W&M responds to column about students with immigrant parents receiving in-state tuition

The College of William and Mary posted a response Monday to a Washington Post column about students with immigrant parents receiving in-state tuition.

The column said that students applying to W&M, Christopher Newport University and Old Dominion University may have their parents’ visa status asked for, allowing for the universities to deny someone in-state tuition, instead of the higher out-of-state cost.

“The assertions are false, not only in that they do not reflect our established procedure, but also because William & Mary is absolutely committed to facilitating student access to higher education in a way that does not discriminate on any basis,” Sallie Marchello, associate provost and university registrar, said in a written statement. “The article also references federal financial aid guidelines, which do not inform or drive Virginia domicile determination. …

“Scenarios in which a dependent student takes a domicile different from the parent/guardian are rare and usually highly individualized. It has been and continues to be the practice of the domicile staff at William & Mary to permit applicants to pursue this option. Sometimes getting to this ‘exception’ requires a series of emails between the applicant and our staff, because the individual circumstances are not always available on the basic domicile application.

“In several dozen cases a year, we worked with the applicant directly and extensively to reach a beneficial outcome for the student. We are reviewing our communications related to that process to ensure no messages are inadvertently discouraging.”

The statement also says that this year, in-state status has not been denied to any U.S. citizen based on the parent’s immigration status.

Check back to the Daily Press this week for more on how local institutions verify in-state status for applicants.

Hammond can be reached by phone at 757-247-4951 or on Twitter @byjanehammond.

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