States' DREAM Acts Could Deter High School Dropouts

Making college more affordable may encourage undocumented students to finish high school.

State laws allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition could have a positive impact on high school graduation rates.

Female college graduates are less likely to have out-of-wedlock babies than other women.

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"It's really hard to get a hold of that data," Gonzalez says. "Schools are very, very protective about releasing information, or even tracking who in their system might be undocumented, just for fear that it gets in the wrong hands."

But including high school enrollment or completion as an eligibility requirement for protection under President Obama's recent policy could be the incentive some students need to graduate high school, Gonzalez adds.

"Jumping ahead, I could see the administration's new policy change (and the DREAM Act especially) as a motivation to finish school and to even go back and get a GED," he said via E-mail. "There are already growing efforts to get more students through the pipeline (and into GED programs) to ensure their eligibility."

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