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Friday, January 27, 2023

Undocumented students are now eligible for Florida in-state tuition.

UF Chispas, a student organization, worked with UF to offer undocumented students waivers that would make attending the university possible, said Mariana Castro, the organization’s president.

To qualify for in-state tuition, undocumented students must complete three consecutive years immediately before graduating from a Florida high school and enroll in higher education within 24 months of graduation, according the Office of Student Financial Affairs’ website.

Before the waiver, UF students couldn’t receive in-state tuition despite how long they’ve lived in Florida, Castro said.

“It used to make it nearly impossible for someone who was undocumented to go to UF or other state universities or schools,” the 20-year-old neurobiological science junior said.

She also said they can’t receive financial aid or the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship.

“UF could still do a lot more,” Castro said.

Giancarlo Tejeda, 19, said the people in UF Chispas have helped him navigate through completing his waiver to earn in-state tuition.

Tejeda immigrated from Colombia to Miami when he was 3 years old.

The UF biomedical engineering sophomore said the new waiver has cut his school fees in half.

“It makes college go from being out-of-reach for almost all of us to still difficult, but very much doable,” he said.

He said without the waiver he would most likely be in community college and even struggling to pay for that.

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“This waiver made going to college here at UF possible,” he said.

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