Loan program could help meet financial need of undocumented UC, CSU students

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A California State Senate bill that would establish a loan program for undocumented students at the UC and CSU systems was announced Wednesday in the state Legislature.

Proposed by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Huntington Park/Long Beach, SB 1210 attempts to supplement financial packages for undocumented students who have financial aid but lack access to federal or private student loans. SB 1210 would enable undocumented students to receive loans, known as DREAM loans, if the student is exempt from paying nonresident tuition or meets equivalent requirements adopted by the UC Board of Regents and if the student applies for financial aid by the DREAM Act.

“We invest in California students from an early age and many of them have done what we’ve asked them to do: work hard, study and pursue a higher education,” Lara said in a statement. “Continuing to invest in our future and ensuring that all students have access to the funding resources they need to succeed should be a top priority.”

The initial funding would be set at $9.2 million — divided between state funds of $6.9 million and contributions of $2.3 million from higher education institutions. This bill also requires each institution to match the state funding it receives on a 1-to-3 basis.

SEALAlthough California provides undocumented students with in-state tuition and access to Cal Grants, the students are not eligible for Pell Grants or federal loans, which, according to Nohemy Chavez, counselor and coordinator of the campus Undocumented Student Program, results in a gap of about $8,000 per year in financial aid packages for undocumented students at UC Berkeley. To supplement this gap, many are forced to take semesters off or find outside jobs, if they have work authorization.

“When they get admitted, their immigration status is not considered,” Chavez said. “We believe here in the Undocumented Student Program that it is then the university’s responsibility to support the student as they complete a bachelor’s degree.”

There are an estimated 2,000 undocumented students in the UC system, according to the UC Office of the President. An estimated 300 DREAM Act-eligible students currently attend UC Berkeley.

“These are remarkable students, and they have remarkable stories,” said UC President Janet Napolitano, who spoke in favor of the bill, at the legislative hearing. “Their accomplishments should not be disregarded, nor their futures compromised, because of their undocumented status.”

According to Meng So, director of the Undocumented Student Program, while this legislation is an important first step to expand equity for undocumented students aspiring to higher education, the next step is increasing access to trustworthy support services.

“Being undocumented, you are taught to compartmentalize and invisibilize your identity, and with the fear of deportation, you don’t know who you can trust to talk to,” So said. “This makes having support services equally important to having equal access to an affordable education.”

Contact Taryn Smith at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @tarynshelby.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the number of undocumented students in the UC system is 1,300. In fact, the university estimates the number of undocumented undergraduate students to be 2,000.

A previous version of this article also incorrectly referred to the loans established by SB 1210 as State Education Access Loans. In fact, the name of the loan program has been changed to the California DREAM Loan program, with the loans now known as DREAM loans.

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  • protectourkidsnow

    All the while the feds are working on ways to forgive student loans. It’ll be perfect, the state will give non citizens money to attend our schools at in state tuition rates and then their loans will never have to be repaid in full. I definitely see why they call it the DREAM ACT.

    When I worked my way through college, it would have been an absolute DREAM for me to go to colleges that I was not qualified for, at rates that I was not entitled to, paid for in full by a country I was not a citizen of. A DREAM indeed. I’m all for compassion but there is a huge difference between a hand up and a complete free ride. I guess all that’s left is to just hand out a degree that no work needs to be done for at all, that would be the ultimate DREAM.

    I guess the people that are paying for their own similar degree are the ones that are getting the ultimate shaft, everyone will will know that the degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, whether or not you paid hundreds of thousands for it or just got it handed to you for free like the DREAMERS.

  • Crutch

    They are ILLEGAL. Not Undocumented.

  • agobbler

    It takes smoking some pretty strong weed to finance the education of those who are going to end up throwing you out of the state in the future.

  • doug1961

    I missed who is ultimately picking up the tab to educate criminals. Where does CalGrants get their money?

    • algonquinmatt

      “Obama’s stash?”

      • doug1961

        Maybe the drought in California is a blessing. Self-deportation. OOPs…can I say that word?

  • maxonepercent

    The default rate on student loans to American citizens is already high, can you imagine what it will be like among illegal immigrants who can easily leave the country to avoid wage garnishment? This is like taking taxpayer dollars and just flushing it straight down the toilet.

  • josetoyou

    The inmates are running the asylum in “california”…
    What a GOOD place to be FROM!

  • James A. DeHart

    Anyone out there believe in America First? Reality had better set in quickly in our political circles, for the United States is not capable of taking in the world’s poor populations.

  • richard_head

    It is only fair that little brown babies be given the same free shlt as the little black babies otherwise it would make it racist and we can’t have no FN racism thing to harm white guilt.

  • mstevens27

    Hey Illegals: you will love living in Beverly Hills, Tiburon, CA, Sunnyvale, CA, Berkeley and Stanford. Just more there and you will love it.

  • Bill E. BOBB

    looking to get out of this state asap, it is well on it’s way to becoming third world, but with outrageous taxes that only whites will be paying

    • algonquinmatt

      I’m in Illinois and am a third world ahead of you.

  • BenDoverPls

    And what happens when they don’t pay the loan back?

    • Bill E. BOBB

      they will just vote to have whites pay the loans back,

      • BenDoverPls

        As long as the loans are a state program and not federal. I do not want to have to pay for CA’s stupidity.

  • Mikey

    Move over low income American citizens, the illegals are here to take you jobs and spots in the college classroom. Keep voting democrat because as Joe Biden said the other day, Its Time To Take Back America. But who was he speaking for, the illegals?

  • Squiddy

    You knew the wheels had come off when the President invited all those “DACA” students to the Oval Office to honor them, not as “students” or for their “academic achievements”, but for their activities as “immigration activists.”

    It’s beyond sad when we can’t house or feed our homeless citizens, nor provide adequate medical care for our veterans, nor college educations for working and middle-class students – but we can provide *all* of these things, on-demand, for people who are here illegally.

    What the ### is wrong with us??

  • algonquinmatt

    These DREAM Act illegals aren’t ‘dreamers’…they are actors. and we’ve been played.

  • Arnold Ripkin

    If bringing in more illegals will fix the drought in CA, it’ll fix anything.

  • Crutch

    Democrats want to give your job to Illegals and take away your Doctor while they are giving YOUR tax dollars to Illegals for College.

    Vote Republican!

    • algonquinmatt

      and you might think the black leadership would be against the invaders who take their jobs…but they will still vote Democrat as if it has helped them over the last 50 years.

      • Crutch

        Stupid is not repairable.

    • Guest

      No JOBS in California…..

      • Crutch

        OK-You got me there……

  • People are living longer, that includes “Freeloaders”.

  • Grange Fast

    California is no longer for normal Americans. Far left elite weirdos and Mexicans/Central Americans only. Middle class America need not apply.

  • Jack Squat

    a kick in the balls to the taxpayers and their families.

  • 10 years & that state will be gone.

  • Fred Ferrell

    The day will come soon that we read, “California Declares Bankruptcy”. I for one will laugh because they deserve it.

  • David Harrison

    Africa has Ebola, USA has illegal aliens.

  • chris

    I wonder if they will pay their student loan bill the same way they pay their ER hospital bills.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I feel that our only hope is to vote out all Democrats & Rinos in November. …..they have abandoned middle class America.

  • ocean

    Who is sicker than Democrat politicians?
    The people who voted for them.

  • Clownofornia is now truely Mexicos 22ed state.

  • Alohajonny

    This is awesome, keep it up idiots

  • Ron T

    And what are the chances that the illegals will pay back the loans??? They already are law breakers. CA continues to care more about illegals than its own citizens and their financial responsibility. STOP PANDERING TO LAW BREAKERS!!!

  • jcd0101

    so california liberals havent figured out their completly broke
    so they keep coming up with more ways to blow taxpayer dollars..

    you know if i am every unemployed i think i will just run down to mexico and say
    in spanish (my name is juan) give me free stuff

  • ocean

    The Democrat Party and RINO’s have done a
    lot of damage to America. The Democrat Party
    is not a friend of America.

  • Just unreal… I’m sure these will be all .gov backed loans so that it’s just the taxpayers that are on the hook. Meanwhile the middle class takes on second and third jobs to help their children afford community college.

  • Guest

    Would this be considered aiding and abetting a crime? Since more than one person is involved would conspiracy come into play? This is yet another symptom of severe national mental illness the USA is suffering from… .

  • Dave Riegler

    Brahahahaha with what money?? Isn’t that state 18t in debt?

  • zagnut64

    Not far away from the union dividing.

  • ocean

    Many americans are suffering financial hardship.
    To many jobless americans.
    The Democrat Party says American jobs for illegal aliens.

  • Freak Sloan

    I am 43 and a 4th generation American and I am also long term unemployed, My wife works and bring homes less than $25,000 a year. We have two kids ages 11 and 9. We get ZERO assistance from the Federal Govt. and when I looked into going back to school, I was told there was no help available to me.

    I guess I need to renounce my US citizenship then maybe I will be able to get some assistance.

    • David Harrison

      Leave then re-enter the Country on the southern border. That way you can pick up a Welcome to America kit from the Border Agent.

    • Kay Mauer

      Democrats are buying votes with our money. Time to stop it.

    • Bruce Brunken

      “We get ZERO assistance from the Federal Govt.”

      And you shouldn’t be looking for any! And neither should anyone else.

  • ElPresidenteDiablo

    “the name of the loan program has been changed to the California DREAM Loan program, with the loans now known as DREAM loans”… and I guess the taxpayers can “dream” of being repaid.

  • Loptr

    Who is paying for this? Oh, wait, that’s right, it’s me and you… Someone needs to remind government that they work for US, not the other way around…

  • Howard M Ccomber

    California is losing money hand over fist, the economy of California is in a down turn, and the lack of jobs nationally cannot bode well for new student loans to illegals. But hey, the democratic party in California will grow with these illegal voting members of their communities. So much for legal verification at the polls, but you better have an id to buy booze or marijuana.

  • Brendaly Ring

    Janet Napolitano!!! Lol!

  • Reg Dunlop

    What has happened to the great state of California ?

    • Chucky77

      They have pissed it all away.

  • ElPresidenteDiablo

    Loans? Do they understand the definition of that word? That means that taxpayers can expect to be paid back. Does ANYONE really think that will happen? I think that this line says it all: “the name of the loan program has been changed to the California DREAM Loan program, with the loans now known as DREAM loans”… and I guess the taxpayers can “dream” of being repaid.

  • rjwte

    I think Californians should pay completely for the undocumented student loan by raising the interest rate on the documented student loan …as a welcoming gesture to this great state…

  • freedom_is_good

    Sure, why not. They’re upstanding citizens people. There’s no reason to believe they won’t pay their loans even though they broke the law to come here, use forged identification, fraudulent SSNs, and have no ties to this country. What could possibly go wrong?

  • Tom O

    I’m going to seriously consider have my kids declare themselves to be “Dreamers”. It’s not legal for the authorities to look into citizenship status of illegals. It should be just as illegal for them to check that my kids are not “Dreamers” but full blooded American citizens.

    One problem is that when my kids start paying it back they’ll catch onto our plan.

  • joyfulgiver

    No wonder the government wants to keep raising the minimum wage, it also puts everyone in a higher tax bracket. the individual that earns $9 an hour pays 18% in taxes in CA, raise that to $11.50 an hour and that tax rate also increases, to 20%. Nothing like squeezing the life out of us. How about they just decrease taxes from minimum wage earners so they can KEEP MORE OF WHAT THEY EARN!!!!! Don’t make it more difficult on the business owner just because the politicians don’t know what they are doing. In CA we also pay more then 65 cents a gallon in gas taxes, more change from our pockets. Highest sales taxes rates in the country, too. So, government needs to stop dolling out to those who don’t deserve and CUT TAXES so we can live.

  • Richard_Wiggler

    welcome to the ‘ FORMER ‘
    United States

  • David Harrison

    Mexifornia has reached maximum density, and when it blows the flow will not be back over the border.

  • ocean

    Illegal aliens are Foreign Nationals.
    California wants to give Foreign Aid
    to illegal alien students at the UC and CSU.
    California is a Democrat rat hole.
    I feel sorry for the few good people
    still in California.

    • Grange Fast

      Thank you. Those of us left in California thank you.

  • DJChen

    And everybody else will be paying for that.

    This is what you can expect of the invading army’s victory. They will collect money from the defeated, one way or another.

    The CA legislators who voted for that bill are either anti-American traitors or their useful idiots.