N. Carolina panel votes to admit illegal immigrant students

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's 58 community colleges should admit illegal immigrants, a committee of the State Board of Community Colleges decided today.

The full board will vote on a final policy Friday, after years of controversy over the issue.

The committee made the decision as protesters waved flags and shouted through bullhorns on the sidewalk outside. The recommended policy says that illegal immigrants must pay out-of-state tuition, which a study determined covers more than the cost of their instruction.

The policy also says that illegal immigrants must have graduated from a U.S. high school and are not eligible for financial aid.

And it says that students who are legally present will take priority over illegal immigrants if spaces in a class are limited.

Dr. Stuart Fountain, head of the policy committee that made the recommendation, said the out-of-state tuition requirement will keep the numbers of illegal immigrant students small. Out-of-state tuition is about $7,700 per semester, compared with $1,600 for in-state students.

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