WASHINGTON, April 24, 2020 — American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) President Mildred García today expressed deep disappointment that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students were excluded from the emergency student financial aid grants included in the recent guidance released by the U.S. Department of Education in response to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The close to 400 regional comprehensive universities and systems that AASCU represents are dynamic academic, economic, and cultural engines of their communities. “DACA students, as well as Dreamers, enrolled in our colleges and universities are vital members of the academic community and contribute to the critical work of teaching, learning and research that occurs on campuses across the country,” said García.
AASCU institutions award 45 percent of the 1.3 million bachelor's degrees conferred by public four-year institutions. These students include adult learners, students of color, military veterans, first-generation students, low-income students, and immigrants.
“We understand and support the need to develop the proper guidance in order to disburse the $12 billion intended to support students and institutions through this public health crisis,” added García. “The language in the CARES Act does not exclude DACA students in the eligibility for financial aid grants. It is our moral obligation to not only enroll students at our campuses, but to also support them through graduation and into fulfilling professional careers as they contribute to our communities and economy. DACA students and Dreamers are active, engaged, and successful learners across the country. We must and can do better to support them and all members of our campus community.”
American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.- based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.