Hampshire College launches financial aid fund for undocumented immigrants

Hampshire College, a private liberal arts college in Amherst, has created a financial aid endowment for undocumented students.

The fund so far has $300,000 in donations from alumni, parents, and recent graduates, the college said.

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“We tried to raise money on every front we could,” sociology professor Margaret Cerullo, who was instrumental in creating the endowment, said last month when the fund was announced. “We wanted funding not for one year, but ongoing to ensure access for undocumented students.”

Students who are not in the country legally are ineligible for federal financial aid. But some private colleges provide aid.

“Many of us who went to college in the post-World War II boom went on full scholarships. All financial aid was need-based. Increasingly that’s not true anymore,” Cerullo said. “For a lot of us, access to higher education is a deep principle.”

Since 2001, 13 states have extended in-state tuition rates to undocumented students who meet certain requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, Texas and New Mexico allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid.

Undocumented students in Massachusetts are not eligible for state financial aid and must pay out-of-state rates for tuition.

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