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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students frustrated with Prop. 300 wait

    The effects of Proposition 300 on UA students may be less drastic than originally proposed, as one UA official says the true statistics are difficult to measure.

    Even so, some UA students are still finding irritating loopholes as they wait to learn their legal residency status.

    So far, only six students have been unable to prove their legal status, specifically citing Prop. 300 as the reason that they cannot pay in-state tuition, said Paul Allvin, associate vice president of communications and news services.

    Because of high university computer traffic, the deadline to pay tuition for the fall semester has been extended until the end of today, Allvin said, which makes it””impossible”” to get an exact estimate on the number of students who are ineligible for in-state tuition because of the proposition.

    Similarly,

    Proposition 300 makes it harder for Arizona universities to be as diverse as they could be, and it really rankles me. Some of the most amazing and intelligent people I know were not born in the United States.

    – Nina Trasof City councilwoman

    Allvin said, university officials do not ask students who choose not to return to the UA if Prop. 300 impacted their decision to leave.

    Fernanda Echavarri, a journalism senior originally from Queretaro, Mexico, said that although she is a legal resident and has the documentation to prove it, she was not asked for anything other than her identification when she went to prove her legal status and claim in-state tuition.

    “”I have lived here for 10 years and when stuff like this happens I bring the papers I need to show my legal status,”” she said. “”Here, my legal status was completely neglected.””

    Some UA students don’t see the point of Prop. 300.

    “”This proposition is ridiculous,”” said said Jordan Handler, a journalism junior. “”I have lived in Arizona my entire life and I have been at the U of A for over a year, and I still had to prove citizenship.””

    Prop. 300, passed in November by Arizona voters, denies Arizona university students government financial aid if they are not U.S. citizens, permanent residents or do not have lawful immigration status, according to a Arizona Legislative Council report.

    Senior associate registrar Elizabeth A. Acree said the office began sending out informational e-mails to all the UA students who needed to show proof of citizenship.

    “”I received both e-mails from the registrar’s office, but who checks those types of e-mails?”” Handler said. “”I would have to be paying out-of-state tuition right now if I had ignored those e-mails like most college students do.””

    The UA has done everything within its power to help those students who have not had the financial resources because of Proposition 300, said President Robert Shelton.

    “”We have informed all students who need help to work with the financial aid office, and currently we are working with five continuing students who asked for help,”” Shelton said.

    “”Students need to understand that Proposition 300 is not denying them an education,”” he added. “”Students who are not U.S. citizens are still allowed to come to the UA, but they are going to have to pay more money without the help of the government.””

    The university will try to help any student who asks for it, Shelton said.

    Students who receive financial aid, or a state-awarded scholarship, are exempt from proving citizenship because they already do so when applying for financial assistance, Acree said.

    Any students who still need to show proof of citizenship, however, will be paying out-of-state tuition and have their scholarships withheld until they do so, she said.

    The rationale behind Prop. 300 is that it will save universities money by having students without legal status pay the higher, out-of-state cost of tuition, said Arizona Regent Gary Stuart in March.

    “”Proposition 300 is a failure of government,”” said Ward Six councilwoman Nina J. Trasoff. “”We are denying Latinos a chance to do something amazing.””

    Trasoff said she disagrees with the proposition because she cannot figure out why it serves to deny college-eligible men and women the chance to make something of their lives.

    “”Proposition 300 makes it harder for Arizona universities to be as diverse as they could be, and it really rankles me,”” Trasoff said. “”Some of the most amazing and intelligent people I know were not born in the United States.””

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