Official: Voter registration not a threat to financial aid

A recent voter registration incident at Virginia Tech has prompted concern among students that registering using their university addresses might cost them their financial aid.

TCU students need not worry about voting penalizations, because voter registration is not used to determine residency in consideration for federal financial aid, said Michael Scott, director of scholarships and student financial aid.

“It’s a nonissue,” Scott said.

But at Virginia Tech, students were led to believe it was an issue.

In late August, as a voter registration drive-by supporters of Sen. Barack Obama, was signing up thousands of students, the local registrar of elections issued two incorrect releases pertaining to students who used their school addresses to register, The New York Times reported Sept. 8.

The releases warned these students could no longer be claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns and could lose scholarships or coverage under their parents’ car and health insurance, The Times reported. The Internal Revenue Service said this was incorrect, according to the article.

A 1979 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Symm v. U.S., allowed students to register at their college address, said Adam Goldstein, an attorney advocate with the Student Press Law Center.

Randall Dillard, director of communications for Texas secretary of state Hope Andrade, said Texas students have two choices: they can either register in the county where they attend school or in the county of their permanent address. Out-of-state students should consult with officials from their home state on regulations and guidelines, Dillard said.

Oct. 6 is the last day to complete voter registration for the Nov. 4 presidential election, Dillard said.