Wednesday, January 7, 2015

DACA Recipients’ Educational Prospects Shaped by Differing Tuition and Financial Aid Policies, and Varying Levels of Legal and Other Support across U.S.

Given the wide differences in college costs and state policies regarding tuition and financial aid for unauthorized students, higher education opportunities for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are driven largely by their state of residence, a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) report based on fieldwork in seven states finds. Community college tuition and fees at institutions examined for the report range from $600 for 12 credit hours at California community colleges to $4,500 at a metro-area college in Georgia, which bars DACA recipients and all unauthorized immigrants from in-state tuition.

Offering the first in-depth look at educational institutions’ involvement with DACA during its first two years, the report also finds great variation in the responses of adult education systems to DACA. Support has been hindered in many states by severe capacity constraints as well as a limited understanding, in some cases, of the DACA program’s rules. And a few states bar unauthorized immigrants from enrollment in federally funded adult education programs, which for many are a requirement for DACA eligibility.

The report, Lessons from the Local Level: DACA’s Implementation and Impact on Education and Training Success, examines the efforts of local actors in education, legal services and immigrant service provision in creating the infrastructure to reach potentially eligible youth, help them meet DACA’s educational requirements and apply for relief from deportation.

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