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Posted on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 5 p.m.

University of Michigan approves in-state tuition for military, unauthorized immigrants

By Kellie Woodhouse

Unauthorized immigrants schooled in Michigan and all military and honorably discharged veterans will now receive in-state tuition rates at the University of Michigan.


Michigan student Curdit Suri holds a sign as he addresses University of Michigan regents in support of tuition equality during a December 2012 board of regents meeting at the Michigan Union.

Melanie Maxwell | file photo

The Board of Regents voted 6-2 to approve the change to its residency guidelines during a 3 p.m. public meeting Thursday at the North Campus Research Complex.

The vote was along party lines, with the board's Democrats voting in favor of the measure and Republicans voting against it.

The approval means affected students pay $27,250 less in tuition. In the fall Michigan residents will pay $13,142 a year, while non-residents will pay $40,392. Under current tuition levels, the difference amounts to $109,000 over the course of four years.

Regent Andrew Richner, a Republican, said he has concerns about the legality of the policy and voted against it. Meanwhile, regent Mark Bernstein, a Democrat, praised the change, saying that as a public university U-M should embrace immigrant students.

"This university has always been a place with profoundly important public mission," Bernstein said, adding that a century ago his family would have been considered unauthorized. "A new generation comes to us with the same exact hopes and dreams."

Andrea Fischer Newman, a Republican from Ann Arbor, was supportive of offering in-state rates to veterans, but not unauthorized immigrants.

"This is a matter best left to the federal government. I'm concerned about whether this is appropriate under federal law and believe this type of national issue should be resolved at the federal level," she said.

The changes were recommended by top U-M administrators after a year-long consideration of U-M's residency requirements.

Sixteen states have provisions for unauthorized immigrants who grew up in the state to attend state colleges at the reduced rate. Fourteen states provide the allowance through legislation. In Michigan, however, the state's three research universities are constitutionally autonomous and residency requirements are set by school's governing boards.

Under existing practices, unauthorized immigrants who grew up in Michigan pay the out-of-state rate to attend the state's flagship university. Under new guidelines, students who attended Michigan middle school and high school will have the ability to pay in-state rates as long as they matriculate to the Ann Arbor school within 28 months of graduating high school.

The university's residency requirements have been criticized as making it difficult for veterans from Michigan to receive the in-state rate if they were stationed overseas for a long period of time. The proposed changes will ensure all active military and honorably discharged veterans, regardless of their home state, will receive the in-state rate.

"Over the past 10 years our country has asked a lot of its veterans," said Joshua Simister, a U-M student and leader of the school's Student Veterans of America chapter. "We've been frustrated over the past 10 years that we have not had full access to in-state tuition."

Simister said U-M's prior guidelines were "a little bit ludicrous."

"Of all the hurdles [returning veterans] face, removing one hurdle ... changes the life of that veteran." he said.

Hundreds of students have been advocating for tuition equality for about two years, protesting outside the Michigan Union and staging sit-ins at university governance meetings.

"They consider themselves Wolverines, because they grew up in Michigan," Jose Contreras told regents Thursday, speaking of his two sons who attended elementary, middle and high school in Ann Arbor. His son Javier has been vocal at regents meetings over the past year, petitioning regents to change their residency policies. "They were like 4- or 5-years-old when they grew up here. They have so many friends. They are not considered Mexicans."

Regent Julia Darlow said the student activism compelled the Board of Regents to look at an issue many hadn't considered previously. She said students "worked for so long and so effectively to bring this proposal before us."

The changes represent the first comprehensive residency guideline revisions since 2005. The changes would take effect in January 2014.

In each of the past two years, students have filed about 2,000 applications for resident classification on all three U-M campuses. According to U-M figures, nearly 80 percent of those were granted in-state tuition.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Roger Kuhlman

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 3 p.m.

The Democrat Board of Regents obviously favor illegal aliens over American citizens in the matter of UM tuition. That is shameful and that is wrong. They are rewarding foreign citizens for breaking US laws and providing more incentives for future illegal immigration. Democrat political elites are saying some people and groups do not have to obey the law and will get special breaks for not doing so to boot. The Democratic political party is corrupt.

Roger Kuhlman

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Title of the article is wrong. It is about illegal immigrants not 'unauthorized' immigrants. Can't AnnArborCom report the truth?


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 4:33 a.m.

@spaghettimonsters "And if they have spent their lives in Michigan they DESERVE to pay in-state tuition as much as your children." Obviously that implies no notion as to what a Nation is and why humans join families, tribes, kingdoms, states, and geographic nations based upon law and economic order structures, Survival security. Religious groups absolve children from the sins of their parents. So do most governments. Nature does not. like nature Religious groups do not welcome outside interference into their dogma rites. like nature Governments do not tolerate alien interference in their law and order process.. like nature there is a trial AND error self-correction that takes place. Change is inevitable but it is not so random or magical - there is always a reasoning behind it. Life occurred against the pull of entropy because the energy "food" was available and constant energy decline was the only alternative. That marks the beginning for diversity required for survival. Fail to differ with decline and that's it. Life is anything but a flatline. Bonding with other diversity through trial and error against the same energy drag can find continuation benefit for both - up to a point. Families were originally the most diversity possible able to bond benefit. Nature prefers DNA pairing for balanced change.. The pairs do not make one become the other for a good reason - the balance. That's now changing. Once people learn the life and death need for diversity and its balanced management in a changing environment the notion of Nation should be very clear. Trade okay but no assimilation. Aliens from another nation are not the same as my children in this kingdom. Nor should they be. Unless adopted, which the government is contemplating as it becomes more corrupt,, Those kids have a home - not here. The reason why they're here is because their own systems are already corrupted and need reform. Go home and make change.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

For shame. Seems as though the U of M Regents aren't any smarter than the AAPS School Board. Maybe the application should include documenting willful violations of law. Illegals could be denied access for application falsification and could also be denied access for willful violations of the law.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

I would think and hope that like applications for almost anything else, that an applicant to the UofM already could be denied access/ approval for falsification (lying), and willful violations of the law.... But probably a bigger question is whether the UofM would uphold any integrity in their admissions process and eleminate such applicants....?

Geoff Larcom

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Note: Eastern Michigan University offers in-state tuition to military veterans around the country. The program, called "Vet Connect" was adopted at EMU in 2009.

Michigan Man

Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.

Geoff - You seem to be missing the point - opinions expressed overwhelmingly are not germane to military veterans around the country - feelings about this matter extend to illegals, not veterans. Additionally, while EMU is a fine, fine university generalizing the EMU solution to U of M just doesnn't work.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

undocumented immigrant students and their families pay more than their fair share supporting state universities. they get taxes taken out of their checks just like everybody else, the only difference is that they don't get anything back from the state at tax time! and the fair share of veterans? i don't think we need to even go into that, pretty sure they're working for michiganders as well as folks in the rest of the 49 states, regardless of the state they are from. :) in-state tuition rates are well past due for these two hardworking groups of people!

Roger Kuhlman

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

How do you know illegal alien families pay their fair share of taxes? Many illegals engage in tax evasion. Other illegals engage in identity theft, social security fraud, and in the purchase and use of fraudulent documentation. Why are we rewarding lawbreakers and providing more incentives for future illegal immigration?


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

It is hard enough to get into UofM as an in-state student. "Diversity" initiatives decrease slots for most Michigan natives, as well, out of state tuition sets a ceiling on in-state students. Can we direct our taxes to a university that actually serves the needs of Michiganders?

Roger Kuhlman

Mon, Jul 22, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

The Democrat Regents are not about doing is what is right. They are about creating special favors and breaks for special interest groups and constituencies. Treating everybody fairly and equally is not part of their agenda. Gaining poltical power by whatever means necessary is.

Widow Wadman

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

The University of Michigan and its regents have little regard for Michigan taxpayers. I know how to vote each time the individual regents come up for re-election. I hope that the State legislature takes this issue up. I'm fine with offering in-state tuition to veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. I'm against offering in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants.

John S. Armbruster

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

Let me see if I have this right. After having their education paid for by the Michigan taxpayer up to this point they now want a special break. No way. It is time to cut all funding to U of M. Breaks for people in the country illegally versus a resident of Toledo getting the shaft. The regents have their priorities in the wrong place.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Say it, say it, ILLEGAL immigrants. Where does U of M get off redefining the law. The people who approved this should be facing a court of law and jailed. When those who teach, teach crime is acceptable,, our future is lost. Where are the families of out-of-state US citizens forced to pay out-of-state tuition and placed behind illegals. This is an outrage. In U of M's political correctness, it has tossed aside our own citizens to look good. I pray for the day U of M goes private so I can stop supporting illegal actions and reap the tax dollars they have been stealing as a publicly funded school.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

Both my husband, I and our children were born in America. After living in Michigan 17 years, we moved out of state my child's senior year. She is unable to get in-state tuition at U of M because we moved the summer of her senior year. How is it fair that these illegal immigrants are getting in-state tuition and we have to pay out-of -state tuition???


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

It's not confusion it's fairness. The whole reason for in state tuition is because you pay taxes into the system. There should be exemptions for cases like vida. Someone who moves into the state for one year of high school will get a $80-100,000 break with only paying into the system for a year? The system is broken.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Vida, you must have missed the caveat about the students attending both middle school and high school in MI. If an 'illegal immigrant' was to move out of state their senior year of high school, they'd be in the same boat as you and your family. If your daughter would have stayed in MI for senior year, she would also be getting in state tuition. Where's the confusion here?


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

~adapted... "There is no fairness in giving things to others!" See, your family made a terrible life choice, and now they have to pay. Just be glad the Regents can't issue an ex post facto tax on you and retroactively raise your daughter's tuition.

Charles Curtis

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

No issue with vets, long over due. Big issue with illegal or guess they are now call unauthorized (BS) immigrants. If the government want to allow them to attend our public schools, then they ought to be charged, be it HS or college. Here we sit with my children having to pay extra for high school classes they want to take, but people here illegally get a discount. I will not vote for the people who approved this. Tuition at UM is already ridiculously high and typically has one of the highest increases each year, and students who come from another state has to subsidize someone in the country illegally? How about they charge US citizen rates and foreigner rates? I hope the state steps in and over rides this. Of course the media will attack anyone against this policy as anti veteran since they grouped vets and illegal aliens together. There is some respect huh?


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

Charles, please research the tuition increase at Wayne State for this upcoming year. Also, UofM provides a product (education), if you think it costs too much, don't buy it.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

It is a sad day when a public institution gives breaks to those who are here illegally.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

Easy solution. The Michigan legislature passes a bill not allowing State funds to be used towards funding the tuition of illegal immigrants at a State institution.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

While I do not know, it seems as if there should be enough laws Federal, State, and Local on the books that if enforced, would already address the issues of illegal immigrants accessing benefits and services in the U.S. (schooling, health care, jobs, legal representation, et al). Can anyone speak to the effect of lack of enforcement of existing laws vs. the need for additional laws on matters relating to illegal immigrants accessing services/ benefits here....?

Michigan Man

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11:08 a.m.

Might as well extend the same benefit to the homeless folks who chill up on campus - why not generalize that social justice concept to the "home field" and educate them as well?


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

Many homeless folks are educated...but also have mental problems. They didn't get a free ride for their education though, unless they were incarcerated. Thank you social workers.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

Increasingly, the homeless already are University educated. Highly-educated people who are deemed "over-qualified" to be hirable. People who ended-up homeless because they can offer an employer far more than almost any employer cares to touch today. Even if the homeless are in a position to apply and be hired, I question how much yet more formal education would help (and fear in many cases would actually hurt) their prospects. Also, for people in survival mode - who are worrying about their next meal and possibly being able to someday obtain medical care and permanent shelter, pursuing a University degree is likely a non-concern....


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

I did a thesis at Berkeley many decades ago and blamed recidivism on graduate students. The premise being that anything more than 4 years of college was unnecessary and we owed it to the criminals to get them educated up to a college degree level. Yeah... the other grad students hated it but I got my A for a controversial but stimulating idea.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11 a.m.

Question: Does the in-state tuition change apply to international students on non-immigrant visas who spend 4 years in high school in Michigan and graduate? These would be children of parents on working visas in the area (professors, engineers, etc.) Currently such students are required to pay international student tuition rates, which are even higher than out of state.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

Same question for a scenario in which a student on a legit non-resident visa attended school in Michigan for all of middle and high school. Is the rule written to include all non-citizens who do so or only undocumented aliens?


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3 p.m.

First, you also need to attend the middle school in Michigan. Second, you can't be on an "authorized" VISA.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

My understanding is "no": they are not "undocumented" (and also wouldn't fulfill the middle school requirement).

Ronald Crow

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 8:33 a.m.

Great, glad to help the people without a green card get a Maze and Blue education. (Sarcasm)


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

The greencard does not give you a brain.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 5:41 a.m.

A lot of hateness to inmigrants in a country of inmigrants. The difference between one and another is a paper given by the government based on their own discretion. That people come to work, and do pay taxes to the State (or do you think they can go to the store and ask the sale tax to be removed from the bill). Moreover, they not only work, go to school, provide to their families, and to their kids, and most of you expect that University which is very well informed about the struggles that these people have to go through to get a job or to own property with no easy opportunity available will not consider that situation when establishes the fees to pay?. I am proud of U of M. Education means growth for all of us.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Thank you, Karen. I'm proud of UM as well. Ignore the down-votes and the haters.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

Karen, it is not hate. It's just asking that people who aren't in this country legally not be given preferential treatment over people who are here legally. There is a way to gain citizenship legally, all they have to do is apply. As we've seen on other posts there are people who've lived here through high school move for a year and can't get in-state rates yet people who are here illegally can. It doesn't make sense. I disagree with the policy but not because of "hate" for immigrants. Grow up and quit throwing around terms that don't apply.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 4:17 a.m.

Absolutely ludicrous decision on the part of U of M representatives!!!!!!!! Disgust me-----Michigan has lost me as one of their "financial supporters."


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:12 a.m.

This doesn't sit well with me. An undocumented person, who was allowed to attend high school in Ann Arbor, can apply to the U of M, and pay in-state tuition. Like how many others mentioned earlier this week here in the comments section, I would like to see this 'fairness' given to kids in the Toledo, OH area. Legal American kids, just outside the state border have to pay over $40k to attend UofM, while undocumented "illegal" persons pay in-state tuition. It just doesn't seem right. I'm sorry. And I'm an alma mater of Michigan.

Fred Pettit

Sun, Jul 21, 2013 : 5 a.m.

Great point somone66 I believe that the University of Toledo offers instate tuition to Michigan residents. Don't call SAM and don't vote for any of the six democrats who put this issue up for a vote. It is a disgraceful use of poliitcs.

C'est la vie

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:09 a.m.

Amaizingly unbelievable


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

Just a curious onservation, but there was an opportunity for those on either side of this issue to publicly state there opinion and have it as part of the record. The Regents meeting allocates 10 slots for the public to comment for up to five minutes each. At today's meeting 6 (I believe) were used, and they so happened to be in support of the policy being discussed here. The question I have is why didn't anyone with the strong views being expressed here take the opportunity to express their very specific opinions of this policy in public?


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:44 a.m.

So all six speakers were in favor of the UofM breaking the law too? (shutter) With matters with such clear legal directives, we shouldn't have to be having these conversations. I would have been able to attend, however I'm on assignment this month out-of-Country because too much of the local work has already been given to illegals....


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:39 a.m.

Excellent point, A2Insider.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:17 a.m.

most of us have to work to pay taxes - 3 pm meeting mid week. duh

David Cahill

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.

Ha! figured the Republican regents wouldn't go for it.

Fred Pettit

Sun, Jul 21, 2013 : 4:56 a.m.

Why would they vote for it David? It's a political play by the democreatons that will eventually bite them in the rear as it should. Hopefully fewer people will call SAM for legal representation and more will call you.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:26 a.m.

While increasingly a rare event for the Republicans to vote en bloc and get it correct, it is a refreshing change regardless....


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

I can barely contain myself. The vast - VAST - majority of my happiness stems from the opportunities we've opened up to a previously excluded group. The lesser part of my happiness stems from the absolute angst currently being experienced by every hater of Mexicans in our fine city.

Atlas Shrugged

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

I doubt there's hate against Mexicans, as you state. There is, among many of us who comment, great anger directed against willful disregard for federal law.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:40 a.m.

Nice try. "Hate" for people who support legal but not illegal immigration. Right out of the liberal playbook.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:19 a.m.

All of you bemoaning this are embarrassing yourselves. This is good policy! First, it only applies to a small number of potential students, and only impacts what they *pay*, not the admissions process. So these students aren't "getting ahead" of anyone. And if they have spent their lives in Michigan they DESERVE to pay in-state tuition as much as your children; no, I won't entertain any assertion by xenophobes that children should be punished for the illegal activities of their parents. It's a non-issue. These young men and women are here. They are Wolverines. They should pay the same (still ridiculously high!) tuition as other students from this state. Any moral indignation you feel regarding the choices made by the parents of these students is moot.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

spaghettimonsters -- Basically, what you're saying is that I should have picked a better program. I made a decision for my future that turned out to have financial consequences, so now I have to live with them. I don't think that's really the argument you want to make, because that logic is equally applicable to the larger point here. Again, my point is that I have a problem with granting in-state tuition to one group, when there is another group-permanent graduate students-that has a much more legitimate argument for getting it, but are routinely denied. You can't argue fairness without acknowledging this.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

Penz: Any REAL research (non-"professional") PhD program would have made you a funding offer that would have included a full tuition waiver. If you didn't receive such an offer, the truth is either 1) you chose to earn a "professional" degree and should accept that you need to pay for it, or 2) you're trying to earn a research degree, but either your program is so underfunded it can't make a proper offer OR you're just not a very good candidate for the program and didn't impress them enough to earn a good funding offer. No one should accept research PhD offers that don't include tuition waivers.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

cassamandra -- You have to get to candidacy first before the costs are the same. In the program I was in, candidacy was usually achieved at the end of the 4th year because you needed to earn a masters degree as well. My funding was only guaranteed for the first 3.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

Penz, I doubt you are speaking from experience -- candidacy tuition is the same for in- and out-of-state students.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 5:41 a.m.

I was born and raised in a state other than Michigan. I went to undergraduate school in the state I lived in. A girlfriend came to the U. of M. and her parents paid out of state tuition (which was less expensive 40 years ago). I thought of coming to the U. of M. and actually applied and was accepted. However, my parents couldn't afford out-of-state tuition and I had received a scholarship for a home state university. This is likely a common story among people in other states. Based on the argument that we are punishing the students because of their parents, children are often denied things due to their parents. Ask the people who go to community colleges and hope to transfer to the U. of M. for their junior and senior years.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 5:31 a.m.

Unless it's changed, students who came here to go to school, their spouses, and the spouses of medical center house officers are not eligible for in-state tuition. The explanation was that people who came to Michigan for educational purposes and their spouses don't qualify for in-state tuition. I'd argue that the medical center house officers are working and getting paid money they have to pay taxes on. That's employment, but in prior years, the U. of M. didn't consider it that way. It's likely some are able to get around that rule, but I think in most cases they can't. There's already unfairness in who counts as in-state. Now it appears they are skipping over such people and giving in-state tuition to other people.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

But they are "getting ahead" of people. If you are a graduate student who's been here for years and has done everything that would make you a resident in the eyes of any rational human being (for example pay taxes, register vehicles, buy a home, have a spouse working full time, vote), you are still classified as a non-resident by the university if you came to the state primarily to go to school. It is almost impossible to change this - no matter how many years may pass. And don't tell me that they aren't affected because their tuition is paid for by their departments. Funding may only be guaranteed for a few years, often less time it takes to complete the degree. Those final years you have to find funding yourself. I know this from experience.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:47 a.m.

Don't you have to give a social security number on a college application? Do they just say, "I'm an illegal"?

A Voice of Reason

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.

How does U of M know that they are here illegally? Isn't that a crime and the student should have checked the box saying that they committed a crime? Wow--


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:11 a.m.

All U.S. citizens that are not Michigan residents should file a class-action lawsuit against the University. It's ridiculous that "unauthorized" immigrants get preferential access to in-state tuition rates above "authorized" U.S. citizens.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:18 a.m.

To clarify I mean those that attend the University.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

Yeah! The school is apparently doing so well financially, I can now stop sending that yearly check to the Alumni Association! Good luck!


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

admirable traitors


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.

1). Term limits are needed for Regents. 2). I personally know 3 people who have been waiting VERY patiently in line, playing by all the rules, and NOT breaking the law - to become LEGAL CITIZENS of this country. This is one more slap in the face to those who believe in following our laws to hopefully one day enjoy the benefits of being citizens of this country. 3). These are NOT "unauthorized immigrants"!! These are ILLEGAL ALIENS who have broken the law of the land and get rewarded for it. SHAME!


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

Our daughter was born at U. of M., and lived in Michigan until she went to a college in another state. After getting her BA she didn't return to live in Michigan during the one year "grace period" for college students who left the state. If she came back to grad school at the U. of M. she would be considered an out of state student. What other groups of students who are or were legal residents here are excluded from getting in state tuition? A few years ago I read an article written by the spouse of a medical resident and the spouse was considered an out of state student even after living here for multiple years. Do people in that situation get in state tuition now? Please post if you know the answer. How could the U. of M. say "no" to the spouse of someone training and working (salaried) here and yet say "yes" to illegal immigrants. Also, how will this affect financing at the U. of M. and will it push up the in-state tuition of others?

Silly Sally

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

@spaghettimonsters does not seem to know that there are grad students who are law students, MBA students and Med students, all who cannot be TAs. All pay tuition. @ Talker. your problem is quite simple. Your daughter has little or no political clout. Illegal alens are very trendy for liberals at the moment and liberals just love to give away other people's money to someone else. I'd be willing to bet that they offer free tuition to spouses of visiting profs.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

While funding offers will of course vary a lot by department, it is true for any "real" (research, non-professional) PhD offer that you should receive a tuition waiver in full. That's what I have. That's what every PhD student in my department has. Any grad student applying to a research PhD program of any kind--humanities, sciences, whatever--should know that an "acceptance" letter that doesn't include a complete tuition waiver AND funding isn't really an offer of acceptance. Beyond the PhD: you're right, they'd be considered out-of-state. In which, with the outrageous price anyway even for in-state tuition, I'd advise applying to private schools. They have more funding to give more generously for those in need, and their networking opportunities are much better. As for the supposed moral outrage: it isn't. And perhaps more soothing for you and others to know: it isn't really Michigan taxpayers who do much of anything for the U's financial situation anymore. They'll easily make up for this (very very small for them!) loss with the full-pay tuition of just a few international grad students entering professional programs. So: it's on the backs of the world, anyhow, not of "the taxpayers."


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 5:21 a.m.

Thanks for your help. Actually she's skilled technologically and has a good job now, but if she chooses to return here in the future, her birth and 18 years of growing up here wouldn't result in in-state tuition. I thought that in the early years of a Ph.D. program, that in-state tuition was only given to T.A.'s if they were considered out of state (due to not returning to Michigan within 12 months after receiving B.A. somewhere else. Beyond Ph.D. programs, wouldn't such a person be considered out of state for certain programs such as law school and business school? That's not a personal issue now. The issue is that it's stunning that a school with such rigid rules that prevent certain groups, including Michigan natives and (I think still) spouses of house officers from getting in-state tuition (to not be a burden on Michigan taxpayers) are giving away in-state benefits to some that they are choosing while not to others who (some think) deserve it at least as much and, in some opinions, deserve it more.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

If your daughter were to be in a proper PhD program, it wouldn't matter: no *real* PhD pays tuition, the departments do. So: perhaps she should just aim higher than an MA program. They're all scams except a few logical professional programs (ex: MLS, MSW).


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Ahh man, I wish I was an illegal immigrant so I could have in state tuition :(


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:30 a.m.

The way the U.S. is going, it may not be too long (if not already) where Americans go to Mexico or Canada. Once there, they destroy all of their identity and illegally reenter their native home Country. With a false name and no identification, increasingly it appears that they will be able to access a paying job, health care, education, and other protections faster than any legal Citizen who has stayed in the Country all along....


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 11:36 p.m.

So it took over 10 years to consider giving veterans a break. And less than 2 years to consider granting the privilege to illegal immigrants. I'm willing to bet they threw the veterans in as an after thought. Wonder if any out of state graduate students who have been living in the area for 7 years will call Sam Bernstein to sue the University....

Silly Sally

Tue, Jul 23, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

There is a woman at our church who is an emertis professor from UM. Shortly after 9/11, She was on a panel that also had an acitve duty Naval Officer and she said "I hate you...'' to him. Just because he was in the military. I'm sure that her opinion is not alone amongst the faculty at UM. With opinions like hers at UM, are you surprised that it took them so long to catch up to Iowa?

Fred Pettit

Sun, Jul 21, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

And Elaine F. Owsley, you must also agree with giving the same benefit to illegal immigrants that our veterans have earned from serving this country? Really, you feel illegal immigrants deserve the same benefits as your Navy veteran son? Really? I don't. I believe that the only way the democratic regents could support ILLEGAL immigrants getting tuition breaks was to use the veterans as a pawn in the political debate. SHAME ON the six REGENTS that drew up this bogus ruling and Mary Sue Coleman for supporting it and selling it. My contributions are going elsewhere!

Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11:02 a.m.

20-odd years ago, our Navy veteran son attended Iowa State for 7 years with in-state fees. It was their policy to do that for vets. What took Michigan so long?


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:54 p.m.

This decision has absolutely nothing at all to do with ADMITTING these students, and I think a lot of people are more upset about that than the amount of tuition they pay. That, on its own, is a discussion worth having and I might feel differently about it than I do about supporting the tuition rate. The residency thing is tough. Are they a resident of Michigan? No. Are they a resident of anywhere else? Most likely not. I don't know any statistics on the number of children who cross our borders illegally, but it can't be THAT high. This boils down to a purely monetary decision for the University. If you're going to admit them, do you price gouge them or not? The whole out of state tuition thing is a giant money grab from the start so I'm not terribly sympathetic towards it. I'm pretty sure there are enough New Yorkers clamoring to get in that the tuition dollars lost will hardly be noticed.

Fred Pettit

Sun, Jul 21, 2013 : 4:35 a.m.

Cubicle, you're missing the whole point! It is not "...due to a purely monetary decision for the University." That is an extremely naive statement. The UofM Regents and Mary Sue Coleman are snubbing their collective nose at the rule of law in this country. When I submitted my application to UofM many years ago, I had to submit a social security number, thus showing I was a citizen. The Regents and Coleman don't agree with the rule of law and are snubbing the conservatives in the State of Michigan with this vote. It is a statement saying they don't agree with the immigration laws and that the UofM is above the laws of this country. You statement "The residency thing is tough. Are they a resident of Michigan? No. Are they a resident of anywhere else?" IS absurd. They are not residents of Michigan as they are illegal immigrants and therefore are not legally here in the US... and if you haven't noticed, Ann Arbor, the 28 square miles surrounded by reality is still part of the US. I'm sure there are many legitimate US citizens with history in Michigan that are denied in state tuition. Why does the UofM treat ILLEGAL immigrants better than those people and why are these illegals taking space from others that are here legally whether they be Michigan residents or are legal immigrants, or legal out of state citizens applying for admission to the UofM. I agree with those that have said they will not donate to the UofM. Sadly that money will now be sent to other schools, some private...and it's a lot more that the $100 that Anonymous sarcastically stated above. Anonymous how dare you make a statement like that?

Dog Guy

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

Regents are politicians who do whatever it takes to get elected.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Amigos rule


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:16 p.m.

Because the university has chosen to subsidize illegal aliens I no longer feel obliged to make any contributions to this University.

bill s

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:37 a.m.

@Anonymous: It appears anyone who disagrees with your views must be debased with insults.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

I'm sure the university will really miss your $100 donation.

Atlas Shrugged

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

Didn't y'all who are carping about "illegal" immigrants read the headline and get (the obligatory PC) message? These folks are merely "unauthorized," which obviously shouldn't be construed as breaking any laws. DOESN'T IT JUST HACK YOU OFF that the lefties, wallowing in self-guilt, are giving the same benefits to our armed service veterans (thank you again for your sevice to our country) as they are people who, no matter how smart or promising they may be, are breaking federal law? Frankly, the mere thought that some people are so avoiding of the proper word -- illegal -- that they have to create euphemisms --- they have their heads stuck so far in the sand (or perhaps up a certain body part -- makes me want to puke... On them. And yeah, find some guideline I violated to deep six my comment. But before you do, I'm breaking no,law, and in fact have this little thing called the US Constitution. Delete my comment, and sleep well with giddy glee knowing the U is granting big buck benefits to people who ARE breaking a federal law, no ifs, ands, or buts.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

In this article they are unauthorized immigrants. In the link provided two foreigners are... " in the country illegally...""... (2nd from last paragraph) Why does call them unauthorized immigrants, undocumented aliens... ? What is next weeks euphemism? Oh, that's right...naturalized citizen.

Ronald Crow

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 8:57 a.m.

Just an alternative word, like "Finding something before it's lost" is still theft.:)


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

How about making it easier for graduate students to get residency so they can pay less? I'm not talking about those who are only here during the school year. I mean those who live year round and have no connections to other states, get jobs here, have Michigan drivers license and register their vehicle here, file taxes as Michigan residents, vote in state and elections here, etc. etc. They are residents in every sense of the word, except where tuition is concerned.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

I expected nothing less from the 6 democrats. They have never respected the will of the majority and the tail wags the dog with them. Two things need to happen: 1) The legislature needs to make the U check immigration status and bar it from admitting anyone illegally in the country. They can do that. 2) The regents need to be term limited, just like other state elected offices already are. Larry Deitch has been a regent longer than any of the "dreamers" he wants to admit have been alive.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

Best part is these illegal immigrants will never end up having to pay taxes to support future generations of illegal immigrants because they still won't be able to be legally employed in this state. What an intelligent use of taxpayer money.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

I pay five times as much in property tax as I pay in income tax. And those, everybody pays, if it's via rent or directly. So relax already.

Ronald Crow

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 9:07 a.m.

Agreed. Some will say "but they pay taxes" yeah, like sales tax. And if they work a menial job through school, they may pay a bit more. But for how long? Illegals will get a great degree from the best and highest costing college in America as an illegal and travel back to their home country. Doesn't make sense to me unless that person stays in the country and become a productive citizen of the United States.

Tom Joad

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

These young people through no fault of their own are being punished for the actions of their parents. They are already relegated to 2nd class status as they have no documentation which allows them to work legally, vote, receive a driver license, passport, etc. On a fundamental level this is a striving for equality. Anyone who has completed high school in the United States in my book deserves citizenship and a break. We cannot punish children for the mistakes of their parents.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:04 a.m.

How are they being punished? If they weren't here illegally than they would be at home where they can get their education.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

And what about the people waiting all over the world to get in through legal means?? What do they deserve?

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

It's also not our fault.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

This is all about PR for UM. There is no justification to reward lawbreakers, even if the students themselves came to MI with parents who broke the law. Rewarding this behavior will only encourage more it. Our tax dollars are not at work here. The immigration issue needs to be settled at the federal level, and MI tax-supported colleges should not be havens for illegals. I don't see how illegals (criminals) can even apply to UM given they are lawbreakers to start with. Can any criminal apply to UM and get in?


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

So six of the Regents voted to put illegals (criminals) ahead of law-abiding Michigan Citizens, law-abiding out-of-State, out-of-Country, and LEGAL immigrants.... Six Regents just made it clear that they are overdue to be deported from their positions as Regents. Or perhaps in their eyes - just helping the UofM wastefully burn their (err OUR) $Billions as usual.... Shameful and disgusting.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

Um. no. UM could go private tomorrow and improve its finances enormously that way. State allocation is less than 20% of the budget now. Because of right-wingers who hate universities and have cut more than a billion from the allocation over the last ten years. But hey, yay, probably some of you saved a few dozen dollars in state income tax that way.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

You are quite correct Anonymous. However our tax dollars are a major contributor that has made and keeps alive the $Multi-$Billion-$Dollar Corporate Entity that the UofM has been made into. I never said anything about $Billions PER YEAR of our money being burned by the UofM. That is a fact, I suppose making me as you say a "tool" of statistical truth....


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

Please tell me again why these people are "unauthorized immigrants" instead of illegal aliens. And aren't there still thousands of people waiting to get their visas approved to get into this country?

Usual Suspect

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 4:23 a.m.

Very small point of clarification. You're still editorializing by using it.

Jen Eyer

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:09 a.m.

Small point of clarification, MLive Media Group chose and began using the term two months before the AP changed its policy.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:20 p.m. is doing it because MLive told them to. MLive is doing it because of groupthink after the AP said it's "accurate."


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Because the media has decided to portray these lawbreakers as "undocumented." It's more PC run amok.

Samuel Burns

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

Remember folks, this ONLY applies to undocumented students who attended middle school and high school in Michigan. I know that that's still controversial, but this affects a very small number of students indeed, and the students affected are ones who don't really have a home besides Michigan (through no fault of their own).


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

When mommy and daddy bring their children along on their lives of crime, it is unfortunate. It typically negatively affects the children when the parents burn bridges, close doors, go to prison, limit access to health care, education, jobs, a path to legal immigration, get deported, etc. But why should these illegal children be treated special over the children of law-abiding parents....? Just like any talk about amnesty for these illegals only encourages more to come....


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

Excuse my previous post - I do not care if someone considers himself a Wolverine.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

So glad to see that my tax dollars will now be supporting illegal immigrants who have never paid Michigan taxes in their life!


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

davecj & Jake C, You both have inaccuracies in your conceptions of taxes. davecj, many illegal immigrants obtain fake SS numbers for jobs and taxes are taken from them just the same as you and I. Jake C, our tax dollars do support illegal immigrants, anyone who lives in southwest Detroit knows this to be true. Although there are some who obtain fake SS numbers and pay taxes there are also some who work under the table and do not pay into taxes but one way or another they find ways to obtain Bridge cards and I know many who claim children under other peoples SSN so they can get the amount per child when tax returns roll around. They do pay their tuition like everyone else but the whole advantage of "in-state tuition" is it's at a discounted price due to the many years the student's parents have paid taxes, which is why this is kind of a sensitive issue because it's unclear if a lot of these students parents paid Michigan taxes.

Jake C

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

How do you feel about your tax dollars supporting legal residents who have never paid Michigan taxes in their lives? And actually, your tax dollars do no such thing as "supporting illegal immigrants", they pay their tuition just like everyone else does.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

I do not care if someone considers themselves a Wolverine. I care if they "break the law" and simply do not care. We now support and fund illegal actions and law-abiding citizens are the bad guys. Twist or spin it whatever way the liberals can, what they are incapable of accepting is honesty, morality and truth. Pure and simple.

Carrie Rheingans

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

@sh1 it's not a law; it wasn't legislated. It's one university's policy.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

The law just changed. Do you support it?

R Norfleet

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

I'm proud to see the U of M Board of Regents take an active role in altering its admissions policies to accommodate the hundreds, if not thousands of MI Dreamers that now have a shot at receiving a quality education from a 4-year public institution of higher education. What these regents did today, in both cases, were long overdue and It is my hope that their actions, along with the voices of students across the state convince the other 14 public institutions to follow suit. Great job U of M

Jake C

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

"They have no right to step in line ahead of a legal resident or citizen." Actually they do, and have had that right for quite some time. Now they just have the right to be recognized as in-state residents, which they should be if they've lived in Michigan for nearly their entire lives and gotten the grades needed to get into U of M.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

I take it you don't pay taxes,or at least not in Michigan, right? Kindly remember that UoM, and I don't know how many others, are STATE schools. If UoM will return any state money they get, I can support this action. This is kinda like having millage passed on your home (a local tax on property) for the local schools, then allowing the students to take a voucher somewhere else.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 11 a.m.

@UsualSuspect: A "Liberal"? HA! I love it. Maybe in the classical sense (as in Friedrich Hayek), I suppose.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 4:26 a.m.

Yeah, GoNavy, that's it, yeah. You figured me out.


Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

Don't mind all the negative comments, R Norfleet: this kind of headline attracts xenophobes. They do not represent the community as a whole, and certainly not the University. I don't say it often, but in this decision: Go Blue!


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

@Usual Suspect- I forgot..."them"? You mean, other people who differ from you simply by latitude?


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

Oops, you've upset the Ann Arbor Xenophobe Brigade. Townies will organize a sit-in for cats, but Mexicans can go you-know-what.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

"Dreamers"... So we have a happy little name for them now.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:54 p.m.

They have no right to step in line ahead of a legal resident or citizen.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

How the heck do we keep getting ranked as a "smart town?" I guess maybe most of the members of the board don't actually live in the city.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

Boy, so much for everyone around here being so educated.

John S. Armbruster

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 3:44 p.m.

Educated yes, intelligence and common sense, NO.