Equal Access to Financial Aid Now Law

Today, New Jersey officially joins 9 other states – from bright blue California to deep red Texas – in allowing undocumented students with New Jersey roots to apply for state financial aid to help secure a college degree. New Jersey becomes the second state on the east coast to enact such policy, and the second to do so since Donald Trump was elected President.

This common-sense policy will put undocumented students – and New Jersey – on the path toward greater economic prosperity while helping build stronger communities. Equal access to higher education for all students, regardless of status, enables undocumented students who graduated from New Jersey high schools to have a real shot at earning a college degree. This will help us develop a more highly-educated workforce, strengthening our economy and building a brighter future for all New Jerseyans.

With this policy, New Jersey sends a clear message that our state can mitigate the federal government’s attacks on immigrants by taking bold action that both honors our history as the golden door for immigrants and maintains our reputation as a welcoming, inclusive place. Considering the fact that more than half of new jobs will soon require a bachelor’s degree, increasing access to higher education by making it more affordable for all students – regardless of immigration status – is a critical step to ensuring the long-term strength and sustainability of our state’s economy.

For more information on equal access to financial aid, read our 2016 report, Access to Financial Aid is Essential to Give Undocumented New Jerseyans a Better Shot at a College Education: https://www.njpp.org/reports/access-to-financial-aid-is-essential-to-give-undocumented-new-jerseyans-a-better-shot-at-a-college-education