In 2001, Texas became the first state in the country to extend in-state tuition to all students who meet certain residency and other requirements, regardless of their immigration status. Since the passage of House Bill 1403, all students who have lived in state in the three years before graduating from Texas high schools or receiving their GED have been eligible to pay the in-state tuition rate at any of the state’s public colleges and universities—which is, on average, three times less expensive than the out-of-state rate. Since then, these students, known as affidavit students, have directly added tens of billions of dollars to the Texas economy.
These gains could be lost should House Bill 413 and Senate Bill 576 be passed this session. By changing the residency requirements for eligibility, these bills would make higher education prohibitively expensive for thousands of potential college graduates—specifically, undocumented students who have grown up in Texas and graduated from the state’s high schools.
NAE’s new research finds that if residency requirements were changed, it could lead to nearly $400 million in lost economic activity for Texas each year.1
1 “Economic activity” here refers to the additional spending and consumer activity that occurs due to people having more income to spend. This includes expenditures on everything from housing and transportation to consumer goods and services. As more spending and consumer activity is created, the cycle of earning and spending continues to ripple through the rest of the state’s economy.