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High court to decide Monday whether illegal immigrants must pay higher college tuition

November 15, 2010 |  7:14 am

The California Supreme Court is scheduled to decide Monday whether undocumented immigrants may continue to receive in-state tuition rates at the state's colleges and universities or be required to pay the higher rates charged to students from other states.

California is one of several states that charge lower tuition to students who attend a California high school for at least three years and graduate.

About 25,000 illegal immigrants are estimated to receive in-state tuition rates in California. A group fighting undocumented immigration has challenged the California law on behalf of U.S. citizens who pay the higher tuition as out-of-state students.

The group won in lower court, and the state appealed. The lawsuit contends that the California law usurps a federal prohibition on giving educational benefits based on residency to illegal immigrants but not all U.S. citizens. College students in the country illegally are barred from government financial-aid programs.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected eventually to decide whether the lower tuition rates violate federal law.

-- Maura Dolan in San Francisco