YPSILANTI (WWJ/AP) – Eastern Michigan University plans to allow students living in the U.S. without legal permission to qualify for in-state tuition starting with the fall semester of 2014.

The Ypsilanti school’s Board of Regents approved a plan earlier this week to allow students who have attended a Michigan high school at least three years and graduated to qualify for in-state tuition.

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Under the new guidelines, students establishing eligibility through high school attendance must begin their education at EMU within 28 months of graduation or receiving their GED.

The new guidelines offer a clear path to paying in-state tuition for undocumented students, an issue of concern that has been expressed by a wide variety of Eastern Michigan students.

“These are students who have deep connections to the state of Michigan, and who have made contributions to the state by virtue of the time they and their families have spent in Michigan,” EMU President Susan Martin said in a statement. “We are a University of opportunity and diversity, and these changes reflect that emphasis.”

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In addition to Michigan residents and those attending Michigan high schools, the school also offers in-state tuition through service in the U.S. military. And in 2012, the school adopted a program for children of out-of-state alumni to pay in-state rates.

The annual in-state cost for an undergraduate resident student taking a standard full load of 30 credits at Eastern this academic year is $9,364.

Some other Michigan schools offer students in the country illegally to pay tuition at the same rate as in-state students.

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