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Latino Daily News

Monday January 14, 2013

Free College Alternative for Undocumented Georgia Students Opens Its Door

Free College Alternative for Undocumented Georgia Students Opens Its Door

Photo: Freedom University in Georgia Opens

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Freedom University, an initiative created by several professors from the University of Georgia to provide a free educational alternative to undocumented students, began a new class term this week.

The Winter 2013 course being offered is Ancient World Cultures.

“This is a university level course and this time we have 25 students,” UGA professor Dana Bultman, who will teach the course, told Efe.

Freedom University was founded in the autumn of 2011 in response to the fact that state authorities had denied access to public universities to undocumented students.

“At Freedom University, we’ve had great success in what we’ve done up to now because, besides excellent students, we’ve had very good professors and great volunteers who have seen to it that students from the whole state come to the classes,” Bultman said.

Several of the students who have taken courses at Freedom University have later applied to universities in other states and received scholarships to continue their studies.

“We believe that education must be within reach of whoever has the desire to study and our main objective is to make Freedom University unnecessary. We would like to see the prohibition reversed and to move toward the possibility of letting these students pay tuition as state residents,” Bultman said.

The measure that led to the creation of Freedom University was approved in 2011 by the Georgia Board of Regents in the face of pressure by those who said that undocumented immigrants were diminishing the available resources for citizens or legal residents.

Before the measure entered into force, public universities in Georgia let undocumented immigrants register for classes, although they were unable to receive federal or state aid and had to pay tuition at the much higher non-resident rate.