ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — In an effort to diminish the barriers of students who are not citizens of the U.S. or immigrants, Governor Northam is seeking to provide everyone with the same educational benefits including financial assistance programs.
Alfanso Lopez, Virginia delegate, said, “When every young person has the opportunity to earn a higher education, every community will reap the benefits. Virginia will no longer lose out by making it more difficult to educate some of our best and brightest. This a win for these amazing students, it’s a win for families, it’s a win for our economy, and a win for the Commonwealth of Virginia.”
House Bill 2123 and Senate Bill 1387 were previously signed by Governor Northam — they will make it easier for students attending institutions, especially private colleges like Marymount, to receive financial assistance through Virginia’s Tuition Assistance Grant program.
Governor Ralph Northam said, “Until last year, undocumented students had to pay out-of-state tuition rates. We’re all proud to have changed that, lowering the cost barriers for children who have grown up in our schools. Now it’s time we give those students the opportunity in help to pay for their education.”
As for one Marymount student from Bolivia, she didn’t think she would be able to attend college because she couldn’t apply for help through FAFSA because she was undocumented.
Carla, a student at Marymount University, said, “You’re told that if you work hard, if you do everything right, you’re bound to succeed and you’ll get where you want to be. Unfortunately for undocumented students like myself, we can work as hard as we want and there will always be these barriers.”
“It’s been a team effort to get this done. the legislators but also advocates to be here at Marymount University to see all the students that there given the opportunity. Again it’s about the American dream and that’s why we do what we do” said Northam.
Beginning in the fall new incoming students enrolled in an online education or distance learning program will receive a tuition assistance grant award for $2,000.