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Washington Governor Signs The Real Hope Act

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, center, poses for a photo with a group of students, after he signed into law a measure that expands state financial aid to students living illegally in the country, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash.

Washington is now the fourth state in the nation to give college students who are in the country illegally access to state-funded financial aid.

Wednesday, hundreds of students cheered as Governor Jay Inslee signed the “Real Hope Act" in as a bill. Formerly called the “Dream Act,” Inslee told supporters it doesn’t matter what you call it.

“What’s important is what it will do for thousands of bright, talented, and very hard working students across the state of Washington,” said the governor.

The bill will add $5 million to the pot, which will cover another 1,000 or so grants.

Critics of this measure point out though the financial aid program is already underfunded. Right now, only seven out of every 10 students who qualify for the grant actually get it. Meanwhile, the Real Hope Act will add another 800 or more students to the pool of eligibility.