Proposition 308 Explained
As voters begin to receive their mail-in ballots, we thought we’d bring you a breakdown of Proposition 308, what it is, and how it has the potential to help Arizona students achieve a degree or credential.
Education Forward Arizona has taken a position of support for Prop 308.
What is Prop 308?
Prop 308 will allow any student who attends high school in Arizona for at least two years (public, private or home school) and graduates to be eligible for in-state tuition at the state universities and community colleges. This includes DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and undocumented students.
Currently, these students are classified as out-of-state students and pay higher tuition rates. For example, at a state university, DACA and undocumented students pay 150% ($17,000) of the in-state tuition rate ($11,000). That difference of $6,000 extra per year adds up to an additional $24,000 these students pay for their degree.
What does Prop 308 do?
Prop 308 will charge the same in-state tuition rates for all students who have met the same requirements as other Arizona high school graduates.
Who will Prop 308 impact?
It is projected that Prop 308 will impact approximately 3,600 Arizona high school graduates a year who are Dreamers or who are undocumented.
How did Prop 308 get on the ballot?
Ballot measures can get on the ballot either by legislative referral or via a voter initiative.
Prop 308 was referred to the ballot by the legislature through Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1044 in 2021. It was referred to voters with bi-partisan support. You can read SCR 1044 here.
Who Supports or Opposes Prop 308?
You can read arguments for and against Prop 308 on the Secretary of State’s website.
Have Other States Done Something Similar?
Yes, 20 other states have passed similar policies to give in-state tuition for Dreamers.
Why is it important?
Tuition fairness for all high school graduates could help more students go to college and complete a degree or credential. Right now, 46% of Arizona high school graduates go onto postsecondary education, which has decreased from 53% as a result of the pandemic. Being able to access in-state tuition will make going to college more affordable and accessible for DACA and undocumented students who could not otherwise afford the out-of-state tuition rates.
Education is an economic driver. Increasing the number of people in Arizona who go to college and achieve a degree or credential, is essential for the state’s future workforce and economy. Right now 46% of Arizonans have achieved a postsecondary credential or degree, which is still far off of our Achieve60AZ goal of 60% attainment by 2030.
If the state is going to meet our Achieve60AZ attainment goal, we must accelerate progress in helping students and adults earn degrees or credentials.
A study we conducted in 2016 showed that if Arizona increased attainment to meet future workforce needs, or to equal the national average, the state would see $7.4B in economic gains (Source: Doubling Arizona’s Economic Growth). Prop 308 will help these 3,600 students pursue and complete a higher education and improve our economy and quality of life.