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May 08, 2007

The Dream Of A College Degree


This year, state legislatures across the country have been grappling with the question of what to charge illegal immigrants for tuition at state colleges and universities. Undocumented students don't qualify for "in state" fees since they are in the country illegally. Yet many cannot meet the fee structure for "international students."

Once a student reaches college, even more challenges abound. According to a study released by the Pew Hispanic Center, fewer than 25 percent of Latino students who enter college finish with a bachelor's degree.

Today, Dick Gordon talks to "Irving." Irving is an undocumented immigrant: he was born in Mexico, and came to the U.S. when he was in 4th grade. He had been struggling for a way to afford college - but then he found one. He just won a full college scholarship to Marquette University.

Irving is joined in the studio by his middle school principal, Larry Siewert.


Chuck Fister and his daughter, Sarah Fister Gale

Sarah Fister Gale wrote to The Story to tell us about her dad.

He grew up in Millville, Minnesota, population less than 300, in the 30s and 40s. Back then they still had outhouses, and his father, the postman, drove a horse and sleigh in the winter. My dad loves to tell stories about picking wildflowers in the spring on the bluff behind his town, or catching frogs in the river that snakes through the town.

My favorite story, however, is the day he went to a friend’s farm after school. He was probably nine years old and the Swanson boys (I may have the names wrong) thought it would be fun to steal their dad’s horse and buggy and take it for a joy ride.

Sarah's dad, Chuck Fister, joins Dick to tell the story.

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