Hundreds denied array of aid under residency law
Arizona Daily Star
Feb. 03, 2009


prop. 300's impact

By Howard Fischer

Tucson, Arizona | Published:

PHOENIX A 2006 voter-approved law denying certain benefits to those here illegally resulted in nearly 400 students' being denied financial aid or resident tuition at the state's three universities last semester.

New reports from the schools focus only on those who sought lower resident tuition or financial aid but were denied because they could not provide required documentation that they are Arizona residents and/or in the country legally.

Arizona's community colleges also reported turning down hundreds of students for lower in-state tuition rates or assistance.

More than 850 applicants for adult-education programs or state-subsidized child care also were denied benefits after failing to provide evidence they are in this country legally.

At the University of Arizona, officials reported 29 students who previously were classified as Arizona residents were denied that status for the fall semester because their claim to be legally in this country could not be verified. Paul Kohn, the university's dean of admissions, said they are now being charged the higher tuition for out-of-state residents.

Kohn also said another five students told university officials they were "unverifiable" because they could not provide the required documentation.

At the UA, no verification was done on the legal status of 3,818 students who did not request in-state tuition or financial aid, out of a student body of nearly 37,300. Residency of the other students was verified.

At Arizona State University, 3,230 of the 67,000 students were not checked and did not submit any information about their legal status. James Rund, senior vice president of university student initiatives, said the school's total includes 195 students who would have sought state help but told university officials they cannot provide the necessary documents.

Northern Arizona University Vice President David Bousquet said 165 students did not require verification, out of nearly 17,800 enrolled.

He said 16 students have yet to prove they are in this country legally and 152 students from other states are ineligible for state-based financial aid because they have not yet verified their legal status.

The Department of Economic Security said it got 18,400 requests for child-care assistance, denying 40 of those because applicants failed to prove legal presence in the United States.

State education officials said 470 people were denied adult-education programs for failure to show documentation out of 20,060 who applied. A separate family-literacy program reported denying funding to 346 of 485 applicants.

The reports are required following voter approval in 2006 of Proposition 300, which says only U.S. citizens or legal residents are entitled to the lower tuition charged to Arizona residents. It also denies state-subsidized child-care and adult-education services to those who cannot prove legal presence.