TUCSON – Six months after the Arizona State Supreme Court ruled that DACA students are not eligible for in-state tuition Pima College has seen a big change in the number of Dreamers signing up for classes.
The fall semester at Pima College began with just 88 DACA students enrolled in classes. That’s nearly 50% lower than last year when 177 Dreamers signed up for classes.
Pima College Provost, Dr. Dolores Duran-Certa, tells the News4 Tucson Investigators that many DACA students are afraid the new law will keep them from finishing their education.
“Students were bursting into tears crying because they were so fearful they would not go back to class,” she said.
Last year DACA students paid in-state tuition of $81.50 per credit. For a student taking a full class load of 15 credits that works out to $1,222.50 per semester. Now those students are required to pay $232.00 per credit or $3,480 per semester.
Dr. Duran-Certa says the higher tuition rate is the primary reason for the Dreamer drop-off. “I believe so, that is my understanding. Because that was their major concern when they talked to us.”
Dr. Duran-Certa tells the News4 Tucson Investigators that DACA students are also taking a smaller course load. “They’re either working and taking fewer classes or focusing on family and trying to figure out a way to finish their education if possible.”
Dr. Duran-Certa is worried the drop off could be even more dramatic in the spring. “These are students that have lived most of their lives here, many don’t speak Spanish but this is the home that they know and they want to get an education, they want to give back to the community,” she said.