Gov. Patrick Does the Right Thing on In-State Tuition

15,000 people.

If you remember nothing else about Gov. Patrick’s recent decision to extend in-state tuition rates to some undocumented immigrants, remember that number: 15,000. That’s how many of our neighbors can now afford a college education and a chance to build a better life.

Over the last thirty years, the rise in the cost of college has outstripped the rise in the cost of housing, food, and health care.¬†Over that same time period, a bachelor’s degree became something like the table stakes for work in a wide variety of fields. If you couldn’t afford to pay for a bachelor’s degree, you risked being left behind. For 15,000 people, that’s no longer the case.

As Gov. Patrick has pointed out, this is not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform. But it is a step in the right direction. The Governor’s decision will allow young people who emigrated here as children to pay in-state tuition in the only state they’ve ever called home. It’s a win for the taxpayers, a win for the Commonwealth, and a win for the families of undocumented immigrants who are striving for a piece of the American dream.

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