AZ Board of Regents votes to give in-state tuition to DACA students

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It appears Arizona's 3 universities will continue to offer in-state tuition to DACA students. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) It appears Arizona's 3 universities will continue to offer in-state tuition to DACA students. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
About 200 appeal supporters attended the meeting on Tuesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) About 200 appeal supporters attended the meeting on Tuesday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Certain undocumented immigrants scored another win over in-state tuition with a move by the panel that oversees the state's universities.

The Arizona Board of Regents announced Thursday to continue in-state tuition for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students, despite a court ruling that says they don't qualify. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona politics]

[RELATED: Judge: Dreamers can get in-state tuition in Arizona (May 5, 2015)]

DACA recipient Korina Iribe hopes to graduate Arizona State University in August, “And I’m currently in the process of applying for a master’s degree," said Iribe.

Undocumented students like her cannot receive any federally funded student financial aid or scholarships, so many pay out of pocket.

“Without the continuation of in-state tuition I would basically be priced out of education," said Iribe. 

At Arizona State University it means the difference of about 16 thousand dollars a year. In state students, pay about 11 thousand a year, while non-residents pay closer to 27 thousand.

[RELATED: AZ state attorneys take DACA in-state tuition battle to court (Jan. 10, 2017)]

A benefit they’ve been receiving for the last few years, until last week when an Arizona Appeals Court Judge decided DACA students are not considered legally present in the U.S. and thus do not qualify.

[READ MORE: Arizona court overturns in-state tuition for some immigrants]

Putting the future of higher education in question for students like Iribe.

"You need it to survive in this economy, you need to be skilled, you need to be educated, and then it's also a personal achievement."

Earlier this week, the Maricopa County Community College District voted to appeal the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling that blocked in-state tuition for the DACA students. The vote was 4-3 on Tuesday. About 200 appeal supporters attended the meeting.

[READ MORE: College board to appeal ruling on immigrant student tuition]

Now the debate is headed to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Until there's a decision, all three Arizona public universities are promising to continue offering in-state tuition for DACA students.

"I want them, the ones that are in high school right now, the ones that are at community college looking to transfer to a university, to have the same opportunity that I’ve had," said Iribe. 

There are nearly 25 thousand DACA recipients in Arizona, 2,200 are enrolled at Maricopa community colleges, and another 240 between Arizona State University, The University of Arizona, and Northern Arizona University.   

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