ST. GEORGE — A southern Utah honor student has been denied a full scholarship after it was originally awarded. Dixie State University said the scholarship was taken back after it learned he was not a citizen of the United States.
Roberto Jardon graduated from Enterprise High School with a 3.91 grade point average. While in his senior year of school, Jardon applied to Dixie State and was awarded a full in-state tuition scholarship.
“It was one of the biggest moments in my life, thinking, 'Oh this is great, my parents don’t have to worry about college for me,'” Jardon said. “It was just a completely amazing moment.”
But after looking for other aid associated with school, Jardon was told he could not receive federal money because he was under deferred action status — a status that does not allow Jardon to accept federal or state money.
He does qualify for in-state tuition under state law, but he would still be required to pay the full cost. The university, however, is working to get him into work study programs and internships, which Jardon was happy to accept.
"There's thousands of kids just like me out there that are faced with the situation of I want to go to college and I've worked so hard to get there all through high school. Now when it comes time to (go to college), I can't really receive all the stuff that I've worked for."
“I don’t want anybody to get in trouble because of the situation. I just want to see what options are available to me,” Jardon said. “It just seemed like a great deal for me because I at least still get the money somehow.”
“There’s thousands of kids just like me out there that are faced with the situation of I want to go to college and I’ve worked so hard to get there all through high school,” Jardon added. “Now when it comes time to (go to college), I can’t really receive all the stuff that I’ve worked for.”
Jardon’s friends say he’s earned the scholarship with his good grades and deserves to go to school without paying tuition. As a result, his friends, with the help of one of their mothers, ShaRee Hirschi, have started a GoFundMe campaign to help Jardon pay for his schooling.
“He’s an amazing kid, he’s going to figure out his future on his own,” Hirschi said. “I’m just trying to help finance it for him. He earned this scholarship by his grades, by his ACT. It’s unfortunate the circumstances of the laws.”
Jardon’s family came to Utah when he was 6 years old and he is not a legal citizen of the United States.