Scholarships Not for Illegal-Immigrant Students?

Lornet Turnbull, Seattle Times, January 10, 2012

When she was in the eighth grade, the student—now a senior at Kent-Meridian High School—signed up for a state scholarship program the Legislature had just created.

The College Bound Scholarship program allows middle-school students from low-income households who maintain good grades, stay out of trouble and graduate from high school to receive a scholarship to a Washington college or university.

But there is a caveat that the Kent senior and possibly hundreds of others like her may have failed to take note of at the time. To obtain the scholarship they will also need to apply for federal financial aid. And to apply for that, they need a valid Social Security number, which as illegal immigrants they do not have.

With graduation looming, many are finding College Bound, as well as other public financial aid and many private scholarships, out of their reach.

Advocates for these students, already eligible for in-state tuition, want to make a push this legislative session to allow illegal-immigrant students to receive state financial aid—resurrecting the debate about what role, if any, states should play in helping undocumented immigrant students financially.


Craig Keller, who heads Respect Washington, a group of citizens working to discourage illegal immigration in the state, said taxpayers should not be burdened with educating these children—especially during tough economic times.

“Illegal-immigrant children have benefited richly from a free education in the U.S.,” he said. “The government doesn’t owe them or anyone else—legal or not—a college education.”


In the years since the Legislature launched College Bound, nearly 93,967 middle-school students have signed up, according to the Higher Education Coordinating (HEC) Board.

The first group—almost 16,000 who applied during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years—will graduate from high school this year.

At the time, the Legislature set aside $7.4 million to pay for the program. The HEC Board estimates that amount will provide scholarships to eligible students through the school year that ends in 2014.


LEAP, instrumental eight years ago in getting the Legislature to approve in-state tuition for illegal-immigrant students, is urging school boards to pass resolutions in support of legislation to allow these same students to qualify for state financial aid.


Three states—California, New Mexico and Texas—now provide financial aid to illegal-immigrant students.

Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, D-Seattle, said she supports the same approach for Washington but acknowledges it’s unlikely such a measure would make it through the current Legislature: “Our budget situation makes that almost impossible right now.”


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  • Anonymous

    Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, D-Seattle, said she supports the same
    approach for Washington but acknowledges it’s unlikely such a measure
    would make it through the current Legislature: “Our budget situation
    makes that almost impossible right now.”

    I don’t know about New Mexico or Texas, but California certainly doesn’t have the budget for it, either.

    Also; Are there so many high achieving illegals?  Just where is the scholastic bar set?

  • What is the point of educating illegal immigrants? Without proper documentation, they cannot work legally. Until a bill passes that gives these folks a path to citizenship, this will be the status quo. Of course, the liberals do not see it this way and instead see these folks as a potential tax base. How?

    • Then once they’re “educated,” at that point, the same politicians will start screaming that we can’t deport such “well educated” people, all those Hispanics with Junior College A.A. degrees in Chicano studies will make us stronger, then comes the other shoe:  We can’t deport them!  We must staple a green card to their degrees.

    • Everything with illegal invaders and their enablers is taken in increments. First
      is was we should not deny them an financial aid/scholarships because it’s “racists
      and heartless, mean-spirited, etc.” Next, the argument will be, it’s” racists
      and heartless” to deny these brilliant college graduates the opportunity to
      become citizens, especially after we allowed them to go to school and take out loans
      to fund their educations.  Many of these illegal invaders will end up employed by the state, paid to distribute your tax dollars to fellow illegal invading la raza and their anchor babies.

      Amnesty is taken in small increments. Before you know it,you have given away the entire store!

  • Anonymous

    “Who says every last person with a pulse is supposed to go to college anyway?”

    Excellent point.  I am a chemistry graduate student, and many of the undergrads I TA’d for had did not belong in a college setting.  Many were there on affirmative action scholarships, to the great detriment of the harder-working white and Asian students around them.

    There is an additional point here which often isn’t made.  We all must remember that taxpayer funds are extracted at the point of a gun.  If these programs were so beneficial, people would pay for them voluntarily.

  • anon

    You can’t be serious.  If you are, you are on the wrong site.  How hard this jr. high student works or studies or how well she behaves is %100 irrelevant.  She is here illegaly.  Every aspect of her life in this country is illegal.  She should not be here for education, health care, or employment.  Period.  This country is WE THE PEOPLE and any of these so called  promises you speak of  were not made be the American people.  Those promises were made some corrupt and clueless politician passing legislation purely for pandering to a voter base. 

    I don’t owe any citizen of a different country ANYTHING, EVER. 
    You have fallen right into the trap of the liberal ideology.  If the poor illegal works hard and studies in school (where she has no business being there) we will just ignore her criminal status and dole out all of the things White American citizens are expected to WORK for.   

    What has happened in this country when our citizens have been brainwashed to the point where they will gladly reward criminal activity with high dollar amount loans for higher education?

    Liberalism is the most toxic poison our society has ever encountered.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Three states—California, New Mexico and Texas—now provide financial aid to illegal-immigrant students.

    I hope the Washington legislature hangs tough, but with Washington’s demographics heading the same direction as California’s, it’s only a matter of time before illegal immigrants are treated the same or better than the children of the state’s taxpayers.

    Despite California’s current budget deficit of $25.4 billion, on Oct. 8th, 2011, our illustrious  governor signed AB 131, making California the first state in the nation where illegals can now access public funds for scholarships.

    According to an LA Times poll taken last November, 53% of voters opposed the Dream Act. 

    A report from the Legislative Analyst Office states that this giveaway will cost $65 million of taxpayer funds, not the original estimate of $40 million (as if that in and of itself isn’t outrageous enough), and will continue to increase from there.

    Native Born American students will receive smaller grants because of a limited pool of available money.

    An effort was made Assemblyman Tim Donnelly to repeal this atrocious theft of taxpayer funds handed over to illegal aliens.  Unfortunately,  the petition drive only netted 447,514 signatures, short of the 504,760 signatures needed  by the deadline.

    California taxpayers heavily subsidize the state’s UC and CSUs.  Illegal colonists have no right taking up space in California universities or colleges — limited space that should rightly go to the children of the state of California whose parents fund higher education through state taxes.  Illegal colonists have even less right to lay claim to money earned by California’s dwindling productive population.

    These illegal colonists have already received a free (for them) education from the state of California (along with lavish benefits) and that is more than enough.  The economic situation in California is not sustainable in the long run as productive Whites continue to flee to neighboring states without a state income tax and California continues to import more welfare leeches.

    Even writing about this makes my blood boil.


  • What are you doing here? Are you an enabler for the invaders?

  • “Adopted country?” They did not adopt this country…they stole it! Stop it with the platitudes and euphemisms
    on behalf of invading criminals!