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BRIEF: New bill could make college more affordable to students in Mexico

Assembly Bill 91, proposed by Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego), would give students in Mexico the opportunity to pay in-state tuition at California community colleges.

Alvarez introduced the bill last month. This bill would create a five year pilot program which allows students in Mexico to attend one of the seven selected community college campuses in San Diego and Imperial County. Students who participate in the pilot program must live within 45 miles of the California border.

Many binational students live in Mexico due to the high cost of living in California. They commute to community colleges in San Diego near the border, to further their education. Due to rising transportation costs, this program could help with money issues and expenses.

In order to be eligible, students have to be U.S. citizens, or Mexican citizens with a Visa. Each participating community college would take up to 200 students during the pilot phase. According to data from the Education Data Initiative, the cost to attend community colleges for out-of-state tuition is $7,730, while in-state tuition is only $1,310. If the bill passes, participating students would only pay $46 per unit instead of $300.

Alvarez says that this bill would help with future job positions.

“We live in a dynamic border region where we need to educate more students to fill in the jobs required for growth,” said Alvarez in a statement.

Allowing students in Mexico to get the same education as students in the U.S. could create post-graduate opportunities.

The bill is waiting to be heard in the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee and a vote on it is expected in September.

-Jasmine Alejandre, Staff Writer


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