A significant decrease has occurred in applications for college financial aid by California students who are in the country illegally after being brought to the U.S. as young children, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
College counselors say the decline reflects increasing distrust of government among immigrant families, as well as uncertainty over the status of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program -- better known as DACA, the newspaper said.
"The headlines about immigration make people feel like they're really in the spotlight. Kids are more afraid for their families than they are for themselves," said Jane Slater, a teacher at Sequoia High School in Redwood City who advises a club for students who are in the country without legal permission.
With the March 1 deadline approaching, 19,141 students had applied for aid under the California Dream Act as of Monday, a number that's just over half of last year's total.
Available aid for qualifying students includes private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers and Cal Grants.