For Colorado to make a lasting economic recovery we must promote the education of all of our students through policies that don’t cost the state a dime, but instead increase revenues to our local colleges and universities. One of the main criteria companies look for when locating in Colorado is the quality of our workforce.
Currently, Colorado has the second most highly educated workforce in the country, but we force some of our best and brightest students who graduate from our schools to go elsewhere to further their education. More college graduates attract more companies and more jobs. Thirteen other states around the country make undocumented students pay in-state tuition. Some of these states have had their policies in place for up to nine years, and none of them are experiencing the increase of undocumented immigrants that people opposed to Colorado ASSET would have you believe will come. Texas even offers financial aid to their undocumented students and still hasn’t seen a substantial increase in the number of undocumented immigrants in their state. But these states, especially those that border Colorado, are benefiting from the students who leave Colorado to attend college.
In 1982, the U.S. Supreme court ruled that K-12 schools must educate all children regardless of their legal status. We must realize that investment by making them pay in-state tuition rates so that they can afford to attend college and become a productive member of our society. RAND Corporation conducted a study that estimated that a 30-year-old immigrant who graduates from college provides a $9,000 net annual benefit to the state through increased economic contributions and tax revenues and decreased reliance on public services.