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 Oregon as a Comprehensive Access 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 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 Oregon||228,000|
|First-Generation Immigrant Students||13,000|
|Second-Generation Immigrant Students||42,000|
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 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.
|Share of All Students in Higher Education Who Are Undocumented||1.3%|
Note: Undocumented students are a sub-group of first-generation students.
International students comprise only 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 Education||7,613|
|Economic Contributions of International Students in the State||$249.6 million|
|Jobs Supported by International Students in the State||2,173|
|Optional Practical Training (OPT) Participants||1,617|
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 Oregon||415,986|
|Immigrant Share of Total Population||9.9%|
|Undocumented Immigrants in State||93,469|
|DACA-Eligible Residents in State||11,093|
|Spending Power of DACA-Eligible Residents||$232.2 million|
|DACA-Eligible Residents Federal Tax Contributions||$38.6 million|
|DACA-Eligible Residents State and Local Tax Contributions||$26.3 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||17.3%|
|Share of Nurses Who Are First-Generation Immigrants||7.4%|
|Share of Health Aides Who Are First-Generation Immigrants||15.9%|
|First-Generation Immigrant Faculty and Staff in Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools||9,518|
|Share of First-Generation Immigrants With a Postsecondary Credential||49%|
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
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
Accessible: Policies allow undocumented individuals to obtain occupational licensure in one or more professions regardless of their immigration status, provided that they meet all other requirements.
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.
Oregon provides eligible undocumented residents, including DACA recipients, with access to in-state tuition, state financial aid, and driver licenses and state identification.
Undocumented residents, including DACA recipients, can also access certain professional and occupational licenses.
Oregon House Bill (H.B.) 2787, signed into law on April 2, 2013, provides eligible undocumented students, including DACA recipients, with access to in-state tuition. Students must meet certain requirements to access in-state tuition, including:
- Demonstrate five years of attendance at a primary or secondary school in the United States prior to receiving a high school diploma or equivalent in Oregon;
- Attended an Oregon primary or secondary school for at least three years prior to receiving a high school diploma or equivalent in Oregon;
- Received a high school diploma from a secondary school in Oregon or received the equivalent of a high school diploma; and
- Show intention to become a citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) in the United States, including submitting an official copy of registration forms for immigration or deferred action programs as well as an affidavit stating the student has applied for a federal individual taxpayer number.
Oregon Senate Bill (S.B.) 553, signed into law on July 27, 2021, provides certain individuals admitted to the United States as refugees or who have a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) with access to in-state tuition at any of the state’s undergraduate or graduate degree programs.
Refugee In-State Tuition: Oregon Senate Bill (S.B.) 1522, passed in 2021, (OR ST § 352.287) provides certain individuals admitted to the United States as refugees or who have a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) with access to in-state tuition at any of the state’s undergraduate or graduate degree programs without the requirement to establish residency so long as they have not previously established residence in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia other than Oregon.
Oregon Senate Bill (S.B.) 932, signed into law on August 12, 2015, provides undocumented students, including DACA recipients, with access to state financial aid.
Undocumented students must meet the criteria set in H.B. 2787 to be eligible for the state’s financial aid assistance and grants.
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 Oregon, the following institutions are TheDream.US Partner Colleges:
- Western Oregon University.
Undocumented residents, including DACA recipients, can access certain professional and occupational licenses.
Oregon Senate Bill (S.B.) 854, signed into law on June 20, 2019, directs the state’s professional licensing boards to accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or other federally-issued identification number in lieu of a Social Security Number (SSN) on certain applications for professional licenses. S.B. 854 directs professional licensing boards to accept only an SSN, not an ITIN, if federal or state law explicitly requires an SSN.
Undocumented immigrants living in Oregon are eligible to obtain a driver license. House Bill (H.B.) 2015, signed into law on August 9, 2019 and effective as of January 1, 2021, provides the state’s undocumented residents with access to a non-REAL ID driver license or state identification card. Applicants must provide evidence of identity, date of birth, and a Social Security Number (SSN) or a written statement that they have not been issued an SSN, among other requirements.
DACA recipients in Oregon are allowed to obtain a driver license or state identification card.
Oregon is considering legislation that will expand in-state tuition for students granted humanitarian parole, asylum, or conditional permanent residency or Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Oregon Senate Bill (S.B.) 1522, introduced February 1, 2022, expands in-state tuition to those granted humanitarian parole, asylum, or conditional permanent residency or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by any federal agency, provided that the individual has not previously established residence in any state or territory of the United States or District of Columbia. The bill states that any shall student will be exempt from paying nonresident tuition and fees for enrollment as an undergraduate student or as a graduate student in a degree program at a public university if the student:
- is not a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or who is a refugee, special immigrant visa holder or COFA islander is eligible to receive scholarships and other financial aid from public universities listed in ORS 352.002; and
- shows an intention to become a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States by submitting to the public university the student attends or plans to attend an official copy of the student’s application to register with a federal immigration program or deferral program or a statement of intent that the student will seek to obtain citizenship as permitted under federal law.
Effective Practices and State Resources
Spotlight on effective practices and policy, research, or community-based state resources.
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
Report: The Post-DACA Generation is Here
A new report finds that an estimated 100,000 undocumented students will graduate from high school in 2022, with most of them not eligible for DACA. The new FWD.us report, published in May 2022, The Post-DACA Generation is Here, explains how DACA’s unavailability impacts undocumented youth in the U.S.Continue Reading
Expanding Refugee Access to In-state Tuition
We have identified a limited number of states, that have passed legislation allowing refugee students to access in-state tuition.Continue Reading