North Carolina's community colleges will no longer admit illegal immigrants, returning to more restrictive policy on the advice of the state Attorney General's Office.

Last year, the system said it would enroll illegal immigrants who are 18 years old and high school graduates at all of its 58 campuses. The policy provoked heavy criticism, especially from the leading candidates for governor.

The system later asked North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper for guidance on whether the admissions policy was legal under federal law. Last week, Cooper's office suggested the system drop the admissions policy.

On Tuesday, the community colleges said it would follow the advice from Cooper's office.