Honor student scholarship rescinded for noncitizen status; friends rally with fundraiser

ST. GEORGE – Some Enterprise residents are coming to the aid of a student who was awarded a full scholarship to Dixie State University, only to have it rescinded when his lack of U.S. citizenship, and deferred immigration status, came to the attention of university personnel.

Roberto Jarond graduation photo, Enterprise High School, Enterprise, Utah, May 2014 | Photo courtesy of ShaRee Hirschi, St. George News
Roberto Jarond graduation photo, Enterprise High School, Enterprise, Utah, May 2014 | Photo courtesy of ShaRee Hirschi, St. George News

Roberto Jarond graduated from Enterprise High School this year with a grade point average of 3.91. He proceeded to apply to various schools, and was awarded a chancellor scholarship by Dixie State – a scholarship for a full four years of tuition payment. However, when officials learned of his citizenship status the scholarship was rescinded.

Jarond came from Mexico to Newcastle at the age of 6 with his family. Jarond, who is not an American citizen, is under deferred status – status granted by a memorandum authored by the Obama Administration on June 15, 2012.

Deferred status was implemented by then Secretary of the Department Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. It directs U.S Customs and Border Patrol, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement to practice prosecutorial discretion towards some individuals who immigrated illegally to the United States as children.

A grant of deferred removal action does not confer lawful immigration status, alter an individual’s existing immigration status, or provide a path to citizenship. It does provide a kind of safe harbor for people like Jarond.

Accordingly, Jarond lives in the U.S. and is pursuing his life’s goals as might any other teenager.

“I never applied for the scholarship,” Jarond said. “The school awarded it to me automatically because of my grade point average.”

Jarond said that he went down to Dixie State University to complete the paperwork for the scholarship as well as the rest of the financing he would need for things like textbooks, and was then informed by the representative for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, that he was not eligible to receive government financial aid due to his citizenship status. Jarond asked if his status would affect his chancellor scholarship as well. Jarond was told it shouldn’t.

“I figured I better verify that,” Jarond said. “I proceeded to email Sara Huggins, a financial aid advisor at Dixie to confirm that my citizenship status did not affect the awarded chancellor scholarship.”

In an email Huggins responded: “Your citizenship status will not allow us to give you that Chancellor Scholarship you received. In order to receive state funds, you must be a citizen.”

Jarond said he was confused as to why he was awarded the scholarship in the first place. He stated that he filled out the application for Dixie State University honestly, and that it did ask him about his citizenship status.

J.D. Robertson, DSU’s executive director for financial aid and scholarship, said he could not speak to specifics about students due to FERPA regulations regarding student privacy. Robertson did say that the Chancellor Scholarship is an automated award given based on the information submitted at the time of enrollment.

“The state has a policy, because it follows the same guidelines as the federal aid programs. A student must be a citizen or have legal status in the United States to be eligible for those funds.” Robertson said.

Friends of Jarond who share in his disappointment are rallying to help him fund his education, and university officials are offering him what they are able to do to help him via internship opportunities.

ShaRee Hirschi a friend of Jarond said: “I am confused by the entire situation. The last week of school the university presented Roberto Jarond a certificate saying they were awarding him the scholarship. Even though at that time, they had already told Roberto he would not be getting it.”

Robertson said he did not know why that happened, other than the certificates are sent out to the schools at the end of April.

Jarond said he is hoping to call attention to a problem that he feels needs to be addressed. So that no one else in his circumstance applies for school, gets awarded a scholarship, only to have it taken away because the automated system overlooked something.

I have no hard feelings towards Dixie State, they are doing what they think is best in this situation,” Jarond said. “I don’t think they could change anything even if they wanted to. I am very grateful they offered an internship to help me pay for school.”

Robertson also said as long as any student has the right paperwork, even international students, they can work as employees on Dixie State campus. He said that is one way the university can help students out.

“We are one of the few states that give a price break to a student who has attended high school for three consecutive years,” Robertson said. “Once they graduate from a Utah high school, even if they are not a legal citizen of the United States, or Utah, we do give them in-state tuition.”

Hirschi, as well as other supporters of Jarond, said they are trying to do their part to help as well.

He earned those scholarships, it’s not like he was some screwed up kid who now suddenly wants to go to college. I am just trying to help him get what he earned, get him back to where he should be if he had legal status,” Hirschi said.

Hirschi has started a fundraiser for Jarond to assist in paying for the schooling through Gofundme.com.


Jarond College Education Fundraiser

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.



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  • My Evil Twin June 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    And once again, DSU seems to have their faces covered in egg. I have no problem with them following the law on this. I have a BIG problem with the inept way this scholarship was researched, prior to making the offer.
    I hope sincerely, that Jarond will continue his education, pursue US Citizenship and go on to have a fulfilling life. His attitude in this is commendable, all things considered.

  • Myian Peters June 9, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    That’s funny us vets can’t get in to the Dr. Office and die everyday. Then we have good people from enterprise ok we have people from enterprise help support a none us citizen maybe aiding a law breaker. What is the kids dream? Should be to become an American citizen. Then what else may follow. I had a friend who once broke the law we all supported him by turning him over to the police but that’s a different story cause he was white. (Deceased) I hope the people who are supporting this young man they themselves are here and are citizens or they own a big farm down in enterprise that hire all the people from the south that aren’t here as citizens. Then you make them rent from you to keep their job buy food from you, gas and anything else you can charge to them and take it from their wages. I am glad that enterprise high school has a student that has that high of grade point, when we played sports against them I saw a lot of the reports cards and to get a 3.91 I would have had to add 8 of their grade points together. I guess at least we finally got some one moved into enterprise that can read, write, and do math. Congratulations young man for working hard.

    • Mandi B June 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Myian Peters, I debated on whether to even bother responding to you or not but I cannot sit by and let you attack my hometown the way you have. I have no idea who you are or where you live but I will tell you that you had no business saying what you did about Enterprise. If you researched you would find that our school has a lot of kids who get great grades and we always have. Our kids not only get good grades but we have great athletes, great musicians, great actors/actresses and wonderful people in this community. Enterprise kids are some of the hardest working kids I know. They work hard for what they get, it is not handed to them on a silver platter. I have talked to many employers in various locations who have said they would hire a kid from Enterprise any chance they get because they know they won’t regret it and can’t go wrong. We try to raise our children to be respectful and kind and to treat others with decency and we have succeeded. I am sorry for whatever has happened in your life to give you such an impression about us and our community that would cause you to be so hateful and rude. I just hope someday you can find happiness so that you don’t feel the need to degrade another community and people like you have. I am just grateful I have found a place like Enterprise to live and raise my children in. It is a wonderful place with wonderful people!

  • Dumb as a rock June 9, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    I have studied stupidity for more years than I d like to count. The more people I’meet in southern utah prove this. They support what ever thing that makes them feel right. I hope they know how hot hell is. St. George is a good place to practice it. The main church here holds there congregation back won’t let women make choices in what position they want to do. Also a lot no more about their neighbors that their spouse. I pray for them daily, I heard now they think if you follow a rainbow to the end you’ll find you gay son or daughter in a pot of gold. Has any one else heard or believe this stuff about the rain bow being a sign of gay mormon children. To find each other or pot, let me know at [email protected]
    Nukes for help

    • Brian June 10, 2014 at 9:12 am

      No one gets to choose what position they hold in the church, regardless of gender, age, or experience. Same as Moses, Aaron, or anyone else that has been called by God to do something (see Hebrews 5:4). As for the rainbow and the pot of gold, I think you should stay away from the other kind of pot, it isn’t helping. I do hope you find peace and happiness.

  • Marty benson June 9, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I can’t believe I just read this, yes there are gays at the end of the rainbow as for what is taught. Always support rainbows. Your children may be depending on it. You sir may want to study more religion

  • EL JEFE June 10, 2014 at 9:43 am

    This young man has no one other to blame than his law breaking parents. Granted, it is no fault of his own. This is the position that these illegal immigrants put their children in. Without thinking ahead of the consequences they inflict on their small children when they CHOSE to break the law by coming to this country illegally. Actions have consequences and now this young man, through no fault of his own, has to suffer the actions of his parents. Yes, it is sad that this has happened and hope there is some form of assistance for him. Yet it is difficult for some to accept this as we struggle to provide for our own USA born children.

  • jcm53byu June 11, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Before any of us cast stones on immigration it is important we remember that the original ‘illegal aliens’ in Utah were the Mormon pioneers.

    • Mike June 11, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      Pioneers weren’t illegal aliens. There were no immigration laws in the territory at the time of the westward migration.

      • jcm53byu June 13, 2014 at 1:51 pm

        Not sure which laws you are referring to Mike? Are you saying that the Mormon pioneers had permission from the Mexican government to settle here? Can’t imagine that, especially after the Mormon supported the US in the war by forming the Mormon Battalion.

  • Bushnell June 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    It’s true BYU. It’s I for one is greatful for the Mormons coming and teaching us how to grow corn and irrigate as many of the people here died of thrust and lived only on small rodents and insects. God bless you for pointing that out

  • Mylan Peters June 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I apologize to anyone I may offend, my comment was about a town down south in Alabama. So much for being a new move in.

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