NACAC Opposes Department of Education Decision to Block Aid to Undocumented, International, and Other Students

Michael Rose

Arlington, VA (June 12, 2020) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) expressed its disappointment today with the decision by US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to restrict federal financial aid to certain college students, including undocumented students, international students, and those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act, passed by Congress in March, provided $6 billion for colleges to distribute to students to help cover expenses such as rent, food, child care, and health care. The legislation did not exclude any group of students. But after providing inconsistent guidance, DeVos recently issued a rule prohibiting undocumented students, international students, students with DACA status, and others from receiving aid provided through the CARES Act. The decision negatively impacts the education as well as health and economic well-being of those students. The rule will go into effect once it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected any day.

NACAC has consistently urged the Department of Education to support students, regardless of immigration status. In light of the secretary’s decision, NACAC urges Congress to pass legislation clarifying that all students are eligible for federal financial aid provided under pandemic-related legislation, including the CARES Act.   


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 14,000 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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