Arizona voters approve extending in-state college tuition breaks to noncitizens
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Missouri now has the second-highest percentage of residents applying for in-state college tuition breaks in the country.
This month, voters approved a ballot measure that would make it easier for high-earning citizens to pay for student loans and grants, up to a limit of $2,000 per year for residents and $500 per year for non-residents.
The extension of the provision is only available to noncitizens who receive Social Security numbers. So, in order to qualify, you’d either have to get a Social Security number, or change it to a non-Social Security number.
And, the measure also requires you to prove you’re in the country legally.
“It’s very important if we’re going to see an increase in the number of immigrants, especially legal immigration, to make sure that the government is able to prove that,” said Dr. Mark Moore, a St. Louis University professor.
Moore’s research focuses on the impact of immigration on the United States.
Moore said some of the most significant effects of immigration are on jobs and wages.
And the benefits of a higher percentage of immigrants on the job market can be experienced quickly, just over a decade.
In fact, one study found that immigrants are likely to increase the wages of American employees by 0.2 percent annually.
“It’s a small increase, but it’s a big boost in the economy. They’re adding millions of dollars to the wage bill of American workers,” Moore said.
The measure also creates a new category, a non-citizen Social Security number, that allows more non-citizens to apply for government assistance.
It also expands the number of beneficiaries eligible to qualify for grants and student loans. Currently, the majority of students who meet the income requirements for grants and loans can get them tax-free, if they are permanent residents.