Dozens of University of North Carolina students gathered on campus Tuesday to hand petitions demanding in-state tuition to the college administration.
They are part of the "One State, One Rate" campaign, which asks public universities to grant in-state tuition and federal aid to undocumented students.
These students, many who are children of immigrants, told stories of earning private scholarships so they could afford to study at UNC. But they argued that even great students don't always qualify for scholarships.
At the end of the rally, they marched into the administrative building, delivering a petition with nearly a thousand signatures for Chancellor Carol Folt.
"Even though my sister is much more responsible and brilliant than I'll ever be, there is a possibility she won't have this amazing opportunity to flourish at a place like UNC," said one student, Pia Rodriguez.
Another, Emilio Vicente, said, "That's why I'm doing this, because it shouldn't be about luck. It should be about affordability and accessibility."
According to the UNC website, a student qualifies as a North Carolina resident if they have established legal residence in North Carolina and have maintained that legal residence for 12 months.
The policy is a UNC system policy, according to a UNC-Chapel Hill spokeswoman. According to the UNC system website, "An undocumented alien may not be considered a North Carolina resident for tuition purposes; all undocumented aliens must be charged out-of-state tuition."
Tuition and fees for a semester at UNC for this academic year is $4,170 for in-state students and $15,061 for out-of-state students.