Dion J. Pierre, Campus Reform
- Illinois State University promoted on its website a scholarship program for DACA and illegal immigrant students.
- The scholarship is privately funded, but Illinois offers other forms of public financial aid for illegal immigrants.
Illinois State University promoted a new scholarship for immigrants living in the United States illegally, according to its website.
The Lopez & Navarro Scholarship will, according to the university, help Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students realize the “dream of receiving a college degree,” and preferential consideration for it will be accorded to “undocumented or DACA undergraduate” and “first generation Latinx” students.
Students applying for the scholarship are required to submit a personal statement comprising “500 words or less summarizing any difficulties you may be experiencing with the cost of attending Illinois State University.”
Speaking to Campus Reform, Illinois State University’s Director of Media Relations Eric Jome said the scholarship was not paid for with public funds: “The Lopez & Navarro Scholarship, like many other scholarships at Illinois State University, is funded through private donations.”
The university, however, also advises students living in the U.S. illegally and those claiming DACA status to apply for aid through the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, which may qualify them to receive money from the Monetary Award Program, Illinois’ “largest need-based grant program for low-income college students,” according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
In June 2019, Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity Act (RISE), allowing “undocumented and transgender students to who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid,” and forging a “pathway for these…students to apply for [the] Monetary Award Program.”
Pritzker’s signing of the Rise Act also restricted local law enforcement agencies from aiding the federal government’s effort to enforce existing immigration laws and outlawed the building of detention centers for illegal immigrants awaiting due process.
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