College Board Releases Controversial Guide for Undocumented Students

By Catherine Groux
Posted June 05, 2012 02:05 PM

A College Board resource guides undocumented students through the college admissions process.
A College Board resource guides undocumented students through the college admissions process.
Today, many undocumented students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree must overcome various obstacles to meet their goals. For instance, some states force illegal students to pay out-of-state tuition, regardless of how long they have lived in the area. Additionally, most of these degree seekers cannot take advantage of certain forms of financial aid, including federal Pell Grants.

In order to help these individuals navigate through the difficult college admissions process, the College Board recently released a guide for undocumented students, The Miami Herald reports. The resource, which will be continually updated, directs students toward certain laws in their states that could affect their education, particularly those that pertain to tuition costs.

The release of the guide reflects College Board's consistent support of the DREAM Act, a legislation that would allow undocumented students who grew up in the U.S. to join the military or pursue higher education. The organization first announced its support for the act in 2009 with a report titled "Young Lives on Hold: The College Dreams of Undocumented Students."

College Board's report states that of the 65,000 undocumented children who have grown up in the U.S, only a small fraction earn college degrees. While these youths are legally allowed to pursue higher education, they are not eligible for most forms of financial aid, which often hinders their success. Given this fact, College Board encouraged politicians to support the DREAM Act.

"The DREAM Act would provide a path to legal residence for undocumented youth," College Board's report states. "It also would open the door to college for tens of thousands of students who have the knowledge, skills and aspirations to pursue a college degree and to make a healthy, sustained and important contribution to the economic and social well-being of our nation."

While College Board's guide was viewed positively by various immigration groups, there were those who opposed the resource. Bob Dane, a spokesman for Federation For American Immigration Reform, told the Herald that the guide ignores the fact that it is illegal for companies to hire undocumented workers, regardless of whether or not they hold a bachelor's degree.

"It’s a tacit wink and a nod to game the system when and where you can," Dane told the Herald.

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