A little over half of all students who were eligible for the Pell Grant were selected for verification in 2015-16.
The procedure, which requires students to submit additional paperwork to prove their income, inserts an extra step into the financial aid process. And in an op-ed published by The Hill this week, Justin Draeger—president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators—voiced concerns that verification keeps some students from attending college.
It’s a time of uncertainly and fear for undocumented students.
DACA recipients will lose protection from deportation in March. And although lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced support for the DREAM Act, disagreements over border security and other issues have stalled legislative action.
Yet despite current conditions, college counselors and admission officers are uniquely positioned to offer support and hope to young immigrants, author/activist Julissa Arce noted during a Tuesday #NACACreads chat.
Congress has signaled it’s ready to tackle reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), but a bill introduced last week in the US House of Representatives has NACAC and other education organizations concerned.
“While NACAC agrees that the HEA needs to be reauthorized, this bill goes about it in the wrong way,” Michael Rose, NACAC’s director for government relations noted in a press release. “After an initial review, it is clear this bill reduces or eliminates student protections against fraud and abuse, and further dilutes the federal contribution to improving access to postsecondary education.”
An estimated 65,000 undocumented immigrants graduate from US high schools each year.
In 2001, Julissa Arce was one of those students.
“I graduated in the top 5 percent of my class,” she wrote in her memoir, My (Underground) American Dream. “I was all smiles. My whole family was proud of me. And all of us were worried.”
Join us Jan. 9 for a #NACACreads discussion of Arce’s book and the challenges undocumented students face as they make their way to and through higher education. Arce will participate in the hour-long Twitter chat, which kicks off at 9 p.m. ET.
The coalition is encouraging colleges and universities to recognize Oct. 16-20 as Protect Dreamers Week. New resources created to help educators and others advocate on behalf of DREAMers include a fact sheet and talking points.