Non-citizen Mexican Youth in U.S. Higher Education

A Closer Look at the Relationship Between State Tuition Policies and College Enrollment

Published in: International Migration Review, 2015

Posted on RAND.org on November 01, 2016

by Robert Bozick, Trey Miller, Matheu Kaneshiro

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This paper examines state policies that extend or deny in-state tuition to children of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using the Current Population Survey (1997–2010), we assess changes in college enrollment among Mexican-born non-citizens – a proxy for the undocumented population. In contrast to previous analyses, we find that policies extending in-state tuition to undocumented youth do not directly affect rates of college enrollment. However, we find that Mexican-born non-citizen youth residing in states that deny in-state tuition have a 12.1 percentage point lower probability of being enrolled in college than their peers living in states with no such policies.

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