NACAC Opposes Administration Policies Toward Undocumented Students in New Emergency Relief, Public Health Measures

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Michael Rose

Arlington, VA (April 23, 2020) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) today expressed its disappointment over decisions made this week by the Trump administration denying federal student financial aid relief for undocumented students and temporarily blocking new green cards to prevent people from immigrating to the United States.

“The occasion of the coronavirus pandemic is not an appropriate time to pursue a campaign against undocumented students, as well as immigrant families,” said Joyce Smith, the association’s chief executive officer. “The CARES Act and other emergency relief measures should be focused on mitigating the effects of the public health crisis. These latest policy actions further jeopardize vulnerable populations.”

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, is intended to provide relief to federal student loan borrowers and to help alleviate economic concerns. Among other things, the legislation includes $6 billion for colleges to distribute to students to help cover expenses like rent, food, child care, and health care. However, the Trump administration announced that undocumented students would not be eligible for this relief, negatively impacting their education as well as their health and economic well-being. 

In addition, President Trump announced that his administration would suspend the issuance of green cards for a minimum of 60 days. NACAC believes the action, along with other administration policies, suggests hostility to international visitors and immigrants, which risks further damaging the economic well-being of our nation’s colleges and universities.

NACAC supports the DREAM Act and similar legislation that would allow students to pursue their education regardless of their immigration status. Similarly, the association supports policies that promote academic exchanges between countries. At a time when colleges and universities will struggle to enroll students of all backgrounds, NACAC says, we should pursue policies that reduce barriers to entry at our nation’s universities.  



The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

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