Policy aids undocumented students

FREMONT – Terra State Community College has announced approval of an in-state tuition policy for select undocumented students for the 2013-14 school year, Terra is one of the first community colleges in the state to approve such a policy.

“We are encouraging all eligible undocumented students to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” said Kristen Taylor, director of admissions and enrollment services at Terra State. “Several Hispanic organizations across the state have voiced their appreciation to us for taking an active lead in this process.”

Taylor said currently there are 2,000 people approved for DACA status in Ohio.

According to the college’s policy and procedures, to be eligible for deferred action, students must have entered the United States prior to the age of 16; have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the date of application, be youner than 31 as of June 15, 2012; have completed high school or have a General Education Development certificate or been honorably discharged from the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more misdemeanors or otherwise pose a threat.

“This policy helps to acknowledge those students that are in our country either brought here or born here with undocumented parents,” Taylor said. “The U.S. is all they know. They want to graduate and go to college and become citizens and contribute to their communities. That is what Terra State is all about, access and success for our students.”

The Terra State policy was developed with the Ohio Board of Regents and its legal counsel, Taylor said. Such individuals are non-immigrants as defined in the Ohio Revised Code and are eligible to be classified as residents for purposes of in-state tuition rates if the individual meets the other criteria set forth in the rules of the board of regents.

“It is our hope to get this information out locally because we feel there are many people in our area who could benefit by this,” Jammie Jelks, student success mentor for diverse populations, said in a release. “Education is a game changer for everyone.”

In addition to in-state tuition rates, benefits of being granted deferred action are legal residency, relief from deportation, a Social Security number and employment authorization, Taylor said.

Terra State has rolling admission start dates with full semester courses beginning Monday. Other late start sessions, including 14-week, 12-week and eight-week offerings, begin Sept. 3, 16 and Oct. 16.

For more information on the Undocumented Student Admissions Procedures, contact Jelks at (419) 559-2164 or Taylor at (419) 559-2154 or visit