DACA recipients face unique challenges when applying for and attending college. Resources such as financial aid and navigating state and federal policies are critical for success. Fortunately, there is a wealth of online resources dedicated to the academic success of students with DACA status. See below for those resources.
Finding DACA-Friendly Colleges and Universities
Different states and schools have different policies, making it difficult to know which options might be a good fit for undocumented students. Fortunately, there are many DACA-college-related resources online, listing general information in addition to specific lists of public and private schools that not only welcome DACA students, but have comprehensive and supportive policies for undocumented students.
Scholarships, Grants, and Loans
Financial considerations are extremely important for most DACA students. Unfortunately, undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants. However, federal aid is not the only source of financial aid available.
DACA recipients can consider applying for as many scholarships as they are eligible for. Scholarships do not have to be paid back and generally have specific requirements such as gender, background, academic performance, and area of study.
Some scholarship search platforms allow users to filter by different criteria, such as scholarships open to undocumented students.
Although undocumented students aren’t eligible for federal aid, some states do offer financial aid to DACA students.
Students with DACA status can also secure loans through private lenders, though the policies and terms vary. As with any lending situation, undocumented students should be extremely careful before moving forward with an educational loan.
Preparing for College Applications and Interviews
Once a student has chosen some DACA-friendly schools and considered different financial aid options, there is still the college application process to consider. Students who work with an immigration social worker might be able to get support from their case worker on interview tips or resources for writing college application materials.
Accessing Educational Resources and Support Services
There are many step-by-step DACA college guides and other resources available online for DACA recipients who want to attend college. Various organizations and support groups are dedicated to assisting undocumented immigrants in reaching their financial goals. Campus resources can also provide different types of support for DACA students, ranging from English language learning to mental health support. Luckily, there are countless online resources available for helping students who are determined to earn a degree and build the life of their dreams.