NASFAA Mention: DeVos Excludes 'Dreamers' From Coronavirus College Relief

"The Education Department will prohibit colleges from granting emergency assistance to undocumented students, even those known as Dreamers who are under federal protection, according to guidance issued to colleges and universities on Tuesday," The New York Times reports.

"Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ordered higher education institutions to dole out more than $6 billion in emergency relief only to students who are eligible for federal financial aid, including U.S. citizens or legal residents. The directive effectively excluded tens of thousands of students who are living in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, an Obama-era policy that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

President Trump has moved to end the program, but that effort is awaiting Supreme Court review.

... Justin Draeger, the president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said the department’s method to exclude DACA and undocumented students by enforcing federal aid eligibility rules created obstacles for large swaths of other students, including international students and citizens who do not fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The department's interpretation would require that schools verify eligibility requirements like whether students have minor drug convictions, have defaulted on student loans or, for men, have not registered with the Selective Service.

Mr. Draeger said he feared schools would default to prioritizing students who had federal financial aid applications on file rather than those who needed the assistance most.

'Schools are feeling frustrated that the department has overreached, and they’re cautious about moving forward at this point,' Mr. Draeger said.'"

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 4/23/2020

View Desktop Version