Las Positas College is home to many undocumented students and as a sanctuary campus it is their duty to protect and update its students of any benefits and changes applied to undocumented students.
Students who meet AB-540 criteria by law are exempt from paying nonresident tuition at a California Community College. This vital piece of information is crucial for students, it is believed by many that residents residing in the state of California must pay non-resident tuition because of their status in the country. This piece of information is the key to finding out whether the student is or isn’t eligible for AB540 to be exempt from those non-residente costs.
DACA students that have not applied for AB-540 are not eligible to be considered for financial aid. As of now, DACA students receive no federal aid whatsoever unless they are AB-540 qualified. Our Las Positas College financial aid staff wants to aid students through publicizing informational meetings, emails, phone calls and flyers.
When asked about potential programs assisting DACA students at Las Positas, Andi Schreibman, financial aid officer at Las Positas College mentioned that, “The state regulations allow the schools to qualify a DACA student as a California resident for fee purposes but they are not eligible for financial aid unless they are a legal immigrant or they have AB-540 status…I am actually working with admissions and records to reach out to students because having the wrong status can prevent the student from being eligible from what they are eligible for.”
Even though, criteria is not met for financial support there are alternative resources waiting to be utilized to accommodate student needs. Many incoming students are unaware of the open opportunities that are offered to them, leading to frustration and misconception of the campus itself.
Puente, EOPs, CalWORKs, DSPS, and many other programs on campus are aimed to helping students. It is beneficial for undocumented students to acquire different perspectives, and most of all, acknowledge any of the offered support systems at Las Positas in order to make their lives easier. While these programs are essential and existent on campus, not every student is receiving the aid needed for their circumstances due to lack of communication.
Although a student might fall under a labeled category it doesn’t necessarily mean that these students qualify and meet the requirements under that program whether it is being undocumented, a resident of California, low-income, or U.S. born.
With a growing number of enrolling DACA and undocumented students at Las Positas, financial aid and the admissions and records department plan to work together in the future in order to better inform these students on advantageous educational and financial need satisfaction, such as decreasing tuition cost and other requirements and benefits that aren’t being met.