Allows certain students including undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria to qualify for State student financial aid programs.
“Higher Education Citizenship Equality Act;” defines domicile for dependent students for the purpose of eligibility for State student loans, grants, and scholarships, and resident tuition rate.
NJEA supports S-699 (Ruiz, Cunningham, Pou) and S-700 (Ruiz, Cunningham). These two bills will make it easier for students and families without lawful immigration status to receive aid from financial assistance programs administered by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority in New Jersey, making attendance at college more affordable.
S-699 ensures that students without lawful immigration status are eligible to apply to any student financial aid programs administered by the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, ensuring that such students are eligible under an already existing law, P.L.2013, c.170. Federal law allows states to make individuals without lawful immigration status eligible for such a benefit, which this bill does.
S-700 ensures that dependent students who are citizens and residents of New Jersey are eligible to receive state tuition assistance, grants, scholarships, and in-state tuition based on their residency status, not that of their parents. This will ensure that students whose parents do not have lawful immigration status are not denied financial assistance because their parents are not considered residents of the state.
Together, these two bills will help make college more affordable for undocumented students and students from undocumented families. According to New Jersey Policy Perspective, DACA recipients contribute to the Garden State approximately $1.6 billion every year in its Gross Domestic Product and contribute $66 million in state and local taxes each year. These students deserve to have college made more affordable.
NJEA asks that you vote yes on S-699 and S-700.
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