Rinamay Lopez, Reporter @RinamayLopez
Due to recent changes to residency policy, many students working to qualify for residency will find it more difficult than anticipated.
The problem that some students find themselves with is that they might not meet the new requirements that are being asked of them, even though they meet the original qualifications.
Currently there are eleven ways to qualify for residency at UVU. The first hurdle toward residency is the one-year rule; after twelve consecutive months of living in Utah, a student can receive residency with verification of physical presence in Utah. Students living in Utah illegally, however, will not qualify now under the new law.
Many students are waiting to receive their citizenship or residency and the school is aware of that. This is the reason UVU used to give residency to students that had an I-45 form. This form was proof that a student had applied to adjust their status to a permanent resident. The school changed this policy about a month ago.
“We had nothing to do with it,” says Anne Morrey, residency coordinator. “The state called us and told us we were doing it wrong.”
Not everyone in congress supports bills like the DREAM Act, which would give permanent residency to immigrants that qualify. When Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012, his plan was self-deportation and an end to the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act has come a long way since it was first proposed. Now, it’s not just the citizens, but congress as well, that is viewing this issue differently.
“Students come in, and I certainly can’t do anything about it,” Morrey said. “But the legislator or voters can.”
All students, regardless of their status, are part of the future, and every politician agrees that a future with educated people is a brighter future.
In 2012, President Barack Obama took a big step to help the youth in this country that were brought here illegally by their parents by deciding to stop deporting young immigrants. Instead, he wants to provide them a pathway to citizenship.
“The new law does not help immigrants receive residency at UVU,” Morrey said.
Financial aid is also an opportunity that illegal students cannot obtain due to their status.
The last option that a student really has if he or she can’t get financial help is the payment plan that the school offers with an out of state tuition rate.
“I know it sucks, and I know that’s not what students want to hear, ” a financial advisor said.
Each student has to put down at least ten percent before tuition is due; otherwise their classes will be dropped.
Loans are not an option either because all the loan options that UVU offers are federal, and immigrants do not qualify. The only loans the student can consider are private loans, which are difficult to obtain.
A student, however, can receive a waiver from the school. The waiver allows for the student to pay in-state tuition without having residency. The requirements are that students have attended at least three years of high school in Utah. The student also has to have a high school diploma and has to promise that he or she will resolve their status as soon as possible.