Minnesota high school graduates who are in the country illegally but meet “certain criteria” are eligible for in-state tuition rates, financial aid, and scholarships at the University of Minnesota.
According to Minnesota’s Office of Higher Education, students in the country illegally can qualify for in-state tuition rates, state financial aid, and privately funded scholarships provided by public schools if they meet a list of four criteria, including attendance at a Minnesota high school for at least three years and proof of graduation or a GED.
Additionally, the state requires that students “provide documentation to show they have applied for lawful immigration status, but only if a federal process exists for a student to do so.”
“There is currently not a federal process in place, so this documentation is not currently required,” the Office of Higher Education notes.
The University of Minnesota explains on its website that the school’s Board of Regents adopted the Minnesota Dream Act as official university policy in July 2013, shortly after former Gov. Mark Dayton signed it into law.
“At the University of Minnesota, we are wholly committed to removing barriers for students to obtain education,” the university said of its adoption of the policy. “The university’s administration is dedicated to supporting student success, regardless of a student’s immigration status. Equity and diversity are core institutional values at the University of Minnesota, and these values inform our policies and every aspect of our work.”
This explains why State Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) recently attempted to amend the Minnesota House’s omnibus higher education finance bill to ensure that state financial aid went only to legal residents.
“Members, citizenship is under assault,” Franson said when introducing her amendment. “There are perks to being a citizen to the state of Minnesota, one of which is state grant dollars and in-state tuition. Taxpayers, though, should not be burdened with extra benefits that go to non-citizens.”
Franson argued that “student citizens are hurt by the preference given to those here in this country illegally.”
Her amendment and a similar one introduced by Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) were voted down by the Democratic-controlled House.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Univesity of Minnesota” by AlexiusHoratius. CC BY-SA 3.0.