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For some parents, education access is a concern they face every day. This is the fear of many undocumented families and students that are misled or not informed about college opportunities in the United States. Unfortunately, undocumented families are not informed about the universities that welcome undocumented students.
This post is the continuation of another post where I address the misconceptions that undocumented students experience about college opportunities. The first post titled undocumented students and the college process discusses how families and students may apply for colleges in the United States.
Identified and former English language learners are often students left behind and uninformed about the college application process. As a result, undocumented students hesitate and avoid asking questions and, in many cases, miss important application deadlines.
Below is a list of colleges and universities that welcome undocumented students. You’ll also find a list of states that charge in-state tuition rates for undocumented students who graduate from an in-state high school.
Who Can Help
It is never too early to prepare for the college application process. Thus, for undocumented families, college planning may need to begin even earlier. The application process can be a lengthy and complicated process that students may need help with. Fortunately, there are a number of professionals and organizations that may be able to help.
Parents and students should reach out to their ESL teacher and school guidance counselors to figure out college options early. Additionally, families shall contact local immigration and education agencies to help figure out the college application process. There are also a number of national organizations that focus on informing and supporting undocumented students. For instance, such organizations include thedream.us, Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC), United We Dream, and many more.
What to Do
Students should first find out whether their local universities and colleges accept undocumented students. Families can start by making a list. For instance, a student can begin to track which schools accept in-state tuition. Furthermore, families should also track which schools may offer scholarships. It may be necessary to call or email the college to ask these types of questions.
To help organize your search, you can begin by making a list as you research. To start your search, use the below form to download a checklist. Use the form to keep track of states and universities during research.
Universities with policies that offer in-state tuition to Undocumented Students
The below schools have policies that offer in-state tuition to undocumented students.
- The University of Hawaii Board of Regents
- Kentucky Council on Post-secondary Education
- University of Maine Board of Trustees
- University of Michigan Board of Regents
- Ohio Board of Regents
- Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
- Rhode Island’s Board of Governors for Higher Education
- In the state of Delaware: Delaware Technical Community College and the University of Delaware
States that allow DACA Students to be eligible for financial aid
There are several states that allow DACA students to be eligible for financial aid. For example, these states include Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, and the state of Washington.
States that offer financial assistance to undocumented students
In addition, there as a number of states that offer assistance to undocumented students: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
States that bar unauthorized immigrant students from in-state tuition benefits
Unfortunately, some states ban undocumented students from in-state tuition benefits. Meanwhile, these states offer no help: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, and South Carolina.
States that allow in-state tuition benefits
These states offer in-state tuition benefits: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington—and the District of Columbia.
Websites with guidance and information for undocumented students
A number of organizations provide resources to support and orient undocumented students in the United States. Generally, these agencies tend to offer this guidance free of charge to families. However, please note that this shortlist does not include all available websites or organizations that support undocumented students.
Feel free to share any other websites you may be aware of to add to this list.
In conclusion, the above resources do not guarantee entrance to a university. However, the states and universities mentioned here welcome undocumented students. In addition, some of these universities provide access to organizations that support undocumented students.