ASU to check aid forms for citizenship
March 21, 2007

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PAPERWORK: ASU will implement Proposition 300 by next fall. Prop 300 will refuse in-state and government financial aid to illegal immigrants.

Students who don't fill out FAFSA or similar form will have to present proof of citizenship by Jed Dougherty published on Wednesday,

University employees will spend the summer combing through federal reports and student IDs in a search for illegal immigrants as a result of Proposition 300.

The new law, approved by voters in the November elections, bars illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition or state-funded financial aid.

Under the new law, the legal immigration status of each of the roughly 45,000 in-state students will need to be checked, said Mistalene Calleroz, a spokeswoman for University Student Initiatives.

"It will be planning, and it will be work on the University's part," said Calleroz. "We are going to comply with the law."

Although the law was voted into effect in the November elections, details of its implementation were left up to the Arizona Board of Regents.

The regents, who set tuition and fees for the in-state universities, released an outline for the three universities to follow at their meeting at UA March 9.

In the outline, the Regents asked universities to rely on the Federal Application for Financial Student Aid as the primary resource to detect illegal immigrants.

Students are required to fill out the FAFSA in order to receive federal student aid, and a social security number is required.

Students who fail to fill out a FAFSA must either fill out other federal financial aid requests or personally present proof of citizenship to ASU.

"We know there will be students who don't fill out a FAFSA or do these other processes," said ASU spokeswoman Gini Sater. "They will have to come in."

The proposition, which became a law in December 2006, will be implemented by fall 2007, Sater said.

"We are hoping not to hire anyone new, but this is a large undertaking,"
Calleroz said.

Although the state required the three state universities to comply with the law, it has set aside no money for its implementation.

"There were no dollars allocated along with the proposition," Calleroz said.

The three in-state universities were required to report the number of illegal immigrants enrolled to the state government in December, but none had numbers ready to present.

Since it was never required, ASU does not know how many illegal immigrants currently attend the school, Sater said.

"We don't know how many students Proposition 300 would affect," she added.

Proposition 300 does not change whether students can attend school, Sater said.

"It's not an admissions process," she said. "The University is open to all students who are qualified on an academic background."

The bill will dramatically increase tuition costs for illegal immigrants.

Tuition will increase by $11,159 a year for students living in Arizona illegally.

Communications sophomore Kyle Bagwell said he understands the need for the proposition, even though it may mean a hassle for all instate students.

"I would be willing to sacrifice my time to ensure that people in Arizona's money isn't used to benefit people that break the law," Bagwell said.

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