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Community College Decision On Illegal Immigrants Doesn't Reach N.C. State

This story was written by Chris Allred, Technician

A decision by the North Carolina Community College System to disallow illegal immigrants from becoming students will not affect University policy, according to Thomas Griffin, director of Undergraduate Admissions.

N.C. State, along with other UNC-system schools, will continue to admit undocumented students if they pay out-of-state tuition, Griffin said, and they may not receive financial aid.

"There are definitely not large numbers [of undocumented students that enroll]," he said. "Out-of-state tuition is a particularly huge barrier for any, especially if you're not getting financial aid."

The community college system's decision was made under the advice of the Office of the Attorney General, according to the system's press release, and according to Laurie Clowers, director of public relations at Wake Technical Community College, it would not affect undocumented students already enrolled in a community college.

Clowers said of the 18,000 students at Wake Tech, there are only four or five undocumented students.

"We only have a handful," she said.

Greg Doucette, president of the Association of Student Governments and a senior in computer science, said he hopes ASG will have a proposal countering the community college's decision by August.

"We support the UNC system the way it is," he said.

According to Doucette, students should not be punished for decisions out of their control.

"A lot of these folks were brought over here by their parents when they were very young," Doucette said.

Different states have other policies on illegal immigrants, with Texas allowing them to study for in-state tuition, Griffin said.

"The Undergraduate Admissions office certainly supports enrolling students that have been highly successful academically in high school," he said.

Griffin and Doucette said the decision on undocumented students is not likely to affect the relationship between the University and community colleges.

"The community colleges serve any and all students, and in general that's been [the state's] open door to college in most cases," Griffin said. "They're serving a different niche in the educational market than we are."

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