Going to college is a costly pursuit. In addition to the inherent financial and intellectual challenges presented by the ambition, unfortunately students like Melvis Madrigal, a 20 year old who graduated from Robertson High School in 2013 with a 4.0 grade point average, find themselves facing an uphill battle just to continue their education past high school.
For a student like Madrigal, the current higher education system is not accessible, since someone’s citizenship status (or lack thereof) will ultimately determine the ease with which a respectable degree can be pursued. Madrigal is neither a legal resident nor a US citizen, despite living in Asheville for 14 years. He cannot obtain in-state tuition and he is not eligible to receive any form of financial aid from the government. “It has definitely created a huge hardship. And I know that it is not just me,” he said.
College tuition for out-of-state students is very high; in fact, it’s 3-4 times higher than in-state tuition. For many families, this alone makes college unaffordable.