A closer look: Notre Dame changes admission policies

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By Jasmine Norwood

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame is changing its admission policy to accept undocumented students. ABC 57 interviewed an undocumented college student about how this change is not only making history, but also, has the potential to change lives. 

"Just being able to say I am a college student is an honor," said Dara Marquez, an undocumented student, now a junior at Saint Mary's College.  

Marquez was born in Mexico, her parents brought her to the United States when she was just three years old.

 She has lived here most of her life, but she is undocumented.

She says majoring in chemical engineering at Saint Mary's College is an opportunity she is forever grateful for.

 "I appreciate that 'A' or 'A' that I get on a hard test because I know that I worked hard for it and it's not just me working hard for it, but its my mom, working more than eight hours a day to be able to provide for my tuition."

Notre Dame is now joining Saint Mary's College and Holy Cross, in accepting undocumented immigrants as students.

"It was a huge deal when we first heard the announcement," exclaimed Juan Rangal, President of the Notre Dame Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy, "This is something that we had been waiting to hear and we were working towards, so it was a great success."

But not everyone is thrilled about the university’s decision. 

"There is a lot of fear now that these students will take the place of American citizens," explained Rangal.

He says that this is a step in the right direction, but with tuition of over $60,000 a year, it isn't an option for a lot of people.

"The reality is very few undocumented students will be able to attend Notre Dame, but this give hope to so many families."

The university says it will help with financial aid in some capacity for any undocumented students that it accepts.

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