A new law granting in-state tuition for illegal immigrants attending community colleges in Maryland won't have a dramatic effect on the Community College of Baltimore County.
Sandra Kurtinitis, CCBC president, told council members Monday night that only 20 of the college's 74,000 students could potentially qualify under the law.
Kurtinitis called the issue "challenging" but said CCBC has not broken state law and allowed illegal immigrants to pay lower rates "like our colleagues down the road."
Kurtinitis later acknowledged she was speaking about Montgomery College, which is the subject of a lawsuit. Del. Pat McDonough, who is involved in the lawsuit, said the community college system has cost taxpayers $6 million by allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates, which he said violates state and federal laws.
"We follow the law," Kurtinitis said. "Everyone pays what they are required to pay."
Kurtinitis said the 20 illegal immigrant students enrolled at CCBC pay the international rate.
The bill, passed during this year's 90-day General Assembly session, allows illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates if they attended a Maryland high school for three years and can prove their parents paid taxes.
The change is expected to cost the state at least $3.5 million over the next five years, according to state estimates.
Some legislators who opposed the law, as McDonough did, said they expect the change to increase the number of illegal immigrants attending community colleges at in-state rates—which are much cheaper than those paid by out of county and out of state students.
"We do not anticipate that we will see a large growth," Kurtinitis told the council.