STLCC defends lower tuition rate for undocumented students -

STLCC defends lower tuition rate for undocumented students

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By Brendan Marks By Brendan Marks

( -- Students who are in the US illegally are getting a major price break on the cost of tuition at St. Louis Community College. But STLCC officials said their policy is similar to that in other colleges in Missouri.

Joanie Friend, STLCC Enrollment Director, said they lower tuition costs for undocumented students because often they can’t afford college.

“We’re providing an affordable pathway for students who have been going to school here all through their careers mostly,” said Friend.

When the spring semester begins January 13th, Friend is hoping to see more students on campus from undocumented immigrant families who may have grown up in the community but didn’t think they could afford college, until now.

STLCC reports undocumented students pay the same rate as an international student of $209 per semester hour, out of state students pay $199 per semester hour, Missouri students outside of St. Louis pay $144 per semester hour and students who live in St. Louis City and County pay just $98 per semester hour.

According to STLCC, local undocumented students will now pay $98 per semester hour.

Friend said students who are here legally are eligible for financial aid, but undocumented students aren’t eligible making the cut in their tuition rate off-set the extra expenses.

Some states require that the student has applied for citizenship, but STLCC does not.

Undocumented students who want the lower tuition cost will have to apply in person starting January 2nd. 

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