Napolitano allocates $660,000 to UC Berkeley undocumented undergraduates

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UC Berkeley will receive $660,000 to create financial aid and student services programs as part of UC President Janet Napolitano’s $5 million initiative to aid undocumented undergraduate students.

In a Wednesday letter to the UC chancellors, Napolitano allocated $2.25 million to be divided equally among the nine undergraduate UC campuses — $250,000 each — to fund enhanced student services. The remaining $2.75 million will be distributed based on each campus’s estimated enrollment of financially needy undocumented undergraduate students. UC Berkeley received the second-highest financial aid allocation, $410,000, behind UCLA, at $598,000.

Napolitano unveiled her plan for undocumented student aid in October, along with two other $5 million initiatives, one to recruit graduate students to the university and another to provide postdoctoral fellows with support and mentoring.

Campuses may use funds from the student services allocation to address the needs of undocumented students in various ways, including providing individualized academic and social support, creating courses on the undocumented experience and instituting career and graduate school advising programs. By accepting the funds, each campus also agrees to designate an individual staff member to serve as a point of contact for undocumented students.

“I am hopeful that this funding will augment existing efforts and help each campus provide meaningful support to undocumented UC students, who have overcome significant obstacles in attending UC but who continue to face a unique set of challenges,” Napolitano said in the letter.

Additionally, the UC Office of the President will conduct two systemwide, in-person training sessions for campus staff members who work with undocumented students, convene two in-person student advisory group meetings to advise the UC vice president for student affairs on undocumented student issues and develop a systemwide resources website for undocumented students.

In the letter, Napolitano asked that the campuses submit an expenditure plan to her office no later than the end of February, enumerating the ways they plan to use their portions of the allocations. She also asked that the campuses consult with student leaders and organizations familiar with the needs of undocumented students as they develop their plans.

Megan Messerly is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @meganmesserly.