Petition for Rule Making Regarding Student Eligibility for Financial Aid

In July 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, along with the Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund and LatinoJustice PRLDEF, filed a petition for rulemaking with the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). The petition was filed in response to the Higher Education Assistance Authority’s continuing practice of denying financial aid to students who are United States citizens but whose parents cannot establish lawful presence in the United States.

The petition requests that a regulation that establishes the criteria and documentation necessary for determining eligibility for state financial aid for higher education, N.J.A.C. 9A:9-2-2(a)(1), be amended so that any United States citizen or permanent resident who had graduated from any New Jersey high school, public or private, within a year of applying for financial aid would be considered a New Jersey resident. HESAA’s current practice of linking a student’s residency to their parents’ residency has served as a road block to state granted financial aid for the children of undocumented immigrants who are United States citizens or permanent residents because the state does not consider undocumented immigrants to be residents of New Jersey.

Status: The petition is pending.

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