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Undocumented students take advantage of state's new Prosperity Act

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A group of eight students at St. Cloud State University are among the 180 students statewide who are taking advantage of the state's new Prosperity Act, the St. Cloud Times reports.

The act -- known in other states as the DREAM act -- is a new state law that makes undocumented students who came to the U.S. as children to be eligible for in-state tuition as well as certain financial aid programs.

The Prosperity Act, passed by Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers in May, applies to students who've attended at least three years in high school and graduated from high school in Minnesota. The students are also required to register with the Selective Service.

MinnPost has a rundown of what the Prosperity Act means for potential undocumented college students. The University of Minnesota has also posted information.

The Minnesota Daily says the program opened with fewer applicants than expected; but the state Office of Higher Education anticipates participation in program will increase as more students become aware of it.

As of early September, 109 students applied for the program in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Ironically, all of St. Cloud's legislative members voted against the measure.

The Times says supporters of the act claim it gives participating students a better shot at the future, while critics say the law allows undocumented students to compete with citizens for financial aid.

Critics also note that state taxpayer funds are being used for a separate application process for the undocumented students and their families.

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