BOSTON (WWLP) – Over a month late, the Governor signed the FY24 budget into law last week.

The spending compromise was a mixture of priorities between the House and the Senate and the Senate’s priorities of tuition equity for undocumented immigrants made it into the final version.

The fiscal year 2024 $52.6 billion budget was not only heavy in spending but also heavy in policy issues. One senate priority will assist those without legal status to obtain a college diploma.

When the Senate unveiled its budget months ago, this was a main measure the Senate wanted to make sure stay in the final version, which it did.

The final version of the budget includes a measure that allows those without legal status to qualify for in-state tuition rates and state financial aid at public colleges and universities. They are only eligible if they have attended a Bay State high school for at least three years or obtained their GED in the Commonwealth.

Now, this would save undocumented immigrants thousands of dollars. For example, UMass Amherst charges around $17,000 for in-state tuition, and over $39,000 for those who aren’t from the Bay State.

The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition believes this is a win for the state.

“We have very ambitious and talented students who now will have these economic barriers removed and they will be able to get that education and training. So, this is an incredible boost to not just our public universities but also to our economy,” said Jonathan Paz of Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, undocumented students will generate up to $3.5 million in revenue for public colleges and universities. In signing the budget into law, Massachusetts became the 24th state to offer in-state tuition rates for those without legal status.

Local News

Ellen Fleming is a reporter at the Boston State House who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Ellen on X @EllenFlem and view her bio to see more of her work.