Virginia Senate, House pass bills to grant undocumented immigrants in-state financial aid

Spring Semester begins at the University of Virginia.
Spring Semester begins at the University of Virginia.(wvir)
Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 9:10 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Undocumented immigrants in Virginia could soon be guaranteed in-state financial aid on top of in-state tuition.

Two bills moving through the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are expanding on legislation passed last year in the General Assembly which allowed students to get in-state tuition regardless of immigration status.

“I just think it’s so important that all the kids growing up in Charlottesville and across Virginia to know that no matter how they came here or who their families are, that college is ready and waiting for them as they want to take that step when they grow up,” 57th District Delegate Sally Hudson said.

Now, Democratic leaders are taking it a step further, making financial aid more widely available to those undocumented students. “What the bill does is make sure that any student who qualifies for in-state tuition also qualifies for in-state aid,” Hudson said.

Many Republicans strongly opposed the legislation. “I think none of us have anything to lose, from supporting every child in thriving in their education,” Hudson said.

To be eligible, a student has to have spent at least two years at a Virginia high school, graduated, and submitted a FAFSA form.

The House version of the bill will now move forward and be sent to the Senate, and vice versa with the Senate version going to the House.

“College is a wonderful bridge to opportunities for so many students and we just want to make sure that it’s there for everyone,” Hudson said.

If approved, the legislation would go into effect in August 2022.

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