Justice Ming W. Chin in the court's opinion said California law, which guarantees lower tuition to those students who attend and graduate from high schools in the state, does not conflict with a federal ban against giving illegal immigrants educational benefits based on state residency.
The Los Angeles Times said California is one of several states that allow illegal immigrants lower college tuition when they graduate from state high schools. The newspaper said about 25,000 illegal aliens get in-state tuition rates in California.
An anti-illegal immigration group filed a lawsuit contending the California law violated the federal ban on giving educational benefits to illegal aliens, but not to all U.S. citizens, based on residency. The challenge was successful in a lower court, but the state appealed.
The Times said college students who are illegally in the United States are excluded from federal financial aid programs, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected eventually to rule on whether the lower tuition rates also violate federal law.