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Arizona’s Supreme Court Denies In-State Tuition to DACA

arizona supreme court
Students show their support for in-state tuition at Arizona's colleges and universities before a hearing at the Supreme Court of the state. Photo: Frontera Fund.
Written by Carmen Cornejo

The Arizona Supreme court decided in favor of the state’s arguments and left in place a lower court decision denying in-state tuition for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The ruling will affect DACA recipients which will be classified as out-of-state or international students, paying 3 times regular tuition.

The unanimous decision (7-0) came along with a brief comment stating that existing federal and state laws do not allow Maricopa County Community Colleges District (MCCCD) to offer in-state Tuition to DACA-DREAMers.

It is expected that on May 14th the court will issue a full analysis explaining the decision.

The fight for in-state tuition was led by MCCCD one of the biggest community colleges in the nation which additionally serves many Hispanic students.

It is calculated that more than 2,000 DACA-DREAMers attend post-secondary education in Arizona.

Belen Sisa, an activist with the group Undocumented Students for Education Equality posted on Facebook: The Supreme Court of Arizona has made an incredibly wrong and damaging decision. The impacts of this will continue to haunt undocumented students and DACA recipients in Arizona for generations and that is completely unacceptable”.

Arizona has been notorious for litigating and passing laws against undocumented students post-secondary education at the same time that has defunded education for all.

Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund will keep you informed about the latest developments and provide guides for our dedicated young immigrants.


The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) sent a press release today stating that they will stop offering in-state tuition for Arizona DACA-DREAMers, following the state’s Supreme Court decision. However, they underscored that the 3 public universities can offer a non- resident tuition that is 150% of the in-state tuition.

Follow this link for the ABOR statement.