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Support Equal Access to Student-Generated, Institutional Aid

Watch this video to get a quick understanding of Institutional Aid!

In 2011, Connecticut students, advocates, and community leaders came together to fight for “In-State Tuition” for undocumented immigrant students. Thanks to the hard work of CT Students for a DREAM and countless allies, undocumented immigrant students in CT public colleges can pay the in-state tuition rate instead of the much higher out-of-state tuition rate.


However, this is still not enough! Undocumented students are NOT eligible for ANY state or federal need- based financial aid or for most scholarships. As a result, many undocumented immigrant students cannot afford higher education. We are fighting to change this, and YOU can join US!

What is student-generated, institutional aid? Who has access to it?

  • Institutional Aid is student-generated funds that colleges set aside from tuition revenue to be used as need-based aid to support students with demonstrated financial need.

  • Institutional Aid is funded by tuition dollars that all students pay, it’s not tax or state funded. CT state colleges & universities are required to set aside a percentage of tuition revenue for this aid

  • Undocumented immigrant students contribute to these funds by paying tuition, but DO NOT have access to the pool of aid they help fund.

  • This is unjust- if your tuition dollars fund this aid, you should be able to access this aid if you have financial need!

  • Why can’t all students access this? The problem is that the aid is distributed based on the FAFSA needs analysis, which undocumented students cannot fill out. There is nothing in the CT regulations that bar immigrant students from having access, the barrier is technical one.

Undocumented Students Pay Tuition But do Not Have Access to this aid! 

Amount of Institutional Aid Awarded to all students (2014): $140 Million

Amount of Aid Awarded to Undocumented Students: $0.00

What are we seeking to change?

  • OUR GOAL: Equalize access to student-generated, institutional aid at CT public colleges and Universities to all CT’s students regardless of their immigration status.

  • THE SOLUTION: A fair application process must be implemented that allows ALL Connecticut in-state resident students who contribute to institutional aid to have access regardless of immigration status

    There is legislation in Connecticut  that would make this real!

  • HB7000: An Equalizing Access to Student Generated Aid and  SB17: An Act Assisting Students Without Legal Immigration Status With the Cost of Higher Education would equalize access to institutional aid to all students who have established residency in CT regardless of immigration status.

#AffordtoDream 2017

  • #AffordtoDREAM is C4D’s campaign to equalize access to student generated, Institutional Aid to all CT students regardless of immigration status

  • This year we are working to pass two bills: 



Why Should I Support?

It’s an economic investment in Connecticut’s future:

  • Educating CT’s students, including undocumented students, will help grow Connecticut’s economy and expand CT’s tax base. The non-partisan Institute on Taxation Policy estimates that undocumented individuals in Connecticut currently pay over $136 million in taxes.

  • According to an estimate from a 2009 RAND Corporation report, the completion of a college degree raises lifetime tax contribution by at least $68,000.

  • Equalizing access to institutional aid to undocumented students will cost taxpayers nothing. The Fiscal Analysis Office reported last session this measure has no fiscal impact.

There is a broad base of support for equalizing access to institutional aid:

  • In both the 2016 and 2015 session, a similar measure was voted out of committee on a bipartisan vote and passed the Senate with bipartisan support, with over thirty co-sponsors.

  • Officials at the University of Connecticut, at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) System, and at the Board of Regents of Higher Education support the bill.

  • The challenges faced by undocumented immigrant students affect constituents in every district.

  • This common-sense reform has been adopted by states as diverse as Texas, California, Minnesota, Washington and New Mexico.

Our fight and our voices over the last few years have successfully changed the conversation and the public narrative to make education for undocumented students a priority in CT.

Take Action!

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