Prescott, Arizona – Prescott College will implement a mandatory $30 student fee for all on-campus students that will go towards the Freedom Education Fund, a scholarship for undocumented students, starting in the 2016-2017 academic year. Prescott College is proud to announce the availability of this scholarship to one undocumented student as part of National Institution’s Coming Out Day in support of undocumented students, an annual event hosted by United We Dream.
This is the first time a four-year college in Arizona has implemented such a fee, and only the second in the country to do so. The fee was a student led initiative with collaboration between undergraduate and Social Justice and Human Rights Master of Arts students, community members, and faculty members.
Prescott College President John Flicker says, “I am proud that our students take on the role of scholar activists. The passion around this issue really motivated our part to make up the difference between what the fee will provide for and the full cost to attend one of our programs. We’re committed to broaden access to higher education for a diverse group of students and mobilize our resources towards social justice.”
The fee will support one student this coming academic year, but the College hopes to raise additional funds to support more full tuition scholarships for additional undocumented students, who are not eligible to receive federal financial aid.
“Within the current political landscape of Arizona it is critical that Prescott College shows our commitment to education as a human right,” says Miriel Manning, founder of the Freedom Education Fund and student in the Social Justice and Human Rights Master of Arts program. “We were inspired by courageous leadership and organizing of undocumented leaders across the country.”
At Prescott College, the application process and financial aid are open to all students, including both undocumented and DACA-status students. Students interested in applying for the Freedom Education Fund scholarship should contact Admissions at (928) 350-2100 or Financial Aid at (928) 350-1111.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for this scholarship? What qualifies as ‘undocumented’?
The recipients will be undocumented, full-time or part-time undergraduate or graduate students at Prescott College that demonstrate financial need. A qualified applicant for the Fund must not be a legal permanent resident and not possess a green card, visa, or other legal documentation. Undocumented status also includes individuals who have been granted conditional resident status or a deferred removal action under federal law and individuals that were born outside of the United States but have lived in this country for a significant portion of their lives.
- Undocumented students cannot receive federal financial aid.
- Undocumented students are not eligible for federal or state loans.
- Many state universities charge undocumented students out-of-state tuition even if they have been living in the state long enough to have residency. Many other universities charge them international student tuition which is much more expensive than in-state.
- Until 2012, when DACA passed, no undocumented students could legally work which highly limited their ability to put themselves through school. Now some undocumented students have work permits through DACA, but not all.
What is DACA?
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
On June 15, 2012, President Obama signed a memo calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and have pursued education or military service. Eligible undocumented students who have a valid I-766 and can demonstrate residency in Arizona, are considered for in-state tuition status at Pima Community College. (Scholarships A-Z definition)
Is it illegal to give aid to undocumented students?
Undocumented students are not expressly prohibited by law from admission to state colleges and universities. No federal statutes require disclosure and proof of immigration status and citizenship for students to enter higher education.
How many undocumented students graduate from high school every year?
Only 5-10% of the estimated 65,000 undocumented high school graduates who have been in the U.S at least 5 years go on to attend higher education.
Why is there a Monarch butterfly in the logo?
The Monarch butterfly, or mariposa in Spanish, is a symbol used throughout the Migrant Justice movement by artists and activists alike. The Monarch butterfly represents the resiliency and strength of a warrior and the right to move freely across political borders.
Monarch Butterflies are known for their mass migration of 3,000 miles over North America through multiple generations. We chose this as a symbol of how the Freedom Education Fund is part of a national movement for justice and freedom.
Why ‘Freedom Education Fund’?
The struggle for access education for undocumented students is part of many larger social movements of our time. Real freedom means collective liberation- that no one of us is free unless all of us are free. We invoke freedom not as a declaration that this scholarship is freedom, but that it is a step towards a larger vision for justice; education should be free and accessible for all.
Are there other schools that have scholarships specifically for undocumented students?
Yes! There are over 45 other public, private colleges, and universities that offer institutional and endowed scholarships specifically to undocumented students. Additionally, 18 states now offer in-state tuition to students who are undocumented.
“I do believe in education for all and I know this scholarship fund will make higher education a possibility for someone that may have thought that they could never get one, or that it was very difficult or nearly impossible to do it. With the help of other scholarships, I was able to make my own college graduation a reality, so I hope that this college fund will be able to do the same for others.” — Josue Saldivar, undocumented student organizer, Scholarships A-Z, Tucson
Editor's note: After publishing the original article, we received an updated version of this release from Prescott College, with the following note: "Unfortunately, Prescott Unified School District (PUSD) is not officially supporting this initiative--Please know PUSD will not be in attendance on Thursday, and if you have released anything about PUSD's participation in our conference, please publically update that information. Sorry for any inconveniences this may have caused."
Accordingly, we have replaced the supporting sponsors page.