HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Attorney General Mark Herring's announcement Tuesday now allows thousands of students access to in-state tuition prices.
Before, these students were considered ineligible because of their immigration status. Herring notified the colleges in a letter about the policy change.
This is an issue many people have been advocating for in our area for some time, including Dulce Elias, a Harrisonburg High School student, who could benefit from the change.
The change impacts students who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program and are able to get into college.
Ramiro Vazquez, a student at Piedmont Virginia Community College, was one of seven students to sue for in-state tuition last December and said this change will help him.
"I was talking to my sister telling her she needs to enroll, because she goes to Piedmont, too," he said. "It's a big relief out of my shoulders, because I cannot quit my job but have a part-time now instead of a full-time and go back to college," said Vazquez.
Some Republicans say they think the legislature should have more of a role in deciding issues like this, including Todd Gilbert, a delegate from Shenandoah County, who joined with four other Republicans to say, "We are deeply concerned by the Attorney General's actions today and what appears to be a continued willingness to ignore and circumvent the duly-adopted laws of the Commonwealth."
Since December, more than 8,000 people have qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, according to Herring.
At James Madison University, a public university, the in-state tuition for a semester is $4,588, while the out-of state tuition is $11,827.
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