It’s never easy to apply for and win scholarships, but it’s even tougher if you’re undocumented and ineligible to apply for federal/state financial aid or scholarships requiring a Social Security number. Thankfully, there are a few helpful resources for undocumented students to help with affording higher education.
Important Tips for Undocumented Students
- Students are not required to disclose their immigration status on college applications, which includes leaving all questions regarding citizenship status or Social Security numbers blank.
- Undocumented students are not eligible for any federal or state financial aid, and they are also not eligible for any government-backed student loans. They should not file the FAFSA.
These tips were provided by Corrie Rosasharn of Clover Park School District (Lakewood, WA) and shared with her permission.
In-State Tuition Eligibility
One way to save on the costs of college is through paying in-state tuition at a public college or university. Depending on your residency status, you might be eligible for in-state tuition. Some states have passed legislation allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition. For students in the state of Washington, visit the Washington Student Achievement Council’s website to learn if you are eligible. If you are a student attending school outside of Washington state, check FinAid.org’s helpful list to determine if you meet your state’s residency criteria.
- Students in WA | For more on in-state tuition opportunities (often referred to as HB 1079 after the name of the house bill allowing for undocumented students in WA to pay in-state tuition), check this link, this link, and this link. You will also need to fill out this affidavit in order to pay in-state tuition.
Scholarship Resources for Undocumented Students
If you’re searching for scholarship opportunities that do not require U.S. citizenship or a Social Security number, peruse the scholarship resources listed below:
- Scholarship Guides recommended by William Perez, Ph.D. | Dr. Perez is a leading expert on immigration issues and focuses particularly on immigrant students.
- Resources (For Students) listed by Beyond HB 1079 | The inaugural “Beyond HB 1079″ conference at the University of Washington in 2012 brought together leading advocates for undocumented students and offers numerous rich resources for students.
- Scholarships for All Students | Presented by the Higher Education Access Alliance in Colorado
Other Related Questions
Paying for college as an undocumented student can be a significant challenge and will require even harder work, greater effort, and more strategic planning than for most students, but it is still possible. If you have any other questions regarding how to pay for college as an undocumented student, feel free to ask us via our Contact page or email secrets [@] scholarshipjunkies.com. You may also contact Alejandra Perez from FeedMyCollegeFund at ale [@] feedmycollegefund.org.