Over 200 ASU students couldn't prove
Arizona State University has revealed that 207 students couldn't prove their legal status last semester and became some of the first Arizona residents to be charged out-of-state tuition.
The university was complying with Proposition 300.
It checked the status of the 46,217 residents who enrolled, said Sharon Keeler, an ASU spokeswoman.
The university said it has spent $115,000 to check students' status.
The voter approved Proposition 300 requires public colleges and universities to make sure the students paying in-state tuition are U.S. citizens or immigrated here legally.
In-state tuition - $4,821 this school year - is less than one-third of what students from other states and countries pay at the state's three public universities.
State taxpayers cover the rest of the cost of residents' higher education.
While the universities charged students who couldn't prove legal residency the higher rate, at ASU, few had to pay it themselves.
The independent university fundraising group, the ASU Foundation, gave private scholarships to a number of those students, which covered their additional tuition costs.
ASU President Michael Crow has said the scholarships totaled $1.8 million, enough to assist about 150 full-time students.
State Treasurer Dean Martin asked the Arizona Board of Regents to investigate the private scholarships after Crow disclosed them in September.
Martin, who led the effort to pass Prop. 300, said he worried ASU was violating the new law by mixing scholarships for illegal immigrants with taxpayer dollars.
Doing so would have turned the private donations into public money, which illegal immigrants cannot receive under Prop. 300.
The regents denied Martin's request for an investigation.
"They haven't provided the documentation that he requested," said Kimberly Yee, the treasurer's government affairs director.