Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Jesuit Universities are Found Most Supportive of Undocumented Students

Inside Higher Education is reporting that a new study, conducted at six Jesuit colleges and universities, and funded by the Ford Foundation, has found that support for undocumented college students can be tenuous even at the Catholic universities that most welcome them.

Researchers from Fairfield University, Loyola University Chicago and Santa Clara University conducted in-depth interviews with 26 students at six Jesuit colleges and universities,as well as more than 110 staff members, asking about campus atmosphere, financial aid and other problems undocumented students might encounter.

The publication has reported that Catholic colleges and universities, specifically Jesuit institutions, are leading the way in accepting the children brought by parents illegally into the U.S.

A separate story from Inside Higher Education, showed, for example, that Dominican University is spending $274,000 of its own money to pay to educate 17 undocumented immigrants.

The study said that additional work needs to be done to retain undocumented students. It recommends designating admissions personnel to work specifically with undocumented students, and increasing the social support for them, especially exit and career counseling.

“They’re really like any first-generation college students: Their family is really not able to help them navigate the system,” said the Rev. Richard Ryscavage, director of the Center for Faith and Public Life at Fairfield University and the project director for the study. “For them it’s even more peculiar. They need help and career guidance.”

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