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State Data

Higher education in the U.S. benefits from the participation of immigrant and international students. First and second-generation individuals comprise 28% of all students enrolled in higher education, a growing figure that underscores the importance of immigrant-origin students in the classroom and our workforce.

All Students in Higher Education in Maryland361,000
First-Generation Immigrant Students43,000
Second-Generation Immigrant Students69,000
International Students20,362

Note: First-generation immigrants were born abroad and immigrated to the U.S. Second-generation immigrants are U.S.-born individuals with at least one immigrant parent. First-generation immigrants include undocumented immigrants. First-generation immigrants do not include international students on a visa.

The U.S. is home to more than 427,000 undocumented students enrolled in higher education. In their pursuit of higher education, undocumented students actively ready themselves to fill critical skill shortages and become better positioned to support their families, communities, and the U.S. economy.

Undocumented Students in Higher Education9,730
Undocumented Students Graduating High School Each Year2,000

Note: Undocumented students are a sub-group of first-generation students.

International students comprise only 5.5 percent of all students in higher education, but provide significant economic, academic and cultural contributions that enrich learning, enrollment and funding opportunities for American students.

International Students in Higher Education20,362
Economic Contributions of International Students in the State$761.4 million
Jobs Supported by International Students in the State8,725
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Participants3,808

Note: Optional Practical Training participants are a subgroup of international students.

Immigrant residents, including undocumented immigrants and DACA-eligible residents, play an important role in the state's economy, contributing spending power and paying federal, state, and local taxes.

All Immigrant Residents in Maryland922,441
Immigrant Share of Total Population15.3%
Undocumented Immigrants in State237,845
DACA-Eligible Residents in State15,485
Spending Power of DACA-Eligible Residents$285.5 million
DACA-Eligible Residents Federal Tax Contributions$45.6 million
DACA-Eligible Residents State and Local Tax Contributions$36.1 million

Note: DACA-eligible residents are a sub-group of undocumented immigrant residents.

Higher education helps prepare all students, including immigrant and international students, to fill critical career and skills needs.

State Immigrant Workers Fill Critical Skills Needs
Share of STEM Workers Who Are First-Generation Immigrants22%
Share of Nurses Who Are First-Generation Immigrants26.7%
Share of Health Aides Who Are First-Generation Immigrants39.5%
First-Generation Immigrant Faculty and Staff in Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools26,561

Note: First-generation immigrants were born abroad and immigrated to the U.S.

You can find additional state data, including by congressional district, in the following resources by immigrant population (NAE) and international students (NAFSA).

State Policies

Evaluating Access for Undocumented Students

State policies in four key areas – in state tuition, state financial aid, professional and occupational licensure, and driver licenses – play an important role in expanding access to higher education and workforce development for undocumented students.

  • In-State Tuition & State Financial Aid Access and Affordability

    Comprehensive Access: Policies provide statewide access to in-state tuition and some state financial aid or scholarships for the state's resident DACA recipients and undocumented students.

  • Professional & Occupational Licensure Workforce Entry & Eligibility

    No State Policy: No policies identified that actively expand access to occupational licensure for individuals who do not have legal immigration status.

  • Driver Licenses & Identification Mobility

    Accessible: Policies provide the state’s undocumented residents with access to driver licenses and/or state identification regardless of their immigration status, but these are not REAL ID compliant.

Enacted Policies

Maryland provides eligible undocumented residents, including DACA recipients, with access to in-state tuition, state financial aid, and driver licenses and state identification.

The state does not appear to have legislation that extends occupational and professional licensure to undocumented individuals, including DACA recipients.

In-State Tuition

Maryland Senate Bill (S.B.) 167, signed into law on May 10, 2011, allows eligible undocumented students, including DACA recipients, to pay in-state tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities.

Undocumented students must attend a Maryland community college to qualify for in-state tuition at a public four-year institution. To qualify for in-state tuition at a community college, students must meet the following conditions:

  1. Attended a Maryland secondary school for a least three years;
  2. Graduated from a Maryland high school or received a GED;
  3. Register at a Maryland community college within four years of high school graduation or receiving a GED;
  4. Provide documentation that the student or the student’s parent or legal guardian has filed an annual Maryland income tax return for three years the individual attended a high school in the state, any period before attending community college, and the period of attendance; and,
  5. Sign an affidavit stating that they will apply for permanent residency within 30 days of becoming eligible.

Undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition at a state four-year college or university once they earn an associate’s degree or complete 60 credits at a Maryland community college. Students must also meet all other conditions for in-state tuition at community colleges and register at a public four-year institution within four years of finishing a community college degree or earning 60 credits.

State Financial Aid

Maryland Senate Bill (S.B.) 532, enacted on May 26, 2018, extends eligibility for certain state financial aid programs to undocumented students, including DACA recipients, who meet the conditions for in-state tuition and fill out the Maryland State Financial Aid Application.

Additional Financial Aid

TheDream.US is a national organization that offers scholarships to DACA and undocumented students attending eligible postsecondary institutions across the country. In Maryland, the following institution is a TheDream.US Partner College:

  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Professional & Occupational Licensure

Maryland does not appear to have legislation that affirmatively extends occupational and professional licensure to undocumented individuals, including DACA recipients.

Driver Licenses

Undocumented immigrants living in Maryland are eligible to obtain a driver license. Senate Bill (S.B.) 715, signed into law on May 2, 2013, provides undocumented immigrants the ability to apply for non-compliant driver’s licenses or state identification cards. Undocumented residents must meet certain requirements to apply for a driver license, including obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and filing Maryland income taxes for the 2 years before seeking a driver’s license.

DACA recipients in Maryland are allowed to obtain a driver license or state identification card.

Effective Practices and State Resources

Spotlight on effective practices and policy, research, or community-based state resources.

  • Research

    Undocumented Students in Higher Education (Updated March 2021)

    More than 427,000 undocumented students in the U.S. are enrolled in higher education, including 181,000 DACA-eligible individuals.

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  • Effective Practice

    Promising Practices: Montgomery College (WorkPlus+ Program)

    Program offering English language skills, occupational skills, and soft skills needed for the workforce and future education.

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