This state page integrates student data, economic contributions, state policies, effective practices, and other resources to learn about and better support the state’s undocumented, other immigrant, and international students in higher education.
We classify Oklahoma as a Accessible state in terms of inclusive in-state tuition and state financial aid policies for undocumented students. The Portal tracks state policies for undocumented students on in-state tuition, state financial aid, professional and occupational licensure, and driver licenses.
Higher education in the U.S. benefits from the participation of immigrant and international students. First and second-generation individuals comprise 31% 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 Oklahoma||144,000|
|First-Generation Immigrant Students||7,000|
|Second-Generation Immigrant Students||17,000|
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 408,000 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 Education||2,630|
|DACA-Eligible Students in Higher Education||1095|
|Undocumented Students Graduating High School Each Year||<1,000|
Note: Undocumented students are a sub-group of first-generation students.
International students comprise only 4 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 Education||7,651|
|Economic Contributions of International Students in the State||$218.9 million|
|Jobs Supported by International Students in the State||1,582|
|Optional Practical Training (OPT) Participants||800|
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 Oklahoma||217,967|
|Immigrant Share of Total Population||6%|
|Undocumented Immigrants in State||68,869|
|DACA-Eligible Residents in State||7,924|
|Spending Power of DACA-Eligible Residents||$128.9 million|
|DACA-Eligible Residents Federal Tax Contributions||$16.0 million|
|DACA-Eligible Residents State and Local Tax Contributions||$18.4 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 Immigrants||9.5%|
|First-Generation Immigrant Faculty and Staff in Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools||5,900|
|Share of First-Generation Immigrants With a Postsecondary Credential||65%|
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 (AIC) and international students (NAFSA).
Evaluating Access for Undocumented & Refugee 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. The section below on in-state tuition also includes policies related to refugee students.
In-State Tuition & State Financial Aid Access and Affordability
Accessible: Policies provide statewide access to in-state tuition for the state's undocumented students, including DACA recipients.
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
Restrictive: Policies do not provide the state's undocumented residents with access to driver licenses and state identification, but DACA recipients can still obtain a driver's license or state identification card.
Oklahoma provides eligible undocumented residents, including DACA recipients, with access to in-state tuition.
Oklahoma House Bill (H.B.) 1804, signed into law on May 8, 2007, provides eligible undocumented students, including DACA recipients, with access to in-state tuition. The bill allows the Oklahoma Board of Regents to expand in-state tuition to the state’s undocumented students if they meet certain requirements. After the bill’s passage, the board expanded in-state tuition access to undocumented students.
Students must meet certain requirements to access in-state tuition, including:
- Graduated from public or private high school in Oklahoma;
- Resided in Oklahoma with a parent or guardian while attending classes for at least 2 years prior to high school graduation;
- Secured admission to and enrolled in, an institution within the Oklahoma state system of higher education; and,
- Provided to the institution a copy of a true and correct application or petition filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to legalize the student’s status or signed an affidavit that the student will file for legal status when able.
Refugee In-State Tuition: Oklahoma does not appear to have state policies that expand access to in-state tuition to the state’s refugee students. Policies may vary by institution.
Oklahoma does not appear to provide undocumented students with access to state financial aid.
Oklahoma Senate Bill (S.B.) 596, signed into law on May 12, 2003, provided the state’s undocumented students with access to state financial aid. The bill states that students will not be disqualified on the basis of the student’s immigration status from any scholarships or financial aid provided by the state of Oklahoma. However, an amendment passed by the state legislature in 2007 (Title 70 Section 3242.1), appears to effectively bar undocumented students from accessing state financial aid, including the Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) and other state-funded programs.
Oklahoma does not appear to have legislation that affirmatively extends occupational and professional licensure to undocumented individuals, including DACA recipients.
Oklahoma Professional Licensure Requirements & Business Registration
To learn more about professional/occupational licensure requirements, review TheDream.US & Immigrant Finance Resource guide here.
To learn more about state business and tax registration requirements, review TheDream.US & Immigrant Finance Resource guide here.
The information in these guides is based on outreach to the state’s specific licensing boards and each state’s business and tax agencies from April to July 2023 and is subject to change. To get up to date information on requirements, individuals should verify with the appropriate state agency.
Undocumented immigrants in Oklahoma do not have access to a driver license or state identification card.
DACA recipients in Oklahoma 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.
Immigrant-Origin Students in U.S. Higher Education (Updated August 2023)
The report’s findings reveal the growing proportion of first and second generation immigrant students in postsecondary education, the diversity of these students, and their importance for future U.S. labor growth.Continue Reading
Report: Higher Education and Success for Undocumented Students Start with 9 Key Criteria
Higher Education is the key to achieving social & economic mobility in the U.S. The Education Trust analyzed 9 criteria in the 15 states with the largest shares of undocumented college students to determine whether state policies are helping or hurting undocumented students’ ability to access & complete college.Continue Reading
Higher Ed Guide to Tuition, Financial Aid, & Other Funding Opportunities for Undocumented Students
An overview of in-state tuition, state aid, and other funding opportunities for undocumented students.Continue Reading