If you are an undocumented student, it can be a challenge to attend college in the United States. But, while lack of documentation can be a problematic issue, it is one that can be overcome. There are 3 areas where undocumented students will have obstacles to address. These include admissions, tuition, and financial aid. We have compiled a list of tips that can help you on your journey to a higher education.
While searching for a school that meets your needs and is the best fit for you, it is important to research what programs they have in place that support immigrant students. You can find useful information by perusing college websites and school publications to see if the school offers the programs that you will need.
Although you are not eligible for federal loans, there are other ways to pay for higher education. Get in touch with your school’s financial aid office to see if there are any state programs available to help you pay for school. You may be able to take out a student loan from a private lender. If you’re considering taking out a private college loan, it’s important that you investigate and shop around to find just the right loan to meet your needs. You may know someone that can cosign for you in order to shore up the approval process.
Build a Support Team
Although you are the one who will have to overcome the difficulties of entering the college of your choice and doing the work required of you, it is important that you have a support system in place. Start with your family. Let them know your dreams and desires for attending college. Let them be your sounding board, like listening to you and helping you decide how to handle difficult issues like tuition and financial aid. Former teachers and counselors are often good resources to utilize when you are making tough educational decisions.
Investigate Admissions Policies
Currently, there are no federal or state laws that prohibit undocumented students from attending college. There are no laws that require students to prove citizenship to attend a school of higher education in the U.S. However, even though there are no laws to prevent entrance, many 4-year colleges require that applicants provide proof of residency as well as proof of citizenship before attending classes. As you can see, colleges have their own rules about the admittance of undocumented students. Researching the admissions policies of any school you are interested in attending should be a top priority. If you do search diligently and do your research, you will find the right school. Find a good immigration lawyer to help you here.
Some colleges and universities will accept students without documents, but they classify them as foreign students, making them ineligible for federal financial aid. This means that they are charged out-of-state tuition fees, even if they have lived in the state where they wish to attend school for a long time. Several states have passed laws that make undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition under certain conditions. You can obtain state financial aid in New York, New Jersey, and California. You need to check with the school of your choice and familiarize yourself with their policies. Getting the best tuition rates can be challenging, but it is not impossible.