DACA students get aid

Recipients can receive financial assistance regardless of status

With registration, book and supplies, plus the cost of transportation and food, it’s no secret that college is expensive. Many apply for federal financial aid to ease the burden, but for some, such as DACA students, that isn’t an option.

While most students apply for aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, DACA students can apply through the Texas Application for State Financial Aid, or TASFA.

Anyone can apply for the TAFSA, regardless of immigration status, as long as they are a Texas resident eligible for in-state tuition and completed at least two years at a Texas high school.

Priscilla Ibarra, a loan and literacy technician with financial aid, said the TASFA is one of the many options the department has to help students.

Ibarra has sought to promote the different services by talking to DACA students and international students who are in the process of learning English.

Biology major Brittany, an 18-year-old DACA student who didn’t want her last name used because of immigration fears, is one of the beneficiaries of TASFA.

“Without the financial support received for this school year, I would not have been able to continue my classes,” Brittany said.

Lizbeth Puentes, a DACA student, received aid in previous years. She remembers that when she was approved her application was filled with joy.

“When I found out I knew everything was possible,” Puentes said.

For the 2017-18, 13 students were approved with this program, and in the previous school year about 15 students were, according to the Financial Aid Office. Each student received between $600 and $1,200.00.

To learn more about this program and how to apply, visit collegeforalltexans.com or texasoncourse.org, or visit the offices of Financial Aid upstairs in the Harvin Center. Applications are received throughout the school year but the approval quotas for the program are limited.

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