A private college in Arizona is slapping a non-mandatory $30 fee on students to fund a scholarship for illegal immigrants, riling conservative critics who call it "irresponsible" and "absurd."
The fee will be imposed this fall on students on top of their $28,000 annual tuition to attend the school about 100 miles northwest of Phoenix.
Students can opt out, but if they do nothing, the fee will be automatically imposed, Fox News
"We're committed to broadening access to higher education for a diverse group of students and mobilize our resources towards social justice," President John Flicker said in a statement, an ABC affiliate
Though supporters say the plan will reverse what they call Arizona's reputation as a "national example of discriminatory politics," conservative critics are outraged, Fox News reports.
"At a time when student loan debt is over $1 trillion it is irresponsible for Prescott College to offer this privilege at the expense of other students," Andrew Kloster, legal Fellow for the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at Heritage Foundation, tells Fox News.
"While the dollar amount seems small per student, the fee does send a message to potential donors to Prescott College that the administration is less concerned with sound financial management than it is with making a political statement."
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, says poor students in the country legally should take precedence.
"It is beyond absurd that this college is going to force all the students to subsidize the education of a student who is in the country illegally," she tells Fox News.
"It's a shame these students and faculty don't have the same drive to help some of their fellow citizens who can't afford college and who are forced to compete with illegal workers for job opportunities."
Only one other school in the nation, Chicago's Loyola University, is known to have a similarly funded scholarship, Fox News reports. Loyola students pay an extra $2.50 to pay for tuition for illegal immigrants.
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