Undocumented students closer to receiving financial aid

By Claire Hettinger

The 1,500 undocumented students in Illinois are one step closer to receiving financial aid from the University today after the Illinois General Assembly Higher Education Committee voted to present a bill on the Senate floor.

The bill requires that undocumented students be allowed to apply for state financial aid. Currently, they are not eligible for things like University scholarships, Pell grants and other aid from the state. Undocumented students will not be eligible for Monetary Award Program, MAP, grants.

Some believe the ACCESS bill will help address issues such as undocumented students being able to attend universities and having a higher graduation rate for those that do attend. Only one percent of undocumented students who attend universities graduate.

However, the bill does not include an increase in state funding, so essentially 1,500 more students, across the state, would be competing for the same amount of funding.

This bill only applies to public four-year universities, so it does not affect undocumented students at community colleges or private institutions.

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