ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- -

Attorney General Mark Herring is telling Virginia colleges that they can grant in-state tuition to thousands of students who were previously considered ineligible because of their immigration status.

The policy change, announced Tuesday at Northern Virginia Community College, is a change from the Democrat's Republican predecessors.

In the past, the attorney general's office had advised that students who entered the country illegally were barred from receiving in-state tuition, even if they were children when they immigrated.

Herring says students can qualify for the reduced tuition under a special immigration status created by the Obama administration for certain young people brought to the country as children.