Georgia Judge Rules in Favor of In-State Tuition for DACA Students

Georgia students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program may now pay lower in-state tuition, according to a state court ruling.

Under a 2008 state law, Georgia noncitizens may not benefit from in-state tuition rates unless they legally reside in the state. Out-of-state rates are approximately three times more expensive, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

Ten DACA students living in Georgia filed suit against the Board of Regents in the Fulton County Superior Court, citing federal records that state DACA recipients are lawfully present in the U.S.

Fulton Superior Court Chief Judge Gail Tusan agreed with that argument in the ruling she issued on Friday. University System of Georgia officials, she wrote, are "hereby compelled to perform their duty in applying the federal definition of lawful presence as it relates to students who are DACA recipients and to grant them in-state tuition status."

"Defendants have refused to accept the federally established lawful presence of plaintiffs and many other similarly situated students — students who are Georgia taxpayers, workers, and graduates of Georgia public high schools pursuing an affordable option for higher education," Tusan wrote in her decision. "Such refusal of a faithful performance of their duties is unreasonable and creates a defect of legal justice that has already negatively impacted thousands of Georgia students."


Related Links

The Atlanta Journal Constitution