Biden ends Trump’s ban on college bailout for illegal immigrant students

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced on November 11 that he will repeal the Trump-era rule that prohibits universities that receive federal aid from granting aid to undocumented immigrants or students who do not qualify for federal aid, allowing schools to provide aid to “all students,” regardless of their immigration status or eligibility for federal aid.

The announcement also means that the Department of Education will begin to allocate the $36 billion earmarked for education in the $1 trillion bailout bill signed by President Biden in March.

Betsy DeVos, the former education secretary under Trump, prohibited colleges from distributing aid to students with questionable immigration documents or who did not meet the criteria for federal aid. In addition to undocumented immigrants, international students on student visas are not eligible for aid. Not only are students with student loans excluded, but even students with non-epidemic related reasons, such as previous convictions, are also excluded from receiving aid.

The restrictions set by Divers on the distribution of financial aid caused many universities to be unhappy with the complexity of eligibility and the frequent changes in policy, making it difficult for universities to operate, so some schools filed lawsuits against these policy restrictions. Subsequently, federal courts in Massachusetts, California, and Washington State have invalidated the policy as a violation of the improper association prohibition. However, these decisions apply only to community colleges in Massachusetts, Washington, and California.

All universities that receive federal aid must give at least half of the total amount they receive in cash directly to students as federal aid to students. The other half may be used for all epidemic-related measures or to offset the student’s direct debt to the university.