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SUNY Supports Expanding Tuition Assistance to All Students

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@thenyic.org
New York City  (Wednesday, January 25, 2012)

SUNY Supports Expanding Tuition Assistance to All Students

Joins with Other New York Officials and Institutions in Righting a Wrong of our Broken Immigration System

Today, at a public meeting, the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, under the leadership of its chairman H. Carl McCall, passed a resolution supporting the expansion of the state’s Tuition Assistance Program to all students, regardless of immigration status, so that they could apply for state-sponsored college loans, grants, and scholarships. This expansion would make it possible for young New Yorkers who were raised in this country without status to attend college. Currently, undocumented youth have no access to financial aid, either at the federal or state level, making it next to impossible for some of the best and brightest of New York’s young people to go to college.

The SUNY resolution comes one day after the President’s State of the Union address, in which he reiterated his call for Congress to pass the DREAM Act, saying: “The opponents of action are out of excuses. …let’s at least agree to stop expelling responsible young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and defend this country."

“While we wait for Washington to act—a wait of more than a decade since the federal DREAM Act was first introduced,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, “SUNY, with this resolution, has joined with the City University of New York, the State Board of Regents and State Education Department, and numerous public officials in addressing the barriers to education that DREAMers face. While Washington remains paralyzed, New York will uphold its tradition as a welcoming place for immigrants and move forward to do what it can to bring justice to these young people, allow them to pursue their education, and stop letting such talent and promise go unfulfilled.”

“The current demographic realities of New York State indicate that many of the brightest and hardest working students eligible to enroll at SUNY are of undocumented status, and it is imperative that SUNY remain accessible to these students,” said Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “SUNY will work with stakeholders to develop sensible legislation that provides this deserved access and financial support.”

To see the statement released by SUNY, click HERE.

Various legislative proposals at the state level would, among other provisions, open up eligibility for the state’s tuition assistance program to all students, without regard to immigration status. The New York Immigration Coalition is working with diverse community and student groups and other stakeholders across the state to see such legislation pass into law.

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