Not everything is bad news for the students

Not everything is bad news for the students

While we are witness of new signs of discrimination and intolerance on the part of some authorities, such as Legislators who present anti-immigrant projects in our own State, it is good to know that organizations such as the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) are acting to offer Equal opportunities to the students and motivate them to take advantage of the services and benefits available at the local and federal level.

CSCU supervises 17 community colleges and universities in Connecticut (Central CT State University, Capital Community College, Manchester Community College, Tunxis Community Colleges, among others). It has enrolled more than 85,000 state students, it has a graduation rate of about 15,000 students, many of them of Latino origin; making it one of the biggest and more influential organizations in the State.

It has been recently announced that financial aid for undocumented students is now available on the CSCU website. In 2018, the General Assembly of Connecticut approved it and the Governor of that time -Dan Malloy- signed PA 18-2, which made institutional financial aid available to all students no matter their immigration status. In the months that followed, financial aid directors and staff from institutions such as Charter Oak State College or the University of Connecticut came together to create an application to make these funds available.

It is also good to know that, according to the Law, veterans of the United States Armed Forces who do not have a legal immigration status are also eligible to apply for this type of financial assistance for the current period (2018-2019). All other students without legal immigration status will be eligible to apply for financial aid for the Spring 2020 Semester.

For his part, CSCU president Mark Ojakian and National Senator Richard Blumenthal called for action in Congress to repeal the ban on inmates over 25 years of age receiving federal Pell scholarships. In 2016, four of Connecticut's community colleges were among the 67 nationally selected schools to be part of the “Second Chance Pell” Pilot Program, which allows eligible people to access Pell's funding while incarcerated.

Another great benefit is the free or law cost course materials that have been recently made available to students. According to CSCU, all students of community colleges within the system will be able to look for materials such as books or online task platforms of the courses they take, at low cost or without any cost during the registration of the course. This will mean important savings for students.

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Jorge Alatrista
Identidad Latina Newspaper

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