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Update: College student stuck in financial limbo

WILMINGTON -- Last night we told you about a young woman from Canada who moved to our area on a student visa. Her parents are tax paying citizens in North Carolina, but their daughter is being denied in state tuition rates by UNCW. School officials say they are simply following state law by not qualifying her for in-state tuition. UNCW student Monique Cuff said, "It really kind of threw a wrench in my plan. It's really disappointing, I got my hopes up, now I have to rethink everything, rethink my plan." Cuff moved to North Carolina two years ago on a student visa. She transferred to UNCW this year from wake tech community college near Raleigh where she was granted in-state tuition. She figured UNCW would follow wake techs lead and allow her to pay in-state rates, but she was wrong... Now the difference is costing her family thousands of dollars. "I'm not sure if I can afford to finish my degree," Cuff said. "It's very upsetting." Even though community colleges, like Wake Tech, and UNC schools are all run by the state, the institutions don't follow the same policy on who qualifies for in-state tuition. UNCW Tuition Appeals Chair Thom Rakes said, "It's state law, we don't make the state law. We can't decide when we apply the state law and when we don't. We have to apply it at all times." UNC system rules state anyone who is in the country on a student visa cannot qualify for in-state tuition. Rakes says the rules apply even in cases like Cuffs where her citizenship is pending and her parents, who claim her as a dependent, are North Carolina tax-paying residents. "They're very strict. The state legislature feels very strongly, they want to reserve the lower in-state rate for bona fide North Carolina residents," Rake said. In December the president of UNC announced that he is considering in-state tuition for undocumented illegal immigrants. A spokesperson for UNC said the system is doing research to see if the proposal would be worth while, no word on when the research will be complete or when a decision will be made.

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If American Ed system is so bad?

If the American Education systems are so bad like they say about the American Health Care systems, then why are foreigners like her coming here? I PERSONALLY WROTE to my government officials representing me in Raleigh and Washington about this.

State Residency Appeal

Has she scheduled an appeal with State Residency Committee? If not, why not?


When I moved to NC, I had to wait until I was a resident to pay in state tuition. What makes these people so special? If I have to wait and do the RIGHT thing, then everyone should. I don't feel that illegals or people with visa's should be allowed to pay in state fact if you are illegal you don't need to be in this country to begin with. Go thru the proper channels and play by the rules.

In state tuition for a Canadian?

Why should she get in-state tuition when it's much more fashionable to give it to illegal aliens from mexico that sneek across the border to have their babies, get welfare, food stamps and a free public education for their kids. Since she obviously isn't going to be another social leech, why should she get any breaks. No one cares that she will probably become a productive member of our society. Deadbeats and social leeches are the in-thing, didn't you people know that?

loan, illegal, etc

First, she is not illegal. If she is here on a student visa, she would be classified as a legal non-immigrant. Second, non-immigrants on student visas do not qualify for federal aid, so she cannot apply for grants and loans. Finally, for all those close-minded people out there, please remember that America's founding fathers were immigrants. I'm not disputing the fact that she should be required to pay out of state tuition like all other out of state students, and all other international students. NC law is written this way, and must be enforced for all students equally.

But why, at 25, is she still a dependent?

Her father should have long ago lost the privilege to claim her as a dependent. I thought that stopped when a live at home child turned 21. Unless its a special situation, inst it tax fraud for a person to claim a dependent who isn't eligible to be claimed as a dependent? According to the facts of the story, her parents live here and she was living in Wake county, so how could her family continue to claim her as a dependent for tax purposes when she was: 1) Too old 2) Not even living at home to begin with

I'm pretty sure that you can

I'm pretty sure that you can claim your children up to age 24 if they are a full time student. I don't believe that means they have to live under your roof.

That is correct, I've just

That is correct, I've just been down that road. They do not have to live in your house but they do need to be full time students.


Get a grant or a loan like everyone else instead of trying to further rape the system. There is enough of that going on at Social Services as it is... Sidenote: Drive by NHC Social Services sometime.. The cars in the parking lot for visitors is full of $20-$60k automobiles... Something is WRONG with that picture and this gorl adds to the problem of illegals trying to get something for nothing.

First, she is not illegal.

First, she is not illegal. She is here on a student visa, making her a "legal" non-immigrant. Second, non-immigrants do not qualify for federal aid. She cannot apply for a federal loan or grant like American citizens. Finally, it sounds like she has an application pending for a green card which means pretty soon she will no longer be a non-immgrant, but will become an immigrant. And for all those close-minded people out there, let's remember that America was founded by a group of immigrants.

If you weren't living in NC for 2 Years On The Application Date

then you should be considered out of state for the entire time you are in a state funded school in NC. People come here from out of state and pay in state tuition after one year. If you live in Ohio on the date of your application, you should pay out of state tuition during the entirety of your degree program. Let the taxpayers of Ohio educate you if that's the state that's reaped the benefits of yours and your parents taxes. I'm sure all the UNCW students from New Jersey will go ballistic over the comment but let them.

Tuition for Illegals

In another one of today's story's the topic is the lack of money(24 Billion shortfall) in the State Retirement System. And here we are arguing whether illegal immigrants deserve in- state tuition. Am I the only one who see's the stupidity of this. What made this Country great is that everyone has the same chance to succeed, although you must go earn it, nothing will be given to you. Hard work is the only way to overcome obstacles and achieve what you want. This new mentality of handouts, does nothing but take away an individuals drive to succeed and contribute to society. Speaking of which an immigrant of any nationality needs to earn their keep, not be given handouts citizens aren't entitled to.

Wow….it does not take a

Wow….it does not take a Brian Surgeon to understand that high tuition fees might be a sign that we do not want your type to attend or graduate from our university. This is typical of what is occurring throughout the United States. We welcome people from other countries to enter the U.S. and then they want hand-outs. I bet if I moved to Canada and attended a Canadian university, they would not care how much I paid for tuition. I have paid my way through college, graduate school and post graduate school and you should also. Like it, or go back to cold, wimpy Canada. :)

Example of a grad-u-ate

It's a concern that you made it through college, grad school and post-grad but you can't spell the word brain. You're a fine example of this there school system we have in good ole' North Carolina.

I'm sure it was a simple

I'm sure it was a simple if you or anyone else on here hasn't made the same mistake

Gee John..."Brian" surgeon?

Gee John..."Brian" surgeon? Is that something like a "Steve" surgeon? LOL...Sorry dude...your typo..oh the irony... Anyway, seems to me like if she's been here all this time paying taxes in the state/community, and her parents are perm residents paying taxes in the state then whats the big deal giving her in-state tuition? I never understood why there should be a difference anyway. Why should she or anyone else pay more for the same education? It's not like she's going to get more bang for her buck than a native, is it? I don't see her asking for a handout or FREE tuition, just equal opportunity, and why not? It's not as if she's on welfare or some sort of waster is it? It's not like she's in the country illegally or some sort of criminal, is it?

One reason

One reason in-state students receive a lower rate is because this is the state they live in and are paying taxes in that go to these state funded schools. If she has established residency then she should receive the in-state rate. Otherwise she needs to pay the higher out of state rate.

Well if someone comes here

Well if someone comes here to go to school in our state, they will be paying taxes in our state, right? Fuel tax, sales tax, income tax. So why the heck should they pay more for the same education ON TOP of subsidizing a NC native's? Her parent's paid taxes here for you in-stater's to get cheaper tuition, and their own child cannot benefit? That's stupid. Nevermind the girl in the story has been living here for a spell...paying taxes...

Just wait

Until one of your children have to give up a slot in a NC college for some illegal alien or interloper like this woman. What does her parents have to do with it anyway? She is beyond the age of dependency and that argument doesn't even hold water.

Interloper...roflol. Are you

Interloper...roflol. Are you kidding me? Look, she isn't interloping. Her parents moved here, and she's moving here as well. She's lived in the state for 2 years according to the article, and just wants an education without having to pay anymore than anyone else would want to. How is her paying more or less going to cause your kid to lose a slot? If she were willing to pay the extra, your kid would lose it anyway, if that was all that it took, right? I'm with you on illegals, but she isn't illegal, so that's a moot point. As for what her parents have to do with it, they have paid taxes here. So you will dismiss their contribution to YOUR child's education, right? Nevermind at all that they've put their two cents in there, and yet their daughter can't avail herself of the same benefit that your native sons and daughters enjoy thanks to it, right? And according to the IRS, your kids can be dependents until the age of 24. It's been suggested that she is 25, but I haven't read anything to confirm that in the articles. Maybe someone can clear that up for us.

She is not a US Citizen

She isn't a US citizen....NO she shouldn't be able to pay in-state tuition

Brian had surgery...

I hope Brian has a full recovery.....Graduate school indeed.

In state Tuition

In state tuition always has been, and always should be, for in state residents only. It would seem impossible that the UNC President would even consider giving this tax funded priviledge to those living illegally in our state.

Yes, Erskine Bowles. President of the UNC System...

...former Democrat candidate for US Senate, former Chief-of-Staff to Bill Clinton, now lead backer of providing in-state tuition rates to ILLEGAL immigrants....and close personal friend of Hillary Clinton.

If you are not an American citizen

It's pretty simple, if you are not an American citizen you should NEVER be able to get in state tuition, that is reserved for the people that have paid taxes into this state.

not an american citizen reply

If people would open their eyes . . . you do not need to be a citizen to pay taxes here or buy property! LEGAL non-citizen's live, die, pay taxes just as you and I. They just can't vote! They also are held to a stricter set of standards then we are. Yes she is not a resident, no she should not get state help because of this but we as Americans should get our facts straight BEFORE we show everyone how stupid we really are!!!

But she hasn't been paying

But she hasn't been paying state taxes...except for the past 2 years and only because she was going to school in our state. I also agree she shouldn't get the instate rebate. She is not an American citizen, she is here on a school visa. Just because her parents live here doesn't give her the right to the rebate. She needs to pay like any other out-of-state resident would

Wilm, how does someone live

Wilm, how does someone live in this state and NOT pay taxes? There is fuel to be purchased, groceries, clothing...all with taxes that go into the state/community coffers. So she already HAS contributed to the state in those respects. Her parents have likely contributed in the form of state income tax, even if we assume she hasn't...why shouldn't that bear some consideration? The whole concept of in-state/out-of-state tuitions is a rip-off.

Reread what I wrote...I said

Reread what I wrote...I said she did pay taxes for the past two years she was in school. But look at the taxes that she has been paying. Like you said, food, groceries, clothing...the same taxes that those who drive thru our state pay. Should we also consider those "tourists" as residents. They would be paying the same taxes this girl has been paying. The point is, she is here on a student visa. SHE IS NOT A US CITIZEN!!! How can a non-US citizen expect to get in-state benefits?

She didn't "drive through"

She didn't "drive through" the state. She's lived here for a coupla years, and seems to be intent on living here a few more. A tourist is a tourist, and a person who has and will continue to live here, has somewhat established residency. Again, let's look at the fact that her parents ARE perm residents and she is their dependent. Shouldn't that count for something? How these chuckleheads can even consider in-state tuition for illegals, and not give this young lady the time of day is beyond me.