By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer, The Record.

A bill that would allow some students who are in the country illegally to pay in-state tuition rates at New Jersey’s public colleges and universities could become law by the end of the year now that Governor Christie has dropped his opposition to the measure, lawmakers say.

TYSON TRISH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Da-Hyun Hong of Palisades Park, a Rutgers student, could benefit from the pending tuition equality act. Hong says her family likely can’t afford another year of out-of-state rates.
The move could mean a reduction in tuition rates for hundreds — if not thousands — of undocumented students, many of whom have lived in New Jersey since they were children and now pay the out-of-state rate, which is about double the cost.

Christie signaled support for the so-called tuition equality act during an appearance before a Latino group and in a campaign debate last month with his Democratic opponent Barbara Buono, a longtime supporter of the measure.

The reversal is seen as an overture to a community that analysts believe Christie and the GOP will need if they are to win back the White House, and Democrats in the state Legislature are confident that Christie will not tinker with the bill that they’ve tried to launch for at least five years.


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