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Press Release

Reps. Polis and DeGette Recognize MSU Denver for its Colo. High School/GED Non-Resident Tuition Rate

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705
Cathy Lucas, Office 303-556-5131, Cell 303-916-1002

Posted: November 29, 2012

DENVER – Congressional staffers for U.S. Reps. Jared Polis and Diana DeGette of Colorado today thanked President Stephen Jordan and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Board of Trustees for their leadership in establishing a new tuition rate for undocumented Colorado students.

Remarks by Sue Windels, Polis’ education advocate, and Stephanie Davila-Syner, outreach liaison and senior congressional aide to DeGette, during a trustees’ meeting echoed a Nov. 15 letter the lawmakers sent to the board. In the letter, Polis and DeGette supported the University’s Colorado High School/GED Non-resident Tuition Rate and noted that a favorable analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that the new rate is “within federal and state legal authority.”

In its analysis, the CRS wrote:

Based on the judicial opinions published to date, it would appear that [programs and services that state or local governments provide for a fee] are unlikely to be viewed as state and local public benefits because they do not “assist people with economic hardship” and “create little or no incentive for illegal immigration.” In fact, courts have traditionally viewed certain services provided for a fee (i.e., education at state-sponsored institutions of higher education) as not constituting state public benefits under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996.

Jordan thanked Polis and DeGette for their support of the new tuition rate, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in June, and for seeking the CRS assessment.

Windels told Jordan and the trustees that the congressman sent along his congratulations and thanks for being “so bold, so courageous” in helping undocumented students to pursue higher education.

 “We can’t say enough about the great work and leadership you (MSU Denver) have shown in supporting under-represented Colorado students,” said Windels. “Thank you for being the one that is leading and modeling the way.”

Davila-Syner also thanked Jordan and the trustees for their leadership on the issue.

“We have been working on this issue at the national level and are really excited about what is happening in Colorado,” said Davila-Syner. “It’s a right that everyone can get an education, and you are helping students seeking to capture the American Dream.”


About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is Colorado’s best value in high-quality education. With 23,000 students, it is a leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans and enrolls the highest number of students of color among the state’s four-year colleges. The University offers 55 majors and master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. It boasts more than 75,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.