A 2006 voter-approved law denying certain benefits to those not here legally is continuing to save at least some taxpayer dollars.
New reports from the three state universities show that they denied either scholarship aid or the lower-cost Arizona resident tuition rates to nearly 400 students who had sought one or the other. The figures do not include those who did not apply for either.
Arizona’s community colleges also reported turning down students for lower in-state tuition rates.
And some applicants for adult education programs as well as state-subsidized child care also were denied benefits after they failed to provide evidence they were in this country legally.
At the University of Arizona, officials reported 29 students previously classified as Arizona residents were denied that status for the fall semester because their claim to be legally in this country could not be verified. Paul Kohn, the university’s dean of admissions, said they are now being charged the higher tuition for out-of-state residents.
Kohn also said five students told university officials they were “unverifiable” because they could not provide the required documentation.
UA did not seek verification of legal status from another 3,818 of the nearly 37,300 students enrolled because they sought neither in-state tuition nor state-supported financial aid. There is no way to tell whether some of these students are not in this country legally and simply chose not to seek resident tuition because they knew they would not get it.
At Arizona State University, 3,230 of the 67,000 students were in that same category and did not submit any information about their legal status. Here, too, there is no way to know how many are citizens or otherwise legally present in the United States.
James Rund, senior vice president of university student initiatives, said that number includes 195 students who otherwise would have sought state help but told university officials they cannot provide the necessary documents.
Northern Arizona University Vice President David Bousquet said there were 165 students who did not need verification because they did not seek in-state status or financial aid. Out of more than 17,800 Arizona residents enrolled, 16 have yet to prove they are in this country legally to get resident tuition.
In addition, Bousquet said there were 152 students from other states who are ineligible for state-based financial aid because they have not yet verified their legal presence in the U.S.
The Department of Economic Security said it got 18,400 requests for child care assistance, denying 40 of those because applicants failed to prove legal presence in the United States.
State education officials said 470 people were denied adult education programs for failure to show documentation out of 20,060 who applied. A separate family literacy program reported denying funding to 346 of 485 applicants.
The reports are required following voter approval in 2006 of Proposition 300. It says only those students who are U.S. citizens or legal residents are entitled to the lower tuition charged to Arizona residents.
That measure also denies state-subsidized child care and adult education services to those who cannot prove legal presence.