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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 10, 2023 02:21 PM
From: Representative Peter Schweyer and Rep. Danilo Burgos, Rep. Manuel Guzman, Jr., Rep. Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, Rep. Jose Giral
To: All House members
Subject: Education Dream Act - Providing Parity for Tuition and PHEAA Financial Aid
Immigrant parents and their children who arrive in the United States come for a variety of reasons, including seeking economic opportunities and fleeing war, religious oppression and conflict, and cultural and ethnic intolerance. Because of their citizenship status, students of immigrant parents are at a distinct disadvantage when considering access to and the cost of higher education. Many of these students will have spent years in our schools and are integrated into our Commonwealth and communities. Yet, these same students must pay out-of-state tuition and cannot apply for PHEAA aid or loans like their classmates.
To address this issue of fairness, our legislation would exempt certain immigrant students from paying out-of-State tuition at institutions of higher education. To qualify, an immigrant student must have attended a Pennsylvania high school for at least two years, graduated or received an equivalent diploma in Pennsylvania, and be enrolled in one of our institutions of higher education. Our legislation would further ensure that these students would be eligible to participate in financial aid and loan guaranty programs administered by PHEAA and apply for assistance grants from independent institutions of higher education.

It is our belief that the Commonwealth’s economy and its ability to compete in the 21st Century are dependent on a stable and educated workforce, which is more achievable if all our high school students have access to affordable higher education. This bill will allow us to give all students who are part of our Pennsylvania communities the means to thrive and build a better Pennsylvania.

Thank you in advance for joining us as a sponsor of this legislative proposal.