The University of North Carolina system is considering whether to offer undocumented immigrants in-state tuition at its 16 university campuses.
In-state tuition ranges from $1,500 to $3,700 while out-of-state students pay between $10,000 and $20,000.
System President Erskine Bowles said illegal immigrants already are in the state, and he said creating another permanent underclass isn't the right thing to do. The policy's costs and benefits are being studied by a 28-member commission of business, community and academic leaders.
Last week, a controversy erupted over a new policy that mandates all state community colleges admit students regardless of their immigration status. Policy opponents include all five candidates for North Carolina governor.