The Connecticut House of Representatives recently docketed a bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive institutional financial aid to attend public universities in Connecticut starting in the fall of 2019.
If passed, House Bill 5031, “An Act Equalizing Access to Student-Generated Financial Aid,” would extend financial aid eligibility to undocumented students who meet in-state requirements, are free of felony convictions and have filed an affidavit stating that they have applied to legalize their immigration or will file as soon as eligible, according to the bill. Applicants also must have been 30 years or younger as of June 15, 2012.
The bill was added to the House calendar last week after the Office of Fiscal Analysis’s report of its financial impact on the state was deemed “favorable,” according to the Connecticut General Assembly website.
“The bill results in no fiscal impact to the higher education constituent units as it does not alter the total amount provided for institutional financial aid,” the Fiscal Impact Statement said. “The bill does result in a potential redistribution of such aid among recipients.”
Campaign Manager of CT Students for a Dream Camila Bortolleto said she believes the favorable fiscal impact report makes this bill “common sense” and hopes it passes with bipartisan support.
“We already knew HB 5031 would be good for our schools. Now with the recent fiscal note, we know that not only will it be free to state, but it will help the economy as well,” Bortolleto said in a press release. “Passing HB 5031 is a common sense solution, that will increase enrollment and tuition revenue, and is an investment in CT’s economy, helping grow our economy and expand our tax base – that comes at ZERO fiscal cost to the state.”
President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System Mark Ojakian said he too believes the bill will be good for both undocumented immigrants and the state as a whole.
“Since undocumented students are not able to access federal or state scholarship funds, institutional aid is often the only form of support available to them,” Ojakian said in a press release. “This bill would go a long way in opening access to this fund to students who already pay into it, increase our ability to serve students and help our public institutions attract and retain more Connecticut students.”
Andrew Miano is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.