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Arizona's Undocumented Immigrant Students Get $1.8 Million in Financial Aid
By Amit Agarwal
Nearly 200 undocumented immigrants who have graduated from Arizona high schools were given $1.8 million in private scholarships by Arizona State University to pay for out-of-state tuition. These students are ineligible for in-state tuition because of Proposition 300, a law that requires undocumented residents to pay higher out-of-state tuition rates. The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for full-time students at the university's Tempe campus is about $12,000.
The law prohibits undocumented immigrants from receiving any state-funded money for financial assistance. It also requires institutions to report the number of undocumented immigrants attending their schools.
According to a recent Joint Legislative Budget Committee report, Proposition 300 has, this year, denied in-state tuition, financial aid, and adult education classes to nearly 5,000 students in Arizona. The report says that 1,500 students from ASU and the University of Arizona were denied financial aid or in-state financial status because they failed to prove legal status.
ASU's president, Michael Crow, mentioned the private scholarship program during a speech at a leadership awards luncheon attended by 1,700 people. According to Crow, assisting undocumented students does not circumvent Proposition 300's intent. His objective for the financial aid program will involve significant funds from some donors, funds which Crow says he has not yet received. The private aid is provided based on financial need, and most students who receive the aid are full-time students.
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