Moral Low Ground


‘The Moral High Ground’: Hampshire College Starts Scholarship Fund for Undocumented Students

A Massachusetts college with a reputation for political activism has announced it will launch a scholarship to benefit undocumented immigrants who are accepted into the school.

The Boston Globe reports that Hampshire College, a private liberal arts school in Amherst, has created a financial aid endowment for undocumented students.

According to the Huffington Post, the scholarship will provide $25,000 each year towards the school’s $43,000 tuition.

The fund has raised more than $300,000 so far, with students, alumni and parents among those pitching in to help undocumented students afford the soaring cost of a college education. Undocumented students are ineligible for federal financial aid because they are in the country illegally. But Hampshire College is one of numerous private schools that provide assistance to such students.

“We tried to raise money on every front we could,” sociology professor Margaret Cerullo, a key figure in creating the endowment, told the Globe. “We wanted funding not for one year, but ongoing to ensure access to undocumented students.”

Cerullo called the obstacles standing between undocumented students, 65,000 of whom graduate from US high schools each year, and college education a “social injustice.”

“For a lot of us, access to higher education is a deep principle,” she said.

Over the past decade, 13 states have enacted policies in which certain undocumented students are charged in-state tuition rates. California, Texas and New Mexico provide state financial aid to undocumented students.

In Massachusetts, such students cannot receive financial aid and must pay out-of-state tuition rates.

According to the Princeton Review, Hampshire College ranks as the fifth-most politically active university in the United States.

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