GoDaddy founder to cover tuition for ASU undocumented students

By: - January 28, 2020 8:18 am

Arizona State University graduates in December 2010. Photo by Kevin Dooley | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

A new private scholarship will cover tuition and academic coaching for 35 immigrant students at Arizona State University who are state residents but don’t qualify for the in-state tuition rate because of a 2006 voter-approved law that prohibits the use of state funds to subsidize tuition for undocumented people. 

The ASU Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university, announced last week the scholarship will be created thanks to a three-year, $937,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. 

The Parsons Scholarship at ASU will cover about $5,355 in each student’s annual tuition. 

Bob Parsons founded GoDaddy, which is based in Scottsdale. He sold most of his interest in the the company in 2011.

ASU Foundation spokeswoman Debbie Williams said the Parsons Scholarship is available to all immigrant students who qualify for the Non-Resident Tuition Rate for Arizona High School Graduates. This is a reduced tuition rate only available to undergraduate students. It is set at 150% of the annual cost of in-state tuition but is $12,735 cheaper than the out-of-state rate at ASU.

That reduced rate, first instituted in the state’s public universities in 2015, initially only covered immigrant youth who have protections from deportation and are authorized to work under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. 

Since the Trump Administration announced in 2017 that it will phase out DACA, undocumented immigrant youth who would’ve qualified for deferred deportation and a work permit can no longer benefit from the program. Because no new immigrant teenagers can participate in DACA, the Arizona Board of Regents voted in August to expand the reduced tuition rate to all students who graduate from a state high school, regardless of their immigration status and residency.

Last fall, 388 students qualified for the reduced tuition rate at ASU, according to university spokeswoman Herminia Rincon. She said Spring 2020 figures are not available. 

Undocumented youth are not eligible for federal or state financial aid, so they often rely on private grants. Every year, 2,000 youth without an immigration status graduate from Arizona high schools, a Migration Policy Institute study estimated. 

Anita Verdugo Tarango oversees DREAMzone at ASU, which is a resource center that focuses on supporting undocumented, DACA and students with families of mixed immigration status.

Verdugo welcomed the Parsons Scholarship.

“Any resources for DACA or undocumented students are needed in this state,” she said. 

Williams, of the ASU Foundation, said the Parsons Scholarship is meant to “mitigate the risk” of immigrant students dropping out of universities because of financial reasons.

“Additionally, Parsons Scholars will receive supplemental education on financial literacy and academic coaching to, again, further their potential for academic success,” she said. 

The Parsons scholarship application is accessible online at,

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Laura Gómez
Laura Gómez

Laura Gómez Rodriguez previously covered state politics and immigration for the Arizona Mirror.