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DACA support at MSU Denver

 

Dear students and participants in the Immigrant Services Program,

Following the federal administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program, many of you now have questions and are worried and anxious about the future. There are many great resources in Denver that are available to you (please look through the links on our website for legal support events and other on- and off-campus resources), and please remember that this campus stands 100% behind you and your successful path to a University degree, no matter your immigration status.

As MSU’s President has recently said in an email, “we intend to do everything in our power to support both DACA and ASSET students”. These are not empty words, and Ariadna and I want to assure you that the support you receive at MSU – through institutional scholarships, ASSET’s in-state tuition, or support programs like Immigrant Services Program or the Center for Equity and Student Achievement – will continue unchanged. You are the reason MSU Denver exists, and faculty and staff at MSU will never forget that. Your persistence is the energy that drives this institution. And as the institution is actively working to build additional support for DACA, DREAMer, and undocumented students, you can and should tell us what it is you need most right now, next week, next month, next year. We will do everything in our power to keep you safe and supported as you are on your path to a college education.

With great respect and in solidarity,

 

Gregor Mieder

Immigrant Services program

gmieder@msudenver.edu

303-605-5390 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About DACA and ASSET Programs

This document is meant to provide further guidance and support to our students and staff. Responses to the below questions are informational only and do not constitute legal advice. Links to local and national immigration resources and MSU Denver services are incorporated in the appropriate responses.

1.  As an undocumented student, how will a potential change to the DACA program affect my tuition status at MSU Denver?

It will not. Senate Bill 13-033 (ASSET) is Colorado state law. ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economic Tomorrow) allows U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition in the state of Colorado under certain conditions: http://www.ciccoloradoasset.org/. Students who are eligible for in-state tuition and Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) can continue to enroll in this program. Please go to the . 

 

2.  Will undocumented students continue to have access to the same institutional student aid and private donor scholarships?

Yes. Although undocumented students do not have access to federal financial aid, all MSU Denver students, including ASSET or undocumented students, do have access to institutional aid and private donor scholarships if they meet eligibility requirements. As an alternative to completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), MSU Denver students who are undocumented may complete the DAIA (Dreamer Application for Institutional Aid). Please go to the MSU Denver Office of Financial Aid for information: https://msudenver.edu/financialaid/undergraduate/apply/assetstudents/

 

3.   Will MSU Denver share students’ immigration status with federal immigration officials?

MSU Denver, or the City of Denver, will not release or share student information with federal officials unless required to do so by court order. It violates federal law (FERPA) to share such information without the student's consent unless a court order is presented. 

 

4.   What should I do if I feel I have been the victim of discrimination or harassment?

As MSU's President Dr. Janine Davidson has publicly stated, "The United States has always been a nation of immigrants, and we are better for it. As a university that wholeheartedly embraces diversity, we know that our differences make us stronger. That’s why we continue to support those who come to this country to change their lives." (June 26, 2018)

If you feel you are experiencing discrimination or harassment on campus, you may schedule a meeting with a member of the Office of Equal Opportunity (EO) team to discuss concerns, rights, and how to file complaints. For more information, go to https://msudenver.edu/eoo/ 

If you have witnessed or experienced an act of violence, contact the Auraria Police Department at 303-556-5000 or 911. You can also file a non-emergency report here: https://msudenver.edu/safety/makeareport/

 

5.   What other support services are available on campus to students experiencing depression or post-election concerns or anxiety?

MSU Denver provides numerous support services for our students and staff, including counseling, advocacy and other supports. For more information, please see the attached Campus Resources.

 

6.   As an undocumented student, why should I stay in school?

MSU Denver wants you here and will support you through degree completion. You are an important resource to our institution and to communities across the Denver metropolitan area. While none of us yet know what immigration, employment or other policies will emerge from the Trump administration, you need to know that a college degree holds value throughout the world. Finish your degree with us and allow us to serve as your advocate today and as you prepare for your future career.

 

7.   What should I do if I want to understand my immigration rights?

Only immigration attorneys can provide you with accurate advice about your immigration status and how you can pursue your legal rights. Along with links to national resources provided above, for a list of available local resources, please see the attached Colorado Immigration Resources. Also, you can seek an immigration attorney from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) at https://ailalawyer.com/ (English) or http://www.ailalawyer.org/spanish/default.aspx (Spanish). Additional information and resources are also available here:

·      National Immigrant Law Center: www.nilc.org

·      United We Dream: www.unitedwedream.org

·      Immigrant Legal Resource Center: www.ilrc.org

·      Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition: http://coloradoimmigrant.org/ 

 

8.   Where can I learn more about my rights as an immigrant in the U.S.?

Besides the resources listed under number 7, please refer to information on the Immigrant Services website, here. (Scroll down to "Know Your Rights flyer/video".)

ASSET

Colorado state law that provides in-state tuition to qualifying students, if they: 
-have attended a Colorado high school for 3 years immediately before graduation or earning a GED
-admitted to a public/private college within 12 months of graduating from HS or receiving a GED
-be a recipient of the Colorado Opportunity Fund

DACA

A federal executive order that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to a receive a renewable two-year permit and exemption from deportation. On Sept. 6th, 2017, the new federal administration has announced that it would not renew DACA renewal applications, but those who received DACA won't lose their benefits until their current DACA status expires. Students with DACA status, or who are undocumented, can qualify for ASSET if they meet the criteria.

ASSET is not connected to DACA 

In-state tuition will continue to be available for qualifying students even if their DACA status ends. Likewise, financial aid is available to DACA or undocumented students through MSU Denver, the state of Colorado (such as the Colorado College Responsibility Grant), or through private scholarships.

In-state tuition for DACA & undocumented students

In 2013, the Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) bill was passed, which allows U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, DACA and undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition in the state of Colorado. Stduents may qualify for in-state tuition under the ASSET law if they:

-have attended a Colorado high school for 3 years immediately before graduation or earning a GED

-admitted to a public/private college within 12 months of graduating from HS or receiving a GED

-be a recipient of of the Colorado Opportunity Fund

The In-state tuition for DACA & undocumented students  Guide provides a helpful checklist for DACA & undocumented students to receive in-state tuition at MSU Denver. 

 

 

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