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New Report from UMBC Finds Significant Economic Benefits to State from Maryland DREAM Act

A report released today by the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research (MIPAR) at UMBC on the Private and Government Fiscal Costs and Benefits of the Maryland Dream Act finds that Maryland will reap major economic benefits from passage of the Maryland DREAM Act, Question 4 on the November 6 ballot. The economic benefits are estimated at approximately $66 million for each incoming class of DREAM students.

The report’s authors, Dr. Marvin Mandell and Dr. Tim Gindling, also point out:“The estimates from this analysis suggest that the net economic effect of the Maryland Dream Act will be positive, and the benefits will be substantial… The initial costs of the investment in education will be more than offset by increased tax revenues and lower government spending on incarceration and other government programs that result from a more educated citizenry.”

The UMBC Report Summary is available here. Large and positive economic benefits are expected to accrue to each level of government as well as for private individuals as DREAM students are able to earn more and pay more in taxes due to their higher level of educational attainment.

Additionally, the report estimates that 435 students per year will take advantage of the DREAM Act to attend college and only 102 students per year transfer to a four-year college or university in the state thanks to the Maryland DREAM Act. The report’s authors point out that this is about 0.1 percent of the 117,187 students enrolled at Maryland public universities in 2012.

The report also debunks the myth that the Maryland DREAM Act will invite an influx of immigrants, saying there is little empirical evidence to support that claim and pointing out that because of the Maryland Dream Act’s restrictions, simply moving to Maryland to take advantage of the Act is unlikely.

Also, students who are U.S. citizens or legal residents of Maryland also have no reason to fear that DREAM students will take a seat that would otherwise have gone to them. Dr. Mandell and Dr. Gindling provide a number of reasons to support their belief that there will not be a “crowding out” effect in Maryland, chiefly that DREAM students must start at community college. And the law specifies that when DREAM students apply to transfer to a four-year institution, they’ll be considered in the pool with out-of-state applicants, so there is no competition between native-born Maryland students and DREAM Act students for spots.

The full report on the Private and Government Fiscal Costs and Benefits of the Maryland Dream Act is available here.

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