Undocumented Students Can Go to College

January 19, 2015 5:00 am
by David Jakeman

For undocumented students who live in Illinois, there is the possibility for in-state tuition. In order to save money this way, the student must meet three main requirements. First, the college student must have been a resident in Illinois for three years during high school. Next, the student must have graduated from an Illinois high school, or earned their GED in the state. Finally, the undocumented student must write an affidavit to stating that he or she intends to become a lawful permanent resident as soon as it is possible. Because of the privacy protection provided by FERPA, this affidavit information is confidential and generally cannot be released to the government or immigration officials

In Missouri, St. Louis Community College recently lowered rates for undocumented students who graduated from a Missouri high school. University of Missouri-St. Louis offers lower rates for students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status. Unfortunately, the Missouri legislature and political pressure have caused many colleges to restrict services for undocumented students. To find out the most recent college policies, students can contact international student offices to ask about tuition rates for DACA or non-resident students.

Once an undocumented student has chosen his or her preferred college, there are resources available to help pay for costs. For undocumented students who are eligible for DACA, state program such as the Illinois Dream fund. Because undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid, private scholarships, private loans, and university scholarships are very important. Also, even if in-state tuition is out of reach, many international student offices can help undocumented students plan for out-of-state or international tuition rates.

College admission may seem complicated, but don’t give up! If you or your child wants to discuss the college options available to undocumented students, call us for a consultation.

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