District bill could expand college access for undocumented students

A group of D.C. Council members has introduced legislation that could help make college more affordable for the District’s undocumented high-schoolers.

Spearheaded by council member Christina Henderson (I-At Large), the proposed “DC Advancing College Hopes for Immigrants’ Education and Vocational Enrichment Scholarship” — or DC ACHIEVES — Establishment Act would provide grants to high school graduates who do not have U.S. citizenship. Undocumented students, unlike their peers, are ineligible for federal financial aid and have limited access to state aid programs.

…… An estimated 840,000 undocumented immigrants between the ages of 18 and 24 were living in the United States as of 2018, according to a 2021 report from the Department of Homeland Security. Just 18 states and the District provide those students with access to in-state tuition and some financial aid or scholarships, data from the Higher Ed Immigration Portal shows. Other states also offer access to in-state tuition or financial aid.

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