PCC denied aid; couldn't prove legal status
By Eric Swedlund
Tucson, Arizona | Published: http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/219537
State financial aid was denied to 66 Pima Community College students during the fall semester because they could not prove legal immigration status, the college reported.
The college also found 1,214 students were not entitled to pay in-state tuition rates, according to PCC's latest report to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee regarding the implementation of Proposition 300. That figure includes those who did not seek in-state tuition or for whatever reason could not produce documents necessary to verify status as in-state students, said college spokesman David Irwin.
"There's no way to know from those 1,214 students how many, if any, are not here legally," Irwin said. "They simply may not have had a birth certificate or qualifying documents available."
Proposition 300 — passed by 70 percent of Arizona voters in November 2006 — prohibits illegal immigrants from paying in-state tuition at state colleges and universities or receiving any state financial aid.
A typical Arizona resident student taking 12 credits during a semester would pay $564 at Pima College, compared with the non-resident charge of $2,832 for the same 12 units.
The college verified documents for 51,768 students to qualify for in-state tuition rates or state financial aid.
In the college's first Proposition 300 report in June, 48,297 students were classified as in-state, 321 were classified as non-residents and 23 were found ineligible for state financial aid because they could not be verified as citizens or legal residents.
The college reported postage, printing and legal costs associated with implementation of the law totaled $37,013. Additional training necessary to comply with the law and additional registration work totaled 1,253 staff hours.
● Contact reporter Eric Swedlund at 573-4115 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.