College Options for Undocumented Students
Although there is no federal law that requires proof of citizenship to be admitted to U.S. colleges, undocumented students face their own set of hurdles in the application process. Here are some institutions and states that make college more attainable for undocumented students.
Private Colleges that Accept Undocumented Students as Domestic Students
Many colleges consider undocumented students to be international students, which means that undocumented students might have to compete with other international students for a limited pool of financial aid. But, when a college considers an undocumented student to be domestic, the student will be more likely to receive a good financial aid package.
The following private colleges have public policies on their acceptance of undocumented students as domestic students:
- Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)
- Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio)
- Tufts University (Medford, Mass.)
- Emory University (Atlanta)
- Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, Pa.)
States That Offer Undocumented Students In-State Tuition
Undocumented students, including students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, are not eligible to receive federal financial aid. However, undocumented students may be eligible for state student financial aid in some states.
Undocumented students who attended high school for at least the last two years in certain states could be eligible for in-state tuition. As of 2015, the following states allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
A number of these states also allow undocumented students to receive state-level financial aid. Reach out to college financial aid offices to learn more.
Colleges That Meet 100 Percent of Financial Need for Undocumented Students
College Greenlight has a list of more than 30 colleges that meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for undocumented students. These colleges pledge to meet a student’s full need through grants, student employment, scholarships, and, in some cases, student loans. Schools on this list vary in the ways they meet undocumented students’ demonstrated financial need.