PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee ceremonially signed a bill Monday that aims to help thousands of students pursue higher education.
At the Community College of Rhode Island, McKee signed the Student Success Act (2021-H 5238), which grants in-state college tuition rates to all Rhode Islanders, regardless of immigration status.
McKee said it’s important to make sure everyone in the state can get educated.
“No matter your immigration status, you are a Rhode Islander, you are valued, and your education and future matter to us, not only for you, but also for the state of Rhode Island,” he said. “Our children are quite literally the future, and the success of our economy, our workforce, and our state depends on them.”
The bill’s sponsors, state Representatives Grace Diaz and Sandra Cano, said it’s becoming a bigger priority to make it more affordable for someone to go to college.
“This is an issue that I am extremely passionate about,” Diaz said. “As someone who came to this country with very little, I know first-hand the opportunities that a good education can bring to someone who is willing to work hard.”
Under the legislation, students would be eligible for tuition if they attended high school for three or more consecutive years, continue to reside in the state, graduated from high school, or received a high school equivalency diploma from the state, and filed an affidavit stating that the student has filed an application for lawful immigration status.
“This is history,” Cano said. “It’s history for all the students that deserve education because education is for all.”