A Colorado Senate committee passed Friday a bill to allow qualified undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition at public universities.

With a 4-3 vote, the Appropriations Committee sent SB 13-33 to the full Senate, where debate on the bill will begin Feb. 22.

An analysis made by the Senate estimates that the measure could benefit some 500 undocumented college students.

On Jan.25, the senatorial Education Committee also backed this measure by 6-3, with one Republican joining five Democrats in the "yes" column.

Presidents of several Colorado universities and community colleges have come out in favor of the proposal.

Unlike previous bills, SB 13-33 does not create an "intermediate level" of tuitions nor offers discounts on school fees for certain undocumented college students, but instead authorizes universities to classify anyone who graduates from a Colorado high school as a state resident.

Another difference from previous proposals is that SB 13-33 allows students who benefit from this law to receive financial aid from the universities they attend. EFE