BOSTON (WWLP) – The Senate released their Fiscal Year 2024 budget this week, and within it was a policy measure that could help undocumented immigrants attend public higher education.

A policy measure was revived in the Senate Budget that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition at public colleges or universities. The Senate Budget includes several policy measures, this one being the one the Senate is touting the most.

Under this policy change, students who have attended a Massachusetts high school for at least three years and graduated, or obtained their GED in the Commonwealth, would be able to receive in-state tuition.

To Amherst Senator Jo Comerford, this is about equity, “If we care about equity and we care about this rising powerful generation, that is going to have to tackle the existential crises like climate change and K-12 education and the mental health crisis, we want the greatest opportunity for these young people possible.”

However, Westfield Senator John Velis has his reservations, “There are a lot of folks in Massachusetts right now and beyond who I think should have the benefit of in-state tuition. College tuition is incredibly expensive. So for me, this is more about the numbers, can we afford it right now? I’m not too sure what the answer to that is yet.”

This plan is in addition to the Senate’s other move to make community college free for all, marking significant investments in higher education this session. According to the Senate President’s office, 23 states and the District of Columbia already allow undocumented students to access in-state tuition at all public higher education institutions.