As far as Sarahi Hernandez is concerned, the only difference between her and every other student at Metropolitan State College of Denver is nine digits.
“A Social Security number — that’s it,” Hernandez said, shortly after Metro State’s board of trustees voted 7-1 Thursday to pass a new tuition rate for illegal-immigrant students like her.
A sophomore from Denver who carries a 3.8 grade-point average, Hernandez said students like her deserve affordable tuition. The new rate, which will go into effect this fall, is $3,358 per semester, which is higher than in-state students, who pay $2,152, and lower than out-of-staters, who pay $7,992.
“We all deserve the chance at a higher education and to become productive members and give back to our community,” she said.
Three criteria must be met to qualify for the new category of tuition. A student must:
• Have attended a Colorado high school for the past three years.
• Have graduated from a Colorado high school or gotten a general equivalency diploma in the state.
• Provide proof they are in good legal standing, other than their undocumented status, and that they plan to seek lawful status when eligible.