Bill passed by Virginia General Assembly makes undocumented students eligible for college financial aid

Capitol Connection

FILE – In this Friday, June 1, 2018, file photo, graduates are silhouetted against the green landscape as they line up to receive their diplomas at Berkshire Community College’s commencement exercises at the Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass. Some lenders advertise their products as a way to pay for college, but these aren’t technically student loans. For unsuspecting students, that could lead to unnecessarily high costs and a lack of consumer protection. (Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle via AP, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Under legislation passed in the General Assembly this week, certain Virginia college students will be allowed to receive financial aid no matter their citizenship status by August 2022.

Students who attended a Virginia high school for at least two years will be eligible for aid provided by the state or from a school. Those in private, nonprofit institutions would be permitted to get funding from the Tuition Assistance Grant Program.

People who graduated or passed a high school equivalency exam in Virginia on or after July 2008 or who otherwise meet the criteria to be eligible for in-state tuition can also get aid. A measure making in-state tuition possible for students regardless of their immigration status was signed into law last year.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Senate narrowly approved the House bill from Del. Alfonso H. Lopez (D-Arlington) with a 20-18 vote. Two days earlier, the House passed Senate Bill 1387 from state Sen. Jennifer B. Boysko (D-Fairfax) 58-42.

The bill calls on the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to coordinate with Virginia’s colleges and universities to implement the provisions within the legislation.

The legislation could soon head over to Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who has previously shared support for the proposal, for his signature.

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