On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama created a new policy that called for deferred action for eligible undocumented youth and young adults who came to the country as children. Under DACA, undocumented immigrants are granted deferral of deportation from the United States, as well as access to Social Security numbers and renewable two-year work permits.
To be eligible for DACA, students must meet the following official requirements from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS (see link below).
An encouraging fact undocumented students should keep in mind when considering college: No federal law requires proof of citizenship to be admitted to U.S. colleges. Most institutions set their own admission policies. While it is true that undocumented status limits a student’s choices, it is possible to find a college or university that accepts undocumented students and provides the sort of funding that makes attending feasible. Students need to do a fair bit of research to determine if a school can accommodate them. Part of this research will involve directly contacting the school and asking questions about the school’s policy on undocumented students and, if it does recognize and accept them, the typical enrollment procedure.
Undocumented students should not hesitate to express their desire to go to college. Thanks to the Family Education Rights and Privacy act, school officials can’t disclose personal information (including immigration status) about students. Undocumented students should start by asking their high school teachers and counselors for advice. Such mentors may be able to direct students to college admission counselors or pair them with other undocumented students who have either successfully enrolled in college or are aspiring to enroll.
Other than immigration status, undocumented students are no different than any other student. There are some basic ways of ensuring they are accepted into a public college or university. Each school has different admissions requirements. Those listed here are general things students can do to better their chances of getting into a school.
- Step-by-Step Guide for DREAMers Applying for DACA
- Frequently Asked Questions about DACA
- Evidence Required When Submitting a DACA Request
- DACA Document Retrieval Guide for San Francisco Bay Area Applicants
- Steps to Prepare for Your DACA Renewal
- NEW: New Q&As About DACA Now That Trump Is President
➡️ EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS:
Resources below include resources for both DACA & undocumented students.
- Traveling With Advance Parole: A Guide for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Beneficiaries
- Traveling With Advance Parole: Webinar Presentation Recording
- Got DACA, Now What? What To Know When Your DACA Request Is Approved
- Advice for DACA Recipients Applying to Scholarships
- Scholarships for Undocumented Undergrad Students
- DREAMERS Roadmap for Scholarships
➡️ PAYING FOR COLLEGE
Students can apply for any scholarship that does not require U.S. citizenship and/or state residency. Even if the application asks for a social security number, it is wise to ask whether an Individual Taxpayer Number (ITIN) will be sufficient. (See how to obtain an ITIN.)
- Q & As About Paying For College
- RHC Scholarship List (Note: Undocumented students/DACAmented students may not be eligible for all of the scholarships listed. Read requirements before applying).
➡️ EARNING A LIVING
➡️ OTHER RELATED RESOURCES
- Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies Every Undocumented Young Person Should Know About
- Advice on Getting Legal Help
- DACA Educator Toolkit
➡️ KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Everyone living in the United States—including undocumented immigrants—has certain basic rights under the U.S. Constitution.
- Know Your Rights (English & Spanish) (National Immigrant Law Center)
- Know Your Rights Card (Immigrant Legal Resource Center)
- Know Your Rights During Immigration Raids (National Immigration Project)
Source: Educators for Fair Consideration