Are you currently looking for scholarships for undocumented students? Undocumented students living in United States are basically people with no proper documentation, which are also called illegal immigrant. Is there any possibility for these types of students to collect scholarships? You will learn about it in a moment.
First, let’s talk about the federal student aid eligibility. According to their site, eligible students for the federal student aid should be a US citizen or green card holder or eligible non-citizen. All three are basically documented student, so in general any of the Federal student aid (such as Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG grant, etc) is not available for undocumented students
That said, there are some states in the U.S. allowing these students to pay their college using in-state tuition rates. These states are California, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. There’s a catch, though. The undocumented student must have attended high school within that state for three years or more. It is important to note that there are some exceptions. For example, the Maryland only supports in-state tuition for undocumented students in their community college. Meanwhile, the status of either documented or undocumented students is irrelevant for in-state tuition in higher education in Nevada. However, you can’t apply for state-sponsored scholarships.
The next best bet for undocumented students are the scholarships coming from private foundations. There are several private scholarships that doesn’t consider the student’s status as undocumented person (meaning that these students don’t have social security number).
There are also the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) that provide several scholarships available for undocumented students. To get more information about this opportunity, you should visit the link provided in our reference section below.
If you’re not Hispanic, there are still a bunch of other scholarships opportunities available. What you need is the will to look for it. There are several scholarships in United States that doesn’t require you to be U.S. citizen. Usually these scholarships are looking for other qualities, including merits in specific subjects, ethnic background, etc.
How to Search Scholarships for Undocumented Students in U.S.
Below are some tips on how to search for this type of scholarship:
- To start your search, go to your high school guidance counselor and ask about the scholarship opportunities available for undocumented students
- Ask your local religious organizations whether they sponsor scholarships without considering the nationality of the student
- Contact the college office and local education organizations to inquire about the opportunity available for undocumented students.
- Undocumented students with merits or achievements in sports should try to speak to their coach or related organizations and ask about the available scholarship opportunities.
- Last but not least, contact your home country and ask whether there is government or private scholarship programs available for student abroad.
Getting financial aid for undocumented students is a struggle, that I’m sure. However, don’t give up easily, because getting a degree is very important for your future and career. Maintain your perseverance and I am sure you can find scholarships for undocumented students.
- Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students : finaid.org/otheraid/undocumented.phtml
- Scholarship Resources : maldef.org/leadership/scholarships
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund : latinocollegedollars.org
- Financing College: Options for Undocumented Students : simpletuition.com/college-finances/options-undocumented-students
- Image : immigrantconnect.medill.northwestern.edu