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The California Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will determine the constitutionality of a state law that grants in-state tuition rates to undocumented students. Estimates say hundreds of undocumented students currently attending community colleges and state universities could be affected and forced to pay out-of-state tuition.

In addition to the local impact, at least nine other states have laws that allow illegal aliens to attend state universities at reduced tuition rates. Should the court overturn the decision, it could impact the laws in those states.

The original suit - Martinez v. Regents of the University of California - was filed on behalf of out-of-state students. The lawsuit claims that California education officials are violating federal law by granting a lower tuition rate to illegal aliens than to out-of-state students.

"U.S. citizens should have at least the same rights as undocumented immigrants," said one of the plaintiffs in an L.A. Times article, Aaron Dallek, an Illinois native who graduated from UC Berkeley in 2006.

For the 2008-09 school year, out-of-state undergraduates at California state universities pay about $28,600 compared to in-state qualifying students who pay only $8,000.

The California Supreme Court will likely hear arguments later this year.

More on this story can be found at the L.A. Times.
In-State Tuition