By ROBERT WILCOX
HEALDSBURG HIGH SCHOOL, 16, JUNIOR
Imagine you are applying to colleges, and you set you sights on one particular school. You just love this school, and it is your dream to go there. The cost is a little high, but you will find a way to manage. You receive a letter from the college and open it with giddy excitement, but your dreams shatter when you are not accepted. In your place, there is someone who is not even legally in the United States and is receiving more than $25,000 a year in scholarship funds.
Recently, a private college in Massachusetts <NO1><NO>created a scholarship for undocumented immigrants looking to go to college. The scholarship will provide more than $25,000 a year to help pay for the tuition at Hampshire College in Amherst. A professor created this scholarship after following a student’s project on the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act. This act will allow some undocumented immigrants to achieve citizenship by getting a college degree or by serving in the military. The legislation has yet to pass in Congress.
I believe it is not right for colleges to accept students that are illegally in this country, much less give them huge scholarships that could go toward deserving students. With acceptance rates dropping and tuition rising, allowing people who are not legally in this country to take the place of someone is just not fair. Scholarships these days also are becoming harder and harder to get. Schools have less money, and there are more students with extraordinary talents, making scholarships few and far between. I myself would like to go to UCLA, and I will most likely have to take out student loan. UCLA has offered scholarships specific to illegal immigrants. I believe colleges should change scholarship funds for illegal immigrants to scholarship funds for U.S. citizens that are in need of the money.
Margaret Cerullo, the sociology professor who created the scholarship, said the barriers blocking illegal immigrants’ access to a college education are a “social injustice.” But we have to remember, they are illegal. There are plenty of people who wait, and wait for their citizenship, and once they achieve it, the people who essentially “cut in line” get free money and admission to college. That is social injustice.
Colleges have varying admission policies, but there is no state or federal law that prohibits the admission of illegal immigrants to U.S. colleges. California, New Mexico and Texas all allow illegal immigrants to receive state financial aid. Why would we allow this, when there are plenty of people that need financial aid and are U.S. citizens? Why would we help illegal immigrants before helping ourselves?