American citizens in New Jersey will now compete for higher education funding with non-citizens. It will cost the state nearly $5 million in its first year, or at least that’s their best guess. In truth, they have no clue how much it will cost.

The Associated Press reports:

New Jersey law lets students without legal status get college aid

In-state financial aid for hundreds of New Jersey students without legal status could now be within reach, thanks to a new law Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy enacted Wednesday.

Murphy signed the legislation permitting New Jersey students without legal status to apply for state financial aid at Rutgers University-Newark, alongside Democratic lawmakers who pushed the bill.

He cast the law as a repudiation of Republican former Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 conditional veto of similar legislation as well as push-back of President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration.

“This is the America that I think we all know and embrace,” Murphy said.

The legislation was a companion to a 2013 measure, which Christie did sign, allowing students without legal status to get in-state tuition. The administration says there are 759 students covered by the 2013 law that could now be eligible for in-state aid.

Legislative estimates put the potential costs of additional tuition aid grants at $4.47 million for the current academic year. That’s just a fraction of Murphy’s proposed $37.4 billion budget, but legislative cost estimates also conclude that the total increase is “indeterminate.”

The law makes New Jersey the ninth state to enact legislation enabling students without legal status to qualify for financial aid.


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