New York University is jumping into the immigration debate by announcing that it will begin offering student aid to illegal immigrants.
The federal Pell Grant program is the nation’s largest needs-based college grant program.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have told a conference of state lawmakers they are backing a bill to open state financial aid to students in the country illegally.
Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says the initiative is part of SUNY’s effort to decrease the loan default rate of SUNY students by at least 5 percent over the next five years. The average default rate is now 13 percent.
Some students who take out federally-subsidized loans are asking Washington lawmakers to block a rate increase scheduled to take place this July.
The state announced Friday that FEMA turned down the request, ruling the damages weren’t beyond what the state was capable of fixing.