College Grants For Illegal Immigrants

Financial assistance is generally denied to illegal immigrants or undocumented students. However, there are some states which have passed pertinent laws to permit college grants for illegal immigrants. They are allowed to enroll at public universities and colleges as residents so they can be considered eligible for state grants or scholarships. You have to inquire from the school you intend to enter in order to find out if your state has passed similar laws that will allow you to study even as an undocumented student.

This issue is thorny and politically-charged. For some people, it even involves moral issues and national policies. Virginia and Maryland for example, have taken to creating opposing laws when it comes to college grants for illegal immigrants. Maryland wants benefits granted to illegal immigrants while Virginia wants to bar them from pursuing higher education in public schools. Some school officials in Maryland are of the opinion that not providing illegal immigrants the opportunity for higher education is not in the nation’s interests.

The controversy surrounding the issue of providing in-state tuition for those who are in the country illegally is rooted in a triple-headed conflict – fairness, compassion, and practicality. There are those who argue that children of illegal immigrants should not be punished because of their parent’s undocumented status or because of the INS’ bureaucratic delays. When illegal aliens are denied in-state tuition rates, they are also being denied access to better, higher education. This seems illogical to some since the same people will become legal citizens eventually. Others argue that it will cost the state more money not to help them instead of allowing them to receive higher education. Denying them education will eventually cost the state more in terms of lost tax revenues and increased cost on welfare, law enforcement and healthcare spending.

But regardless of the controversy, illegal aliens have other sources of financial assistance. They can avail of privately funded scholarships that don’t require applicants to present documentary proof of residency or citizenship or a social security number. There are other sources of scholarships and education grants such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). You can refer to their MALDEF Scholarships and List of Scholarships for Undocumented Students to find out where you can qualify. Another good source of financial assistance is the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund.

Students living in California, Oregon, Texas, Illinois and Washington can go to the Latino College Dollars website. They have a directory there that list several scholarships and grants that are available to undocumented students. Some of the scholarships in their list require proof of citizenship while others do not.

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