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Press Release

What’s Your State's Policy Environment on Undocumented Students? New Resource from the National Forum and NASFAA Can Help You Find Out

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Washington, DC (PRWEB) July 11, 2012

President Obama issued an executive action last month to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, and begin granting work permits for some DREAM Act-eligible students. It was the most recent salvo in an ongoing debate about the educational rights of undocumented students.

To help college campuses navigate the issue, the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good has issued a report based on a survey of institutional policies and practices concerning undocumented students. Members of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) were among those surveyed. Now, NASFAA has created a web center to help disseminate the findings and to help college administrators determine their state’s policy environment regarding this divisive issue.

Financial aid is generally not available for undocumented students, and allowing a path to permanent residency and its many educational and social benefits is the primary goal of the DREAM Act, a controversial piece of legislation that has languished in Congress since 2001.

Despite federal laws that discourage states from offering in-state tuition rates at public institutions to undocumented students, there are a few states that allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition. Most do so by either not asking incoming students to verify U.S. citizenship, or by basing eligibility for in-state tuition on graduation from an in-state high school (instead of state residence). Other states have specifically taken steps to deny in-state tuition and still others have not addressed the issue.

As the individuals tasked with admitting and registering students, it’s critical that higher education officials understand where their state stands in terms of policy environment.

This report and web resource center:

-- Offer an overview of federal and state policies for undocumented students;
-- Give a snapshot of the number of undocumented students in each state, and the type of policy environment present;
-- Examine how higher education officials consider and weigh conflicting values concerning the educational aspirations of undocumented students;
-- Compare policy environments with the actual practices that shape access, participation and graduation
-- Explore how postsecondary institutions respond to existing laws regarding undocumented students and how they define compliance with them;
-- Provide recommendations for campus administrators and higher education associations working to increase access to higher education for undocumented students.

NASFAA has experts available to speak to reporters as they write about these issues. Please contact us at news(at)nasfaa(dot)org for additional information or to schedule an interview.


The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents nearly 20,000 financial aid professionals at 2,800 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. Each year, financial aid professionals help more than 16 million students receive funding for post secondary education. Based in Washington, D.C., NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators.

About the National Forum

The National Forum, which celebrated its tenth year of service in 2011, is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan. The National Forum works to promote greater awareness, understanding, commitment and action in support of the ways that higher education serves our diverse democracy. This mission is expressed in a wide range of programs and activities that focus on student opportunity, community engagement, state and federal policy, and the relationship between the public, private and philanthropic sectors in furthering an educated and just society.

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