DREAM Big– Problems Associated With Undocumented Students in College

Posted on February 8, 2011 by

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Ever since the death of the DREAM Act in the House of Representatives, the upbeat climate surrounding the potential education of undocumented students took a turn for the bleak.  Admissions professionals now face many unique challenges with enrolling undocumented students and can land themselves in hot water if it is not properly executed.  Just recently Montgomery College in Montgomery County, Maryland fell victim to a lawsuit alleging it illegally enrolled undocumented students by offering them the lowest possible tuition fees.

Many will agree that enrolling undocumented students can have a positive impact for the community, the university and the students themselves, but colleges need to be careful to walk on eggshells when dealing with the legally sensitive demographic.  It is imperative that schools know the local, state and federal laws that apply to them.  While some states have generous policies, many others have firm requirements on the conditions under which undocumented students are allowed to enroll, and a small handful of states have outlawed the enrolling of undocumented students at public universities all together.

The state of Virginia is now considering legislation that will revoke any undocumented student’s privilege to enroll at public universities, which are largely funded by tax payer dollars.  The bottom line – with the increasingly tense and divided political climate, colleges and universities need to be  careful with how they go about enrolling, or not enrolling, undocumented students.

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