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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

D.C. to permit children of immigrants to apply for tuition aid

D.C. plans to grant children of nonresident immigrants the ability to apply for aid for college tuition after a lawsuit settlement for a U.S. citizen who was denied a tuition grant because her mother’s immigration status.

The D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program provides up to $10,000 a year for students to attend public schools outside of the District to boost college attendance, it previously required parents of applicants to have legal residency, the Washington Post reported this week.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed a lawsuit for Natalia Villalobos, 19, when she did not receive tuition assistance after she planned to use the funds at a local community college. The suit said the requirement discriminated against citizens who could have otherwise applied for the aid, according to the Post.

Villalobos was born and graduated from high school in the District, while her mother has worked for 20 years in D.C. and was granted temporary protected status because of conditions in her home country, El Salvador, according to the Post.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education said in a statement that Villalobos will receive $5,000 – the same amount if her application was previously accepted, and she will attend Montgomery College starting next semester, the Post reported.

Those who oppose giving assistance to students born to immigrants have argued that the resources should go to families legally residing in the country, according to the Post.

The OSSE does not keep data on the reasons student applications are not accepted, so it is unknown how many students the change will benefit. The DCTAG program provided assistance to 4,525 students and denied applications for 137 students during the 2015-16 academic year, the Post reported.

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