financial aid for illegal immigrants

Some students in the country illegally have complained that the millions of dollars the University of California system recently pledged to help them earn a college degree will come by way of student loans instead of grants.

As UC officials discuss specifics on how the $5 million UC President Janet Napolitano recently budgeted to support undocumented students will be allocated – much of which will go to student loan programs, it’s been decided - some student activists have bemoaned that it’s not fair to strap stressed out, disadvantaged students in the country illegally with college debt.

“We think that the 5 million dollars will have an impact if the money goes directly into the pockets of undocumented students,” By Any Means Necessary campus activist group leader David Douglass told The Daily Californian in an email.

The Californian goes on to report:

Sophomore Ivan Villasenor Madriz, an undocumented student, spoke with representatives from the UC Office of the President and other undocumented student representatives across the UC campuses in a conference call the evening of Dec. 18.

Madriz said the students raised concerns about the use of the funds for loans rather than other types of aid such as grants and work-study. He said loans should not be considered “aid” because they are only increasing student debt and putting more pressure on students.

“The loans that are given out are making one hole to fill another,” he said. “It defeats the purpose of so-called ‘financial aid.’ ”

IMAGE: Chris Gold/Flickr

{ 24 comments }

The Marietta Daily Journal reports:

DECATUR — A judge said Thursday that he needs more information and time to decide the case of a group of young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and want the Georgia university system to grant them in-state tuition.

The roughly three dozen young immigrants have been granted temporary permission to stay in the U.S. under an Obama administration policy introduced last year. They filed a lawsuit in August asking a judge to instruct the university system’s Board of Regents to allow them to qualify for in-state tuition.

Read more.

h/t: Fox News

 

{ 2 comments }

Illegal immigrants in Michigan may now attend the University of Michigan and pay the same rates as students living in-state.

The measure was approved by the Board of Regents in a 6-2 vote along party lines, reported the Ann Arbor News.

“Under existing practices, unauthorized immigrants who grew up in Michigan pay the out-of-state rate to attend the state’s flagship university,” the newspaper reported. “Under new guidelines, students who attended Michigan middle school and high school will have the ability to pay in-state rates as long as they matriculate to the Ann Arbor school within 28 months of graduating high school. … The approval means affected students pay $27,250 less in tuition. In the fall Michigan residents will pay $13,142 a year, while non-residents will pay $40,392.”

The measure also approved in-state tuition costs for all military and honorably discharged veterans.

Read more.

CLICK HERE to Like The College Fix on Facebook / TWITTER: @CollegeFix

{ 2 comments }

A new law that took effect Jan. 1 in California allows students who are not in the country legally access to a variety of state-funded college tuition financial aid.

Assistance such as community college fee waivers, Cal Grants and similar aid is now open to non-legal residents, with awards of up to $12,200 a year for low- and middle-income students.

To be eligible for the money, students must graduate from a California high school after attending for at least three years, and meet financial and academic standards.

Supporters of the law downplay its financial significance in this cash-strapped state, citing widely circulated statistics that less than 1 percent of students in the California State University, University of California and community college systems are undocumented. They also insist that the new law, part of the California Dream Act, won’t eat into the pool of college aid given annually to legal citizens.

However the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analysis Office reports that the law will likely cost Californians $65 million a year by 2016. Critics say the law rewards breaking the rules and is an insult to foreign students who enter the country legally.

“We should reward those who respect our process instead of creating new incentives for those who don’t,” Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly said in a statement to the Riverside-based Press-Enterprise, which reported that about 20,000 people – less than one percent of college students – are expected to apply for the state-funded Cal Grants.

But Donnelly told the newspaper the law will take away money from students who are U.S. citizens, and that it goes against the wishes of California voters, citing a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll which found 55 percent of voters opposed the law and 40 percent supported it.

The poll also showed a huge ethnic divide, with 79 percent of Latinos supporting the law, compared with 30 percent of white supporters, the Press-Enterprise notes.

The latest law granting undocumented students Cal Grants and similar aid joins a growing number of perks for illegal immigrants in California. They are already eligible for reduced in-state tuition at campuses statewide, as state law offers tuition breaks to any student who has attended a California high school for three years, regardless of their immigration status.

What’s more, as of Jan. 1, 2012, they were granted access to private college scholarships funneled through public universities.

State immigration advocates such as Luz Gallegos argue that children should not be punished for the sins of their parents.

“There’s so much potential for them,” she told the Press-Enterprise. “It’s not their fault their parents brought them here undocumented.”

Others see it differently.

Kristen Williamson, a spokeswoman for Federation for American Immigration Reform, told the Los Angeles Times the law is “a reckless use of taxpayer money.” And Republican Assemblyman Curt Hagman told the newspaper it “absolutely sends the wrong message. It says if you violate the law, it’s OK.”

Fix contributor Nicole Swinford is a student at Chapman University.

Click here to Like The College Fix on Facebook.

 

IMAGE: Refracted Moments/Flickr

{ 4 comments }

The New York Board of Regents has recommended the state extend its college financial aid programs to illegal immigrants in the state:

The state Board of Regents, which sets statewide education policy, voted to urge the Legislature to broaden eligibility for academic scholarships, loan-forgiveness programs and tax-free tuition savings accounts, known as 529 plans, to include illegal immigrants. [...]

State officials said it is difficult to estimate how much the proposal would cost, in part because they don’t know exactly how many illegal immigrants live in the state.

“What’s clear is that there will be a net benefit to the state because students will contribute far more to the economy if they have the benefit of higher education,” state Education Commissioner John King said.

An estimated 345,000 students in New York’s K-12 public schools are illegal immigrants, according to a study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform cited by the Board of Regents. The board also said about 2,000 illegal immigrants attend the City University of New York.

Currently, only Texas, California, and New Mexico have extended state financial aid to students, beyond the more common in-state tuition. New York is one of the states with in-state tuition for illegal students; the state currently faces a $350 million hole in their 2011 budget, with a much larger one to come in 2012.

Earlier this fall, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the second part of the California DREAM Act, which granted illegal immigrant students access to the state’s public financial aid programs. The program is estimated to cost the state $40 million annually.

[Wall Street Journal]

{ 0 comments }