College praises legislation benefiting immigrant students
On the final day of the 2014 legislative session, Florida’s lawmakers have passed HB 851, providing a waiver of out-of-state tuition fees for public higher education for students who are undocumented for federal immigration purposes.
The bill, which Gov. Rick Scott has publicly supported, is similar to previous ones which several colleges in the Florida College System have pushed for since 2002. To qualify, students must have attended a secondary school in this state for three consecutive years immediately before graduating from a Florida high school, and have applied for enrollment in higher education within 24 months after high school graduation.
Dr. Dennis Gallon, president of Palm Beach State College, congratulated the Legislature on passing the measure, which will allow more Palm Beach County students to access higher education and prepare for better employment. Special appreciation was extended for the leadership of House Speaker Will Weatherford; Rep. Jeannette Nunez, R-Miami; Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz; Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Gov. Scott in supporting this legislation.
Students from the PBSC Student Government Association recently visited Tallahassee to encourage legislative support for the issue, bringing stories of many of their friends who have to pay much higher fees even though they went through the K-12 system together.