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Tweak to Texas Tuition Law Puts Pressure on Undocumented Students

Texas policymakers are putting the onus on the state's colleges and universities to notify undocumented students who pay in-state tuition rates that they must hold up their end of the deal and seek legal status.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board ruled yesterday that the state's higher education institutions must send annual notices to undocumented students reminding them to pursue legal status by contacting federal authorities. Those notices will start going out as early as this summer.

The change comes more than a decade after Texas became the first state to pass "Dream Act" legislation that allows eligible undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates and public colleges and universities. Under the Texas' law, students must sign an affidavit promising to seek legal status but no entity has been directly tasked with the responsibility for following up.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's support for in-state tuition for undocumented students and his strong statements on the issue have been blamed, in part, for his failure to become a viable candidate in the GOP presidential primary sweepstakes.

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