The opening of the State Fair yesterday is one of our state’s signals that another school year is about to begin. Indeed, many college students have already left for school.
Like all other students, immigrant students have a lot on their minds: classes, relationships, jobs, career goals – and, of course, finances. That is why, in a two-part post in July, we discussed the new state law that opens up more financial aid opportunities for undocumented immigrant students in Minnesota.
This new law is called the Minnesota Prosperity Act. In this post, let’s look at an example of how it applies to an immigrant student’s life.
The Star Tribune reported this week about this student’s situation. He is an 18-year-old young man from was born in Mexico but has lived in Minnesota since he was six years old.
Prior to the passage of the Minnesota Prosperity Act, this young man would have been required to pay out-of-state tuition at the University of Minnesota, despite living in the Twin Cities for the last twelve years.
The difference between in-state tuition and out-of-state tuition is substantial. In many cases, it could discourage an undocumented immigrant from going to school here at all.
Fortunately, the Prosperity Act seeks to address such issues. The law provides for eligibility by undocumented immigrant students not only for in-state tuition, but also for state grants and privately-funded scholarships.
To be sure, immigrant students must meet certain criteria and must submit required paperwork. And they must pledge to adjust their status as soon as federal law makes that possible. But their undocumented status will no longer exclude them from seeking state assistance to pursue their educational dreams.
Source: Star Tribune, “Minnesota’s ‘Dream Act’ law makes college possible for immigrant students,” Jenna Ross, August 20, 2013