On February 26th, 2014 Governor Inslee signed the Real Hope Act into law. The law allows undocumented non-citizens and DACA non-citizens (DREAMers), who are unable to complete a FAFSA, eligiblility to apply for State Financial Aid through the WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) application. If determined as eligible for award, DREAMers will be able to qualify for in-state tuition rates, as well as the Washington State Need Grant. Awards are limited, and based on the availability of funds; students are encouraged to apply for the WASFA at the website: www.readysetgrad.org/WASFA
Eligibility requirements include:
*Students granted deferred action for childhood arrival (DACA) must also complete and sign the affidavit.
To ensure you are applying on time, and you are meeting all eligibility requirements, please visit www.readysetgrad.org/WASFA regularly.
Associated Students of CBC (ASCBC) Support the Real Hope Act
ASCBC has supported financial assistance for undocumented youth seeking a college education for several years. In 2012 & 2013, equal access to college financial aid for undocumented youth was ASCBC's platform at the WA Community and Technical College Student Voice Academy. Below is an excerpt from their platform in 2012. The 2013 student government presented a similar platform during their time in office.
ASCBC Student Voice Academy Issue Paper 2012
Every year, high school students anticipate the day of attending college and not having to stress once they receive their financial assistance. For those students who are undocumented, this stress is ever present and sometimes magnified, because there is little to no financial assistance for their higher educational pursuits. An undocumented student is someone who was born in a foreign country and was brought to the U.S. at a very young age. Now as high school graduates, many discover that they are defined as illegal and cannot receive financial assistance due to the fact they don’t have a social security number. It should not be up to a number or a piece of paper to determine the future of a student. Instead, we should look at their effort, their love for the United States, and contributions to society. There is support from the many educational institutions around the state of Washington to approach legislators and draft a bill extending eligibility for the State Need Grant (SNG) to undocumented students.
Washington state is benefiting labor of undocumented workers in the agriculture industry. The apple industry alone earned $1.4 billion in 2010 (The Value of Immigrants in Washington State Slide 2), but the children of the workers are not allowed to receive a portion of financial aid. By not supporting undocumented students to be eligible for the WA SNG, our economy will continue to struggle. In order to progress, we need to educate our youth. Education is the key in re-establishing stability, creativity, and productivity in our country. Many states like California, Oklahoma, and Texas (Undocumented Students and Higher Education in Washington: Barriers and Opportunities Page 5) have already taken initiative to support this cause and are allowing undocumented students to receive funding for their post secondary education. Let’s make Washington the first state up north to support this cause.
Not only will we be helping students of our state, but we will be helping the overall state of our economy by creating more job opportunities once these students graduate. Let’s get Washington on board with supporting this cause too!
Yesenia Lazaro (ASCBC President)
Lily Reyes (Leadership Council Representative)
Jesus Larios (Leadership Council Representative)
Yair Barron (CBC Student Athlete)
Don't forget to check out the full version of the platform which includes a works cited page.
Related links and helpful information
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) has compiled a list of scholarships that are open to undocumented students. The list is available on MALDEF’s website: http://www.maldef.org/leadership/scholarships/
DREAMers are also eligible for a number of our CBC Foundation Scholarships. The deadline is always in mid-February. Please go to the Foundation scholarship website for more information.
Information on the DREAM Act
Documentaries, Films, and Books
Documented: A film by an undocumented American, http://documentedthefilm.com/
A Better Life [Motion Picture], http://youtu.be/uaLSBdL-zCY
Americans by Heart: Undocumented Latino Students and the Promise of Higher Education, http://www.amazon.com/Americans-Heart-Undocumented-Education-Multicultural/dp/0807752835
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