Immigration Policy

AASCU member colleges and universities are institutions of access and opportunity that serve students from all backgrounds. AASCU believes that undocumented students who were brought to this country as children should have access to higher education and a path to citizenship, enabling them to contribute their talents to America’s workforce and knowledge economy. AASCU believes that states should have the right to set their own tuition policy for undocumented students. Additionally, AASCU supports greater access to the U.S. higher education market for international students and academics to improve global knowledge transfer and cross-cultural understanding. The association provides analysis of, and advocacy for, federal and state policies that facilitate greater access to postsecondary education for all students.

Policy Advisories

Federal Advisories 


State Advisories 

Policy Publications

Policy Matters

  •  In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students: States' Rights and Educational Opportunity - August 2007 (View PDF)
  •  Should Undocumented Immigrants Have Access to In-State Tuition? - June 2005 (View PDF)

Public Policy Agenda

AASCU Public Policy Agenda Priorities Related to Immigration 

Undocumented Students 

  • Support clarification of existing federal immigration law to allow states to determine the tuition status of qualified dependents of undocumented immigrants. AASCU believes that states’ authority over tuition policy must be preserved and respected. 
  • Support access to federal loan and work study programs for qualified undocumented students who were brought to the United States under the age of 16, have resided in the United States for five or more years, have graduated from a United States high school, and are individuals of good moral character who are pursuing postsecondary education to qualify for permanent residency status. 

Visa Control of Foreign Students 

  • Relieve problems associated with the valid acquisition of H-1B visas and EB green cards. 
  • Protect provisions under current law that permit exemptions from the annual visa cap on H-1B visas for the academic community. 
  • Support changes in legislation that would raise the current limitation on new visas per year imposed on employers from the business community. 
  • Support the VISA process that increases access into the U.S. for legitimate international students and scholars, in part through the effective utilization of biometric technology employed by U.S. VISIT. 


National Reports 

Young Lives on Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students 
The College Board
April 2009

State Reports