped resource to prepare a more diverse population among our workforce, Alvarez said.
While an existing law allows community colleges to admit nonresident students, including students from states that border California, nonresident students have to pay a nonresident tuition fee.
The new law would add additional exemptions from out-of-state tuition for nonresident, low-income students who:
- Are residents of Mexico
- Register for lower-division classes at select colleges
- Live within 45 miles of the California-Mexico border
Colleges included in the legislation are: Cuyamaca College, Grossmont College, Imperial Valley College, MiraCosta College, Palomar College, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, and Southwestern College.
The five-year pilot program will start in 2024.
This is a transformational bill for the realities of our region. By expanding affordable access to our region's community colleges, our binational students will be better equipped to enter our workforce and be a part of this thriving binational economy, Dr. Mark Sanchez, superintendent and president of Southwestern College, said in the release.
Current enrollment at a California community college varies depending on the school.
In the San Diego Community College District, which encompasses San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, classes cost $46 per unit. Nonresidents must pay an additional nonresident tuition fee of $331 per unit.