A liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts has set up an endowment to help pay tuition for illegal immigrants.
Hampshire College has already raised $350,000 for the endowment and plans to give its first scholarship to an illegal immigrant this fall, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Professor Margaret Cerullo, who organized the endowment, refused to identify the name of the student because of fears that it could pose problems with immigration authorities.
The college plans to give the illegal immigrant student $25,000 every year for four years.
Cerullo teaches classes on social movements, feminism and the Occupy Wall Street Protests. She hopes to increase the endowment to $1 million.
“I felt it was unconscionable that Hampshire encourages social engagement and students are involved with these issues, such as working as paralegals and studying the immigration movement, but we couldn’t have undocumented students,” she said. “That seemed completely contradictory and unjust.”
The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that Cerullo’s endowment has encouraged efforts at other colleges in Massachusetts as well as another school in North Carolina.
“I am of a generation that grew up believing higher education was a right, not a privilege, and of course key to the American dream of upward mobility,” she said. “My generation and those who came after us were part of a vast expansion of higher education to the working classes and the poor.”