The U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, estimates population demographics annually. After applying parameters for citizenship and school enrollment to the 2006 ACS data, the data revealed 12,650 noncitizens in North Carolina enrolled in public undergraduate institutions. "Non-U.S. Citizens" are either in the country legally (in this case, as holders of a student visa) or illegally. The chart below illustrates the breakdown of these students based on data reported by the UNC and N.C. community college systems. See below for methodology.
Data extracted from the 2006 American Community Survey. Individuals included in the data set must be:
- In North Carolina
- Non-U.S. Citizen
- Enrolled in a public undergraduate institution
- High school graduate without an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or professional degree
Data regarding foreign undergraduates is self-reported by the UNC and NCCCS systems and is presumed to include foreign students who hold a student visa and are in the United States legally.
Click here for the American Community Survey’s methodology.
Assumptions & Calculations
Costs to the state: Registering 10,000 out-of-state students as in-state students costs North Carolina taxpayers $36 million.
This calculation makes the following assumptions:
- Non-U.S. citizen enrollment of 10,000
- Population is 2/3 part-time students (6,700), 1/3 full-time students (3,300)
- Net tuition revenue loss is the sum of two differences: (full-time, out-of-state tuition revenue minus full-time, in-state tuition revenue) plus (part-time, out-of-state tuition revenue minus part-time in-state tuition revenue).
- The costs for part-time students assume 6 credits per semester. Full-time student costs assume 16 credits per semester. In-state tuition is $39.90 per credit. Out-of-state tuition is $233.40 per credit.
Community college enrollment: We assume that the majority of the 10,000 students are enrolled at community colleges rather than in the UNC system. This assumption is based on the following:
- As average income levels of illegal immigrants are significantly lower than the average citizen, financial considerations are likely to be important factors in college choice. Community college tuition is significantly less expensive than tuition at UNC campuses.
- Average academic preparation of most illegal immigrants makes community college a more likely educational choice.
- The "open door" policy of the community college system virtually guarantees admission. Whereas, undocumented aliens at UNC institutions “are eligible to be considered for admission … based on their individual qualifications” (UNC Policy Manual: 700.1.4[G])
U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey, data extracted via the Census Bureau’s Data Ferret application