ACLU requests regents look at some admissions info
KATE BRUMBACK, Associated Press
Updated 06:13 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, 2011
ATLANTA (AP) — The University System of Georgia is looking into the possibility that the websites and admissions materials for some of its schools could mislead applicants about the system’s policy regarding “undocumented students,” a spokesman said Wednesday.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia on Tuesday sent a letter to the Board of Regents, which oversees the system, saying that language on some schools’ websites and admissions material indicates that acceptance is contingent on verification of the applicant’s legal presence in the United States.
The Board of Regents last fall adopted a policy that would bar “undocumented students” — which includes illegal immigrants and others who don’t have their paperwork in order — from attending schools that have rejected academically qualified applicants in the previous two years. That currently applies to the state’s five most competitive schools.
Students who cannot prove that they are in the country legally are still allowed to attend the other schools but they must pay out-of-state tuition. Anyone applying for in-state tuition must be able to prove legal residence in the country and the state.
If some schools not in that group “have communicated to applicants that they are ineligible for admission even if academically qualified, this is in fact an error, and we are working with those institutions to update communications to accurately state the policy,” Millsaps said.
There may have been some confusion in the implementation of the new policy, but the system was working to clear that up, he said.
“The application form we’ve got is pretty clear, so it appears that maybe some of the errors happened with institutions trying to make explanations about the policy above and beyond what the application form states,” he said. “It wasn’t the intention to deny admission for those institutions.”