It is difficult for undocumented students or dreamers to have access to financial aid. This is because dreamers are student immigrants without legal immigration status. For this reason, it becomes imperative to discuss how undocumented students can access financial aid. This is necessary because it will enable them to fulfil their educational dreams.
Crossing the hurdle of obtaining a federal loan may be daunting but it’s possible through determination and discipline. Let’s find out how shall we?
Search for Scholarships for Undocumented Immigrants
Essentially, TheDream.US provides scholarship opportunities for undocumented students who meet the eligibility criteria. In fact, a national scholarship valued at $14,500 is awarded to qualified students gunning for an associate degree. A scholarship valued at $29,000 is also awarded for those gunning for a bachelor’s degree. The scholarship is renewable annually with additional stipends of $1,000 for transportation, books, and supplies.
Securing financial aid from private sources is equally a viable option. However, this option falls short of materializing when there is an inability to provide family members to co-sign the loan. It also fails to materialize when their family members are without social security numbers. This makes the process cumbersome and seemingly impossible.
Apply for State Financial Aid
Some states within the US (New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey) have made it possible for eligible undocumented students to have access to state financial aid. This makes it possible to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship, a free-tuition program; the New York State Tuition Assistance Program, etc. Fortunately, the University of California makes resources available including student financial aid.
Leverage on In-State Tuition Opportunities
This is offered by twenty states and the District of Columbia. But you have to meet the basic requirements of this program offered by public colleges in California and Texas. You also need to have resided in the state for a number of years. So, as an undocumented student, where you live matters.