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Illegal immigrant in-state tuition begins in Conn.

This will be the first year that illegal immigrant Maria Praeli can consider going to college full-time.

While that once seemed impossible to afford, the 18-year-old high school student can qualify for in-state tuition at Connecticut's public universities under a new law.

The measure reduces tuition costs by as much as $17,000 annually for undocumented students such as Praeli, a rising senior at New Milford High School.

Connecticut is now among 12 states, including New York and Illinois, that grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants who are working toward legal status.

Advocates say as many as 250 illegal immigrants in the state could take advantage of the law change within the next year.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, was holding a ceremonial bill signing for the measure on Thursday.

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