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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 West Virginia140,000
International Students3,680

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.

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 Education3,680
Economic Contributions of International Students in the State$116.1 million
Jobs Supported by International Students in the State1,052
Optional Practical Training (OPT) Participants163

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 West Virginia27,564
Immigrant Share of Total Population1.5%

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
First-Generation Immigrant Faculty and Staff in Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools2,141

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

    No State Policy: No known policies on access to in-state tuition or state financial aid for the state's DACA recipients and undocumented students.

  • Professional & Occupational Licensure Workforce Entry & Eligibility

    Limited: Policies allow individuals with work authorization, such as DACA recipients, to obtain occupational licensure in one or more professions that require licensure.

  • 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.

Enacted Policies

West Virginia does not appear to have policies that provide undocumented residents, including DACA recipients, with access to in-state tuition and state financial aid. The state allows individuals with valid employment authorization, including DACA recipients, to obtain a teaching license.

West Virginia does not provide undocumented residents with access to driver licenses and state identification.

In-State Tuition

West Virginia does not appear to have policies that expand access to in-state tuition to the state’s undocumented students.

State Financial Aid

West Virginia does not appear to have policies regarding access to state financial aid for undocumented students.

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 West Virginia, undocumented and DACA students may be eligible for a scholarship to attend the following out-of-state institutions:

  • Christian Brothers University;
  • Delaware State University;
  • Eastern Connecticut State University; and,
  • Trinity Washington University (Women’s College).
Professional & Occupational Licensure

West Virginia Senate Bill (S.B.) 623, signed into law on March 5, 2020, allows non-U.S. citizens, including DACA recipients, who have a valid employment authorization document (EAD) to apply for and obtain a teacher certificate.

Driver Licenses

Undocumented immigrants in West Virginia do not have access to a driver license or state identification card.

DACA recipients in West Virginia 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.

  • Effective Practice

    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.

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