Growing Number of States Offer Grants for Undocumented Students


Individual states have made the decision to grant undocumented students opportunities to attend college. Many of these opportunities include lower tuition costs, and financial aid.
NBC Latino Correspondent Nadine Natour reported, “Earlier this week, California opened their financial aid application to qualified undocumented students applying to college and officials are anticipating around 20,000 applicants. New York is now considering similar financial aid legislation.
Similarly, in-state tuition fees for undocumented workers are being offered in New Jersey, Colorado, and Florida, and thirteen other states. “The College Board estimates approximately 65,000  undocumented students graduate from high school each year and confront financial barriers when applying to college.”
“The Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy has led many students like Alarcón to pursue college because they know they can stay in the country and are permitted to work without threat of deportation. As of January 2013, more than 150,000 undocumented youths have received relief under the program.”
While many Americans support universal access to higher education, some experts feel that greater accessibility burdens citizens.  Hans Von Spakovsky, Manager of the Civil Justice Reform at The Heritage Foundation says that education is being subsidized by taxpayer money.If tuition benefits are available to undocumented students, Spakovsky believes it’s fair to offer similar in-state tuition rates to potential out-of-state students.
Thirteen states have constructed laws that consider undocumented students as in-state applicants; three states offer financial aid, and tuition assistance; Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina have “regulations that explicitly bar undocumented students from in-state tuition rates. South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia outlaw undocumented students from enrolling in public institutions within their state altogether,” the article reported.
According to Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr, adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, state action may be inadequate, “Congress has to address comprehensive immigration reform.”