In State Tuition for Non-Citizens Again

A panel of the Governor’s Board of Higher Education has recommended that Rhode Island offer in-state tuition to non-residents of Rhode Island. If you’re not a US resident or citizen, is it possible to be a Rhode Island resident, by the legal definition? I guess according to the Board of Governors, you can.
Even more interesting, the fact sheet from the Board of Governors says that there will be no extra cost to the taxpayers, but will actually lead to additional revenues. I honestly don’t see how this can be a true statement. Looking at the costs of one semester’s tuition at URI, I see:

Undergraduate
In-State $9,824
Out-of-State $25,912
Difference $16,088

When I see that difference (per semester), I ask why? Why is there that difference? Is it because $25,912 is the true cost of educating a student at URI? If it is, where does the remaining $16,000 come from? Don’t the taxpayers make up that difference through the support the school gets in the state budget? So if you add more in-state students, you increase the cost to the taxpayers. The fact sheet also claimed this change would add approximately 31 extra students to the state college system. If all 31 of them attended URI (a very unlikely scenario), that is an extra half million dollars that needs to be paid. Not only that, the fact sheet claims there were currently 74 undocumented immigrants attending Rhode Island’s state colleges and paying out of state tuition. If we give them in-state tuition and also figure they all attend URI, that is an extra $1.2M. So this change could, in a worst-case scenario, cost the state an extra $1.7M for one semester or $3.4M for the academic year.
Going back to the table and seeing that $16,088 difference between in-state and out of state tuition, if that $25k number isn’t the true cost of educating a student at URI, then is the $9,824 the true cost? If it is, then why do we charge out of state students an extra $16,000? That would results in millions of dollars of profits for URI for all those out of state students.
I don’t know of any other possibility. One of those numbers is the true cost of educating a student for a semester at URI. I believe the first scenario is far more likely to be true, which makes me extremely skeptical of statements that there is no extra cost to the taxpayers.

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Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Regardless of what may be claimed in the ironically named “fact sheet,” anyone who believes that subsidizing education for illegal immigrants will save taxpayer money needs their head examined. This is simply another handout.
I didn’t know that public universites could expand their enrollment at will – any thought given to the opportunity cost of crowding out out-of-state students? No. Any concern over whether this will further establish Rhode Island as a welfare and sanctuary state, drawing even more illegal immigrants in the future? No. Just the same short-sighted analysis that is bankrupting the state in the first place.
Warning: progressive economics at work.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Finances aside, allowing anybody to enroll in any taxpayer funded, assisted, or operated school must be illegal. If it isn’t why isn’t it? Even if illegal immigrants paid double to attend URI it should not be allowed. Sometimes I can’t believe the audacity of people, and the stupidity of our government. Being here illegally, having undocumented children here, and then filling out paperwork that leads anybody who looks right to your door is essentially flipping the bird to every taxpaying citizen, and even those citizens who for whatever reason don’t pay taxes.

mangeek
mangeek
10 years ago

OK. Y’all know that I’m no fan of illegal immigration, but this is an issue where there’s possibly a big disconnect between good public policy and traditional Republican thinking. “anyone who believes that subsidizing education for illegal immigrants will save taxpayer money needs their head examined” Well maybe not up-front, but don’t college grads earn a buttload more money on average in their lifetimes? If a break on college tuition gets more people (regardless of their immigration status) from being ‘dependents’ to ‘taxpayers’, then isn’t it likely a good investment that DOES save money? People with bachelors’ on average make $51K, while those who do not average $28K. We all know that when you make $28K you basically don’t pay income tax, but at $51K you do. Lifetime earnings show a $900K per-capita delta, there’s no government program that could possibly produce better long-term results than helping working-class non-taxpayers become middle-class taxpayers via education. Also, you have to assume that once they have degrees, these folks are going to go looking for the kinds of jobs that are above-board and withhold taxes. That’s a Good Thing. Personally, I think all it should take to get in-state tuition is proof that you’ve lived in-state for as long as required. If you’re able to produce the appropriate government forms to apply for college, financial aid, and residency, you get in-state rates. It’s not a clerk at URI’s job to enforce immigration, and even if it was it’s not like the federal or local government is going to do anything about ‘an illegal at my desk applying for college’. I don’t know what kind of world you imagine we’re living in, but police don’t show up for illegal immigrants in mine. Not extending in-state rates has nothing to do with it. On the… Read more »

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

I’m not comfortable using the term ‘sanctuary state’ but the more benefits and opportunities you provide the larger the problem becomes. As Dan said, would we be displacing out of state students paying 16K more a year?
Interesting how it seems the board relies solely on the numbers from the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams in their decision.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

THIS is another attempt to end run the legislative process by “boards”and regulation.
Rep.Diaz introduced the legislation and it didn’t make it to a floor vote.
End of story.
Who the f**k voted for this board?

mangeek
mangeek
10 years ago

“the more benefits and opportunities you provide the larger the problem becomes” I agree, but in-state college tuition is a way to mitigate the ‘problem’ part of the problem. We need the agencies who’s job it is to handle this stuff (ICE?) to actually do their jobs if you want to see anything positive. You can toggle various benefits on-and-off all day and all you’ll do is make life better or worse for people like me who live in neighborhoods with significant numbers of illegals. So if the federal government has decided not to do their job of keeping illegals out or properly hunting down employers who hire them, we need to do harm-mitigation, not pretend that we can make things better by being hard-headed. You deal with what you’ve been given. Would I rather have illegal immigrants in my neighborhood able to go to public school or not? I’d prefer them to not be totally uneducated and hanging out on my lawn all day. Would I rather be in a car accident with an illegal immigrant who has insurance or not? I’d prefer if they had insurance and had taken a drivers’ test. Would I rather have the nine apartments on my street that are likely occupied by illegals occupied or vacant? Honestly, I’d rather have -any- neighbors than have my street be like some of the others nearby that are half-empty and boarded-up. I could go on and on. I’d have a much different point of view if there was real enforcement of illegal immigrants, but there isn’t and there won’t be, because meaningful enforcement is VERY invasive and so expensive it’s probably Not Worth It. Go ahead, take away every benefit, as long as there isn’t a ladder towards legal middle class status or strict enforcement, all… Read more »

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

@mangeek
Sounds more like wishful thinking.

Russ
Russ
10 years ago

…the Board of Governors says that there will be no extra cost to the taxpayers, but will actually lead to additional revenues. I honestly don’t see how this can be a true statement.

We’ve covered this before on this blog…
http://www.anchorrising.com/barnacles/013030print.html

In 2008, the state of Rhode Island provided a subsidy of $3,367 per full time enrolled student (FTE) per year for public research universities/colleges (like URI), and $5,264 per FTE per year for community colleges (CCRI). This subsidy is per full time enrolled student (FTE) regardless of in-state or out of state tuition rates, and regardless of citizenship status. State subsidy budget allocations are not directly affected by the number of non-citizen students, regardless of whether they are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition.

Q: When I see that difference (per semester), I ask why? Why is there that difference? Is it because $25,912 is the true cost of educating a student at URI?
A: No, that is simply the cost of out of state tuition (we can assume it is based on what the out of state folks are willing to pay).
Q: If it is, where does the remaining $16,000 come from? Don’t the taxpayers make up that difference through the support the school gets in the state budget?
A: No, the taxpayer supported amount is the same. $3,367 per full time enrolled student.
Q: So if you add more in-state students, you increase the cost to the taxpayers.
A: Not so, in fact I’d argue the return is better because in-state students are more likely to take jobs in state after graduation.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Russ, I’m willing to have an honest discussion about this.
Are you saying that the cost at URI is about $13,000 per student, in state or out?
But URI charges $25,000 per out of state student. What happens to that other $12,000 per out of state student at URI? Is that just “extra” money that the university brings in? Profit? Or does that extra money help to pay for the in-state students?
And if there is that extra $12,000 being brought in per out of state student, why do we need to subsidize them for $3,367 per student? It seems like the “extra” money that the out of state students are bringing in more than covers that $3,367.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“the true cost of educating a student at URI”
There is no need to wonder. We obtained the answer to this question directly from the horse’s mouth (if URI’s Provost will forgive the expression). The cost of educating a student at URI is $21,500+.
Accordingly, the shortfall per student to be picked up by state taxpayers for in-state tuition is $12,500+.
The Board of Regents panel which made the recommendation to extend in-state tuition to undocumenteds is shockingly mis-informed.
http://www.anchorrising.com/barnacles/012941.html

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

The true cause of voter apathy in this state is exhaustion from sorting out all the F’n lies.

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

“A: Not so, in fact I’d argue the return is better because in-state students are more likely to take jobs in state after graduation.”
What jobs?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Anyone using the word “undocumented”to describe aliens illegally in the US please find a legal reference for that term in Title 8 or revise your terms,because an intelligent debate can’t be held using fictional names.
Eva mancuso debated Terry Gorman on the Cianci show today and she dissembled on the whole question-when Terry brought up 8USC1324(harboring)she melted down into an emotional display.A real pro there.And we pay her for it.
Government by feeling-it makes Grace Diaz look almost legitimate.

Bucket Chick
Bucket Chick
10 years ago

I don’t think that anyone is suggesting that these illegals be barred from attending state colleges (at least I’m not, since as someone pointed out, it would make the colleges into immigration enforcers). My problem stems from offering them a discounted rate. Why should someone who is here illegally reap any kind of reward that a potential student from Massachusetts, or Connecticut is ineligible for? Because, if I lived in Seekonk and was a legal resident and had to pay out of state tuition, knowing that illegal residents were getting roughly half off – I’d be FURIOUS.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Mangeek writes:
“Well maybe not up-front, but don’t college grads earn a buttload more money on average in their lifetimes?”
Not so much anymore, now that everyone goes to college. Of course it varies. The chemistry majors do better than the Women’s Studies people. What does it matter? Educated young people flee Rhode Island.
State universities are always political footballs. In Massachusetts,they are used to employ out of work politicians. Or “politicians in waiting”, have we noticed that both Clinton (University of Arkansas) and Obama taught Constitutional Law? It is always Constitutional Law. Is it the same here?
Figure this one. I was an “out of sate” student, but also a “legacy”, so I paid “in state” rates.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“Anyone using the word “undocumented”to describe aliens illegally in the US please find a legal reference for that term in Title 8 or revise your terms,because an intelligent debate can’t be held using fictional names.”
Yup. Guilty as charged, Joe. I was trying to be nice.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Why do people think these illegals are all flocking to RI in the first place? The nice weather? They travel thousands of miles to get there because it’s the promised land – they get free everything from the state. It sure as heck isn’t the job climate.
I don’t have anything personal against the people, but if you think that all these handouts don’t aggregate to incentivize future migrations, keep dreaming.

mangeek
mangeek
10 years ago

Dan, I agree, but consider this some-of-each-side fix:
If you’re already here, apply for citizenship and get a state ID, you’ll be able to get whatever stuff you get now. Make the ID the ‘key’ to social services. Stop issuing IDs to illegals after a grace period. Bam, no welfare, heating assistance, or whatever to new illegals.
If there was ONE THING to keep, it would be the in-state tuition. Most of these people seeking the in-state rate are going to be kids who were brought here when they were too young to be held responsible, and their kids are going to be legal. It makes sense to get them into the economy as taxpayers so we only have to float 1.5 generations (the parents and the kids applying for in-state rates) on social services than to support 2.5 generations (parents, the illegal kids, and then their kids until they graduate college). Am I being oversimplistic? Yes, but I think it’s sound long-term finances to elevate the most ambitious of our illegal population into a position where they can contribute to the economy instead of taking from it sooner.
I want people to consider the real implications of denying basic services to a rather sizable portion of the population, especially considering that even if that population wasn’t there, we’d see little or no actual ‘cuts’ to expenses. Will Providence take two ambulances off the road and fire 100 teachers if demand from illegals drops? I think not.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Doesn’t anyone here see a problem with a politically appointed state board imposing a rule which amounts to a law when the General Assembly has decided not to vote it out of committee for three sessions?
Governor Gump smells like a turd in a punchbowl in this whole mess-he’s been in favor of it and I suspect he had a hand in it.

bob
bob
10 years ago

I guess financial and grants will follow.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Bob-don’t forget stipends.
Why aliens illegally in the US move to certain places is usually they receive word of mouth info about where it’s “easy”.
Example:I started in the Border Patrol and later worked in Chicago with a former South Dakota cop named Mike.
Mike left the INS and wound up becoming a doctor.he worked at a clinic in Iowa.He spoke fluent Spanish(an old INS requirement)and he noticed he was getting scads of patients,particularly pregnant females from a particular village in Mexico.He eventually asked about this and was told by a patient that in their village there were posters that let people know about this clinic-that the doctor soke Spanish,was very good,and disn’t ask questions about immigration status(he didn’t own the clinic and was no longer a sworn officer so he was under no obligation to do so.)
This is how it works.

leprechaun
leprechaun
10 years ago

PLEASE!!!!!!!
If these students sign an affidavit stating that they intend to become Citizens how will they do it? In order to apply for citizenship you must be a legal resident alien ( an IMMIGRANT ) with a Green Card. They don’t qualify. They’re ILLEGAL ALIENS. In addition, if we were to allow this, when they graduate they will still be ILLEGAL ALIENS. Last I knew it was against the law to hire ILLEGAL ALIENS so where would they put their newfound skills from their Education to work. I guess we could let them return to their countries of origin with their 16 years of U S taxpayer funded education and solve the problems there. That may be a plus.

ribCrisews
ribCrisews
9 years ago

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