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"We've always served historically under-represented populations, first generation populations," Dr. Stephen Jordan, president of the Metropolitan State College of Denver said. "We think these students fit in with exactly the mission that we serve."

Metro State approved the special tuition rate for undocumented students. Right now, those students pay out-of-state tuition of $7,992 per semester. Now, under the new provision, illegal immigrants would pay $3,358 per semester. In-state tuition is $2,152 per semester.

"We think it will open the door for more students," Jordan said.

To qualify, an undocumented student must have attended a Colorado high school for at least three years before graduation.

"You've got to applaud Metro State for taking the initiative and doing something that's right," Ricardo Martinez with Padres Unidos said.

Padres Unidos is a community group that supports the rights of immgrant students, including undocumented ones.

"Why deny somebody a college education? People are going to be here," Martinez said. "Rather than create a class of undereducated [who are] going to be ensured to live in poverty, let's change the conditions and have people go to college."

But, some say the school is rewarding people who violate the law.

"It's a pretty good deal to break into this country," said Tom Tancredo, former Republican congressman for Colorado.

Tancredo is an outspoken critic of immigration reform.

"Every other person who has done it the right way has got to be asking themselves 'why did we go through all the hassle?'" Tancredo said. "Before long, Metro will be offering courses, how do I break the law in a variety of ways if I'm here illegally."

He questions the legality of the whole proposal.

"It's against federal law to offer anyone lower tuition rates based on residency than you offer anybody else who lives outside of the state," Tancredo said.

Jordan says Metro State lawyers have reviewed the plan and are satisfied.

"It is not a violation of federal law because we are not providing any state subsidy whatsoever," Jordan said.

Jordan says undocumented students would pay a 10 percent fee for capital contributions - which means they would pay for using all facilities on campus themselves without benefiting from tax dollars.

Jordan says this move will do more than impact college students. He believes it will motivate undocumented students in middle school and high school.

"[They] will now see the possibility of college as a real goal for themselves and will apply themselves more while they are in high school," Jordan said.