Monday, March 24, 2008

Update on "Pushing Out Legals"

Last week the Washington Post wrote a story about Nelson Lopez, a legal Virginia resident who was possibly going to be denied the right to in-state college tutuion fees because his parents are illegal immigrants.

Well shortly after the Post's story appeared suddenly the University of Virginia decided to grant him one of the special circumstances waivers, so the kid gets to pay the same rate as every other legal Virginia resident.

Apparently the state attorney general's office responded to a request for clarification as to when such waivers could be granted.

"I think in circumstances where an applicant has spent his or her life in Virginia, has been educated in Virginia schools, has gotten his or her driver's license in Virginia -- even though financially dependent on their parents -- that individual has done all that he or she could do at that age to establish a domicile independent of their parents. I think the memo was helpful to us in pointing the way," [said Andrea Leeds Armstrong of U-Va.'s committee on Virginia status.]
I get the idea that they would like to look and see how much of a resident the student is, getting a drivers' licence, etc. But why should becoming financially independent of their parents and establishing a separate home be part of those requirements?

The only explaination I could even think of is that the state wants the legal (adult) children of illegal immigrants to make sure that they aren't tainted by their parents somehow. Seriously, why else require they not be like every other 18-22 year old who gets help for college from their parents, including sometimes living at home to save money.

By the way, I'm not sure exactly what Lopez's circumstances are, but this is the description of his family from the original story.
He says his family, five people squeezed into a two-bedroom apartment, could never afford out-of-state rates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you misread the memo somewhat. I don't read it as the student has to be financially independent or establish a separate home. Just, I believe generally for undergrad residency status is based on the actions of one's parents. I think their point is if the student themself has taken actions demonstrating his/her commitment to Virginia residency, then they can be a resident, even if their parents technically aren't.