Less than 1% of Oklahoma collegians lack documents

JULIE BISBEE, Capitol Bureau Published: June 13, 2009

/> "Under the current administration, it seems discussion of those policy changes would just be stifled,” she said.

Republicans hold a majority in the House and Senate. Over the past few years, the Legislature has passed several anti-immigration bills, including House Bill 1804, which limited state education aid to students who were illegal immigrants.

Data collected over the past five years shows a sharp decline in the number of students receiving Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grants but an increase in students taking part in the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program. That number reflects an increase in the number of high school students who enrolled in the program.

At some point, however, undocumented students will have to seek private funding to pay for college. Students already enrolled in an education aid program when HB 1804 took effect were allowed to continue in their education, said Armando Pena, assistant vice chancellor for the State Regents for Higher Education.

"I think we’re going to see more students relying on private scholarships,” Pena said. "The challenge of how they are going to pay for college certainly increases.”

There is

so much misinformation out there,

that these students

are taking resources away when that’s not the case. It’s good to have this all in black and white.”

Isabel Chancellor
Advancement of Hispanic Students in Higher Education Task Force member