AZ college imposes mandatory fee to fund scholarship for illegal immigrants

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 0:20 AM

Prescott College is tacking a $30 annual fee onto its $28.000 annual tuition to set up an annual scholarship for “undocumented” students, as portion of a policy first proposed by students and faculty from the undergraduate and Social Justice and Human Rights Master of Arts divisions.

AZ college imposes mandatory fee to fund scholarship for illegal immigrants

A private college in AZ is charging all students a mandatory fee to fund a scholarship for illegal immigrants, a controversial move supporters declare gives a hand to those who necessity it but anti-illegal immigration advocates call irresponsible.

Prescott College is tacking a $30 annual fee onto its $28.000 annual tuition to set up an annual scholarship for “undocumented” students, as portion of a policy first proposed by students and faculty from the undergraduate and Social Justice and Human Rights Master of Arts divisions. Backers declare it helps reverse what they call Arizona’s reputation as a “national example of discriminatory politics.”

“I am pleased that our students get on the role of scholar activists,” said school President John Flicker, adding that the Univ is committed to “broaden access to higher education for a diverse grouping of students” and “mobilize its resources towards social justice.”

“It is beyond absurd that this college is going to force all the students to subsidize the education of a learner who's in the country illegally,” Vaughan

- Jessica Vaughan, Middle for Immigration Studies

Supporters note that illegal immigrants are allowed to attend state and private colleges in Arizona, but in most cases cannot legally work or get government grants or loans.

Making valid residents enrolled at the school pay for illegal immigrants’ education is a slap in the face to a generation already facing its post-college years saddled with enormous debt, said Andrew Kloster, valid Fellow for the Middle for Valid & Judicial Studies at Heritage Foundation.

“At a time when learner loan debt is over $1 trillion it's irresponsible for Prescott College to proposal this privilege at the expense of other students,” Kloster said. “While the dollar quantity seems tiny per student, the fee does send a message to potential donors to Prescott College that the administration is less concerned with sound financial management than it's with making a political statement,” Kloster added.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Washington-based Middle for Immigration Studies, said destitute students in the country legally should take precedence.

“It is beyond absurd that this college is going to force all the students to subsidize the education of a learner who's in the country illegally,” Vaughan said. “It’s a shame these students and faculty don’t have the same drive to assistance some of their fellow citizens who can’t afford college and who are forced to compete with illegal workers for job opportunities.”

The program, which likely will be expanded beyond a single scholarship beginning following year, will assistance celebrate “Coming Out Day,” an annual event hosted by United We Dream in support of undocumented students, the school’s web site said.

AZ has an estimated 65.000 undocumented high school graduates in the state, with as many as 6.500 pursuing higher education, Prescott College executive said. The college, which has four hundred undergraduate students on campus, maintains undocumented students “are not expressly prohibited by law from admission to state colleges and universities” and “no federal statutes require disclosure and proof of immigration status and citizenship for students to enter higher education.”

The new scholarship can go full or part-time undocumented students in undergraduate or graduate programs that demonstrate financial need – even students set for deferred removal action below federal immigration law. Applicants may not be a valid permanent resident and may not possess a green card, visa, or other legal documentation.

Miriel Manning, founder of the Freedom Education Fund and a learner in Prescott College’s Social Justice and Human Rights Master of Arts program, said students were inspired by “courageous leadership and organizing of undocumented leaders across the country.”

“Within the current political landscape of AZ it's critical that Prescott College shows our commitment to education as a human right,” Manning said.

Only one other school in the nation, Chicago’s Loyola University, is known to have a similarly funded scholarship. Students there pay an additional .50 to pay for tuition for illegal immigrants.

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