I was delighted to learn Wednesday morning that SB 126, the CO ASSET bill (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) was approved by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday. That’s the 2nd committee that has approved this bill. Now it goes to the Appropriations Committee before heading to the entire Senate for a second reading.
I’m a strong supporter of this legislation because I’ve met several undocumented youth who came to this country as small children and learned only in their teens that they were not US citizens and therefore ineligible for many opportunities. Many of these young people are excellent students who want to pursue higher education but find it unaffordable. If this bill passes, they will be able to attend a CO state college or university, paying instate tuition. This would help them, but it would also benefit our state schools because of the additional monies paid.
I’m told that to attend CU/Boulder tuition is something like $29,000. for an out-of-state student and about $8,500. for CO residents. That’s a BIG difference, and certainly the reason why many undocumented high school graduates see attending college in CO impossible. I’m also told that some of these young people choose to move to a neighboring state (New Mexico, for instance) where they can pay in-state tuition at their colleges. Why should CO lose those gifted and ambitious students? And why should our schools lose their income?
I very much hope my senator, Senator Rollie Heath, will support this bill when it comes to a vote in the Senate. I also hope other people who think like me will encourage both their Senator and their Representative to support this legislation. I think we all stand to benefit.