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Congress continues to debate the structure of a potential budget reconciliation package. Congress must prioritize programs that support college access, affordability, and student success for undocumented students.

This resource notes how America’s College Promise program, which is part of the Build Back Better Act, would have guaranteed two years of free community to all, will not be included in the final bill. Despite this loss, Congress is still considering several proposals that would increase funding for post-secondary education and provide support for immigrant students. This includes expanding eligibility for federal student aid including Pell Grants to students eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) through 2030, while also increasing the Pell amount by $500 and including undocumented immigrants in tuition assistance grants to minority-serving institutions.

The Center of Law and Social Policy is calling on Congress to defend the funding for post-secondary education, as well as pass a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants who are vital to this country’s future. They have also outlined some factors that Congress should consider in order to support undocumented students.

Reason’s Why Post Secondary education is important for immigrants:

  • A postsecondary credential is imperative in today’s global economy. 
  • Undocumented students want and need access to a post-secondary education. 
  • Undocumented youth contribute to the nation’s workforce and economy.

Immigrant youth face barriers in postsecondary education and the workforce, including:

  • Economic insecurity. Undocumented immigrant youth, including DACA, TPS, and DED recipients, face great economic insecurity because their futures remain uncertain

College access and affordability. Under the Higher Education Act (HEA), undocumented students are ineligible to receive Federal Pell Grants and other forms of federal financial aid, which is a significant barrier, 

Congress can make college accessible and affordable for undocumented students by:

  • Expanding access to Pell grants and federal student aid.
  • Repealing Section 505 and encouraging states to adopt tuition equity policies.
  • Increasing access to debt-free college, including two years of free community college.
  • Protecting the civil rights of undocumented students in the college admissions process.
  • Supporting student success for undocumented students.
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Want to know more? Please use our expert assistance form to get in touch with the Higher Ed Immigration Portal.

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