Marymount University in Arlington welcomed the enactment June 14 of legislation that will make Virginia students eligible for state financial aid, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, if other conditions are met.
Marymount President Irma Becerra, a Cuban-born immigrant, said the legislation “will prove how Virginia is leading the way in the nation in helping students realize their dreams” of access to postsecondary education. “Without this support, many of these bright young men and women wouldn’t have affordable access to college programs.”
At institutions such as Marymount, a private Catholic university, immigrant students will be allowed to receive financial assistance through Virginia’s Tuition Assistance Grants (TAG) program. Students at public colleges will be eligible to receive state-supported financial aid. To qualify, students must have attended a Virginia high school for at least two years and document that a parent or guardian paid taxes for a minimum of two years.
Gov. Ralph Northam signed the legislation during a visit to the campus of Marymount, which has 3,300 students representing approximately 45 states and 78 countries. The legislation (House Bill 2123 and Senate Bill 1387) goes into effect in August 2022.
Karla Mercado Dorado, a sophomore at the university who came to the U.S. at age 2 from Bolivia, spoke at the ceremony and welcomed the legislation. “The signing of this legislation really means a lot to me and to other students that I know who want to get an education.”
Read the original article on the Arlington Catholic Herald’s website.