California Dream Act: 9,000 undocumented college applicants qualify for state aid

3:51 PM, Sep 13, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Over 9,000 undocumented students applying to college may qualify for state financial aid, according to the most recent figures from the California Student Aid Commission.

Assembly Bill 540 allows undocumented students who completed at least three years of high school in California and who graduated from a California high school to pay in-state college tuition. Other bills now let these students apply for financial aid.

The executive director of the commission says more than over 16,000 undocumented students applied for financial aid but only 9,000 are eligible based on their applications.

While there are those opposed to the California Dream Act, Executive Director Diana Fuentes-Michel ... she sees this as an issue of fairness.

"What I know is right now there is a sense of unfairness. If the students are here,they have gone to school in California, they've graduated from California high schools, that they should be treated fairly in the process, as long as they are going through and attempting to get their immigration status clarified. So this is an issue of fairness," Fuentes-Michel said.

Irvis Orozco is one of the thousands awaiting financial aid that becomes available starting in February, 2013. He says if the state helps pay for school, the state's return on its investment comes when these students graduate.

"There are a lot of baby boomer who are going to retire pretty soon," Orosco said." We need an educated workforce that can bring the state up to where it needs to be and I think the California Dream act will help open these resources and economic benefits for the state."

Nationally, there is still no comprehensive immigration policy. The California Dream Act passed after its third attempt.


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