Undocumented Students, DACA, or Dreamers
Diversity is a core value at Illinois State University, and we welcome all applicants regardless of citizenship status. Undocumented students, with or without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), who apply to Illinois State are treated identically to any U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
How to Apply
Undocumented students should follow the same application procedure as everyone else.
When answering the citizenship question, undocumented students should select "undocumented."
We do not require a Social Security number or proof of residency to apply. Undocumented students should leave the Social Security question blank.
Paying for College
Illinois State University is committed to supporting undocumented students in their dream of attaining a college degree. While undocumented and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students do not qualify for state or federal aid through the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) due to their status, there are other resources that can be pursued to help with educational costs.
If at any time your status changes, please let the Financial Aid Office know.
To qualify for federal financial aid, a student must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. A DACA student can have a Social Security number, but that alone does not qualify you for the FAFSA. If you are unsure of whether or not you can file a FAFSA, you can check eligibility requirements.
You do not have to file a FAFSA to be eligible for scholarships; however, state and federal laws prohibit Illinois State from awarding need-based state or federal aid to undocumented students.
The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act allows eligible undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid provides a pathway for these qualified students to apply for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, the state's largest need-based grant program for low-income college students.
Learn more about the Alternative Application
The review process is the same for all students regardless of citizenship status.
Undocumented students are eligible for Illinois State departmental scholarships if they meet the scholarship's minimum requirements. Requirements will vary, and most do not require citizenship.
Scholarships by Major/Department
You are eligible to take out an alternative loan through any bank/lender of your choice. You will be required to have a U.S. citizen as your co-signer.
Students who have a work permit/visa are eligible to have an on-campus job at Illinois State.
By applying as a student from Illinois and meeting specific criteria, undocumented students may be eligible for the in-state tuition rate. Undocumented students will be asked to complete an affidavit. The affidavit is not required for an admissions decision but is necessary to secure in-state tuition.
Illinois State's Committee Assisting Undocumented Student Achievement (CAUSA) is a student, faculty, and staff organization that seeks to promote awareness about undocumented students on campus.
Undocumented students with questions are encouraged to contact these designated staff members.
Undocumented and DACA Liaison, Dean of Students Office
Specialist, Financial Aid Office
Student Health Insurance Manager, Student Health Services