Undocumented students should receive aid


Ximena Sarinana, Reporter

Students come home from high school with FAFSA papers and scholarships in their hands. They look at them with confusion and wonder if they should even apply since they can’t accept federal money. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many undocumented senior students in the U.S. wanting to go to college. The options for them are limited when it comes to having financial help to pay for college.

As senior students start getting ready to go to college and leave their high school life behind, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students are stuck with the difficulty of paying for college. The legal citizen seniors that have financial need are able to get federal help by applying to FAFSA. Even though DACA students can apply to FAFSA, they won’t get any federal benefits from it since they can not accept any federal money.

There are scholarships that can be given to DACA students or undocumented students, and this is how some of them pay for college, but the scholarships that are presented are limited and they have very high requirements when it comes to grades. Take for example a scholarship that says it’s for Mexican students. This sounds great, right? Well, many of the scholarships I have encountered would at the very end ask for the student to be a U.S. citizen. If there is a scholarship for an undocumented student or DACA, sometimes they only give the money to students that are going to be studying in a specific field.

What about the students that are not above average? What do the undocumented students that are not the top 10 percent in their class? Nobody ever thinks about those people. It seems like in order to receive federal aid, you have to be a U.S. citizen or have a 4.0 GPA and be a DACA student. I think every student should be able to get a higher education and not settle for Ivy Tech or have to take a year off just because of financial need.

Every parent wants their child to be successful but in today’s society, having a college degree is necessary for good paying jobs. But when undocumented students have to be the smartest student to receive scholarships, they get overwhelmed and they drop out. There are 80,000 undocumented students that turn 18 every year. Out of those 80,000, 16 percent of them won’t graduate, according to www.onlinecollege.org. Being able to get a federal grant or a student loan is something many students take for granted, but it’s something a lot of DACA students don’t have.