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DACA Students Qualify for In-State Tuition

Students living in Virginia lawfully under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program qualify for in-state tuition as long as they meet Virginia’s domicile requirement, advises Attorney General Mark R. Herring.

“If the Commonwealth is to remain competitive in a global economy, we must embrace a strategy that maximizes our talent pool and helps all Virginians reach their full potential,” said Attorney General Herring. “These ‘DREAMers’ are already Virginians in some very important ways. In most cases they were raised here, they graduated from Virginia schools, and they have known no home but Virginia. They might be the valedictorian or salutatorian of their high school, but because they were brought here as children many years ago, an affordable education remains out of their reach. Instead of punishing and placing limits on these smart, talented, hard-working young people, Virginia should extend them an opportunity for an affordable education. It’s what the law requires, it makes economic sense for Virginia, and it’s the right thing to do.”

To qualify for in-state tuition the “DREAMers” will need to meet several requirements. First, they will have to be approved for DACA status. Second, they will have to be accepted to a local college or university. And finally, they must establish Virginia domicile.

This clarification by Herring has been applauded by many, including Senator Donald McEachin. “I am extremely pleased that our Attorney General has determined that DACA students can be eligible for in-state tuition,” said McEachin, who carried a Senate bill for tuition equity. “As a Commonwealth, we want to ensure that all students who seek a higher education have a chance to attain it — partly to help them become contributing, productive members of our communities, and partly because hardworking students simply deserve that opportunity. I am pleased that the Attorney General has joined me and my colleagues in working on this issue, and I am delighted to see our shared effort come to fruition.”

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Chuck Sharkey, Sharkey Law
PO Box 1281
Forest, VA 24551

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