Report: Fewer California immigrant students seek college aid

LOS ANGELES — A significant decrease has occurred in applications for college financial aid by California students who are in the country illegally after being brought to the U.S. as young children, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

College counselors say the decline reflects increasing distrust of government among immigrant families, as well as uncertainty over the status of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — better known as DACA, the newspaper said.

"The headlines about immigration make people feel like they're really in the spotlight. Kids are more afraid for their families than they are for themselves," said Jane Slater, a teacher at Sequoia High School in Redwood City who advises a club for students who are in the country without legal permission.

With the March 1 deadline approaching, 19,141 students had applied for aid under the California Dream Act as of Monday, a number that's just over half of last year's total.

Available aid for qualifying students includes private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers and Cal Grants.

This year's decline follows a dip that occurred last year until state officials launched a campaign and ended up with a total of 36,127 applications. Advocacy this year includes a public service announcement by rapper DJ Khaled.

Yohana Ramirez, an 18-year-old Sequoia High student, was 3 when her family moved to the U.S. from Mexico. She wants to go to the University of California, Merced, and become a surgeon.

"Growing up, I knew I wasn't born here, but I didn't know what it means," she told the Times. "I always assumed it was just a different point of origin — but I didn't think it would impact me in school."

Learning that DACA was in jeopardy scared her, she said.

"I was panicking — about my family getting deported, with or without me.. I'm still kind of scared," she said. "I'm just trying to keep my head up and keep pushing forward with my dreams, goals and aspirations."

An additional factor in the applications decline may be the workload of California's student counselors. The Times cited a report this month by the National Association for College Admission Counseling that found a ratio of 760 students for every counselor in the 2014-15 school year.

Slater, the Sequoia High teacher, said she makes sure all eligible seniors apply.

David Marks, a counselor at Sacramento Charter High School, said counselors don't have a lot of time but simply informing students about the aid may not be sufficient.

"It takes a lot of effort to double-check," he said.

___

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/

You may also interested in

Junk food fight: Science tests how birds compete...

Aug 12, 2016

It's the early bird that gets the Cheetos but it's the bigger bird that steals it away, scientists...

Boston building with Citgo sign sold;...

Aug 12, 2016

A building that hosts Boston's iconic Citgo sign has been sold to a local developer known for being...

Prosecutor: Russian man's computer linked to...

Aug 16, 2016

A federal prosecutor told the jury during opening statements on Monday that when federal agents...

BACK TO SCHOOL: Enrollment up a bit as kids...

Aug 16, 2016

The lazy days of summer are ending for millions of children as they grab their backpacks, pencils...

Ford says it will have a fully autonomous car by...

Aug 17, 2016

Ford Motor Co. intends to have a fully driverless vehicle _ no steering wheel, no pedals _ on the...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com