Illegal immigrants in the state of Maine now have access to in-state tuition discounts to all state institutions of higher learning, according to a Saturday report from the Bangor Daily News.
Undocumented students in the state of Maine now have access to in-state tuition discounts which save students in the state an average of $12,000 per year. According to a spokesperson from the University of Maine, only undocumented students who have obtained temporary protections from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that began in 2013 are eligible for in-state tuition benefits.
According to the report, 429 undocumented students in the state of Maine have received “temporary social security numbers, work permits, and protection from deportation under DACA.” So far, 13 undocumented students enrolled at state institutions throughout the state had chosen to disclose their DACA status to administrators.
The admissions process at Maine colleges does not ask for the immigration status of applicants but does ask for financial information on the applicant’s parents in order to calculate a student’s eligibility for financial aid. According to the report, non-U.S. citizens are generally not eligible for federal financial aid.
The report in the Bangor Daily News profiles student Fernando Martinez, whose family fled El Salvador when he was four years old. Martinez became one of the first students under the federal program to receive in-state tuition in Maine. Martinez claimed that he was grateful for the system because his status as an illegal immigrant prevents him from applying for federal college loans.
“This is such a great thing,” he said. “It only makes sense … there are so many kids who would love to get this.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at email@example.com