Florida lawmakers to consider in-state tuition for immigrant students

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - College is a big investment, especially for those paying out-of-state tuition.

But, lawmakers are considering a bill this session that could ease that burden for immigrant students.

Even those immigrants who have lived in Florida for the majority of their lives pay out-of-state tuition.

It's been Danyell Delvalle's dream to be an attorney for years.

"I always planned to go to college since I was little," Delvalle said.

Now, as a freshman at Palm Beach State College, he knows he needs an education to make that dream come true.

Delvalle is from Venezuela and moved to Florida with family when he was only 3-years-old.

But, regardless, he's left paying upwards of $6,000 per semester for out-of-state tuition. In-state tuition is less than a third of the cost.

"It's just, it's hard," said Delvalle.

He feels like this could be the year that all of that changes.

Gov. Rick Scott is among those considering supporting a bill that could give immigrant students in-state tuition.

"It would mean the world because you don't have that weight on you anymore. You can go to school and it's affordable," Delvalle said.

A similar bill has died numerous times over the last decade.

"I think that the community is more aware of our issue the past two years than they have been over the past 10 years," Delvalle said.

For him, in-state tuition would guarantee he could afford to finish school, and become more valuable to the community he's long considered his home.

"The reality is that we're here, and most likely we're going to stay here. If we don't get educated, then what use are we going to be to the country," said Delvalle.

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