UNL Student Accuses Regents Of Tuition Discrimination

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A University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate student has called on the Board of Regents to ease tuition requirements for some out-of-state students.

Troy Weigand cited a Nebraska law granting in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants when he spoke Friday at the board's meeting. He said he moved to Nebraska four years ago, but is classified as an out-of-state student and pays higher tuition.

Under UNL policy, students who move to Nebraska to attend school must pay out-of-state rates.

Weigand, who's studying chemistry, said he owns a house in the state and pays taxes, so he shouldn't pay more tuition. He suggested the university is being discriminatory by giving illegal immigrants a break and not him.

"What are you willing to do to correct this discrimination against legal residents?" he asked the regents.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman said Weigand's tuition issue has nothing to do with illegal immigrants. Nebraska President J.B. Milliken agreed, and added that the tuition break for illegal immigrants is provided by state law. So the university has to comply.

The law passed in 2006 applies to children brought to the United States illegally. They must have graduated from Nebraska high schools, lived in the state for at least three years and be pursuing legal status.

A measure now before the state Legislature would repeal the law.

Milliken and other education leaders have sent a letter to lawmakers supporting the law. They say repealing it would deny children economic, intellectual and social benefits that serve both them and the state.