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Undocumented NC students demand scholarships: Ask why ‘one simple piece of paper matters so much?’

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A group of undocumented North Carolina students are demanding the right to use scholarship funds to get college educations.

“Why is it that it’s different with me?” Araceli Garcia-Garnica said, WFMY-TV reported. “Why is it that one simple piece of paper matters to them so much?

Guilford County high school students held a rally Tuesday as a college fair was going on inside the school. The undocumented students called for the ‘Say Yes To Education’ scholarship program, which provides free tuition to in-state public colleges and universities, to expand its eligibility requirement to include non U.S. citizens.

The “Say Yes” funds are private money and not derived from taxpayer dollars.

Garcia-Garnica is not eligible for the program which requires students to have a social security number, WFMY reported.

She has lived in the U.S. since she was two years old as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The immigration policy allows some illegal immigrants to stay in the country and receive an education for free but not scholarships for in-state public colleges.

“We try to provide support in other ways even without the scholarship,” Mary Vigue, Say Yes Guilford Director, told WFMY. “In terms of directing students to other scholarships and schools that will support them if they aren’t eligible for our scholarship.”

The number of undocumented students is not known, school district officials told WFMY, because they are not allowed to ask that information.

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Frieda Powers

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