Bill expanding financial aid for undocumented immigrants pursuing higher education passes Virginia House and Senate

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FILE – In this June 27, 2020, file photo, Saltillo High School seniors make their way to the football field as the sun begins to set for their graduation ceremony in Saltillo, Miss. The number of high school seniors applying for U.S. federal college aid plunged in the weeks following the sudden closure of school buildings this spring — a time when students were cut off from school counselors, and families hit with financial setbacks were reconsidering plans for higher education. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A bill giving undocumented immigrants the opportunity to receive state-based funding for higher education has passed the Virginia House and Senate

Senate Bill 1387, introduced by Senator Jennifer Boysko, passed 21-18 Monday. The House bill was also approved by a 58-42 vote.

The bill states that students who meet the criteria in the Code of Virginia that determines eligibility for in-state tuition, regardless of immigration status, should also be allowed to receive state funding.

Advocates for this bill say that it’s a matter of equity. Governor Ralph Northam has also backed the bill.

The bill asks that students receive the same educational benefits, including access to state financial assistance programs, as any other individual who is eligible for in-state tuition.

Last year, Northam signed Senate Bill 935 into law making in-state tuition a possibility for all students regardless of their immigration status.

Once the bill is signed by Governor Northam, the legislation will go into effect for the Fall 2022 semester.

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