Undocumented Graduates: Life After High School


With many students graduating high school recently, for many it’s time to start looking into college.  Counted among that throng of proud graduates are about 65,000 undocumented students. Unfortunately for these undocumented students, the state of Georgia does not allow them to attend any public University System of Georgia institution. Including those who previously qualified under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the state of Georgia does not offer federal student aid. Georgia is one of the few states on the list that explicitly prohibits undocumented immigrants from being granted in-state tuition. This forces many of them to seek further education outside of Georgia and into the neighboring states such as Tennessee.

Undocumented students are often times caught in unfair circumstances facing uncertain futures. They must navigate their way through a complex web of federal, state and postsecondary institution policies in order to achieve a postsecondary education.  Exempting these students out of colleges, universities and other higher education institutions is not only a loss for them, but also for the country.  Possible entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers who cannot contribute to growing our economy, it is now up to the policymakers to give these eager students an opportunity.