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Undocumented Students: FAQ

Undocumented students face unique challenges in their quest to obtain postsecondary education. Below are answers to frequently asked questions for undocumented students.

If I discuss my undocumented status with a counselor in the financial aid office at my school, is he or she required to report me to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

No. Financial aid counselors are not required to report undocumented students to ICE or USCIS.

However, under FERPA, a school or school district may disclose information from your education records without your consent to specific entities, such as a State education office, or for specific purposes, such as to comply with a court order.

I just finished high school and want to go to college. Will the fact that I am an undocumented student prevent me from continuing my education?

Your status will not prevent you from being admitted or from enrolling in classes. Your status as an undocumented student limits the type of financial aid you receive and could impact your tuition charges (Please read remaining FAQ for more details).

I am an undocumented student, but I have lived in the U.S. since I was three years old. Am I eligible for financial aid to help pay for college?
As an undocumented student, you are not eligible for federal financial aid such as Federal Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study, and Federal Direct Student Loans (Direct Loans). However, you may be eligible for scholarships from private organizations or for in-state tuition waivers.
I was born in the U.S. but my parents are undocumented. How does my parents’ status affect my eligibility for federal financial aid?
As a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to receive federal financial aid, regardless of your parents’ status. However, their status will prevent them from borrowing a parent PLUS Loan to help pay your college expenses. 
When filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your parents should enter 000-00-0000 when the FAFSA asks for their SSNs.  If your parents don’t have SSNs, they won’t be able to create FSA IDs and therefore won’t be able to sign your FAFSA form electronically. You’ll have to print out the signature page from the online FAFSA form so that your parents can sign it and mail it to the address indicated.
I am an undocumented student but I have lived in Florida since my family came to the U.S. when I was six. I will graduate from high school soon. If I attend a public college in Florida, am I eligible for in-state tuition?

The Florida Department of Education enacted legislation which authorizes an out-of-state tuition fee waiver for Florida high school graduates who meet the following criteria:

  • Attended a Florida secondary school for three consecutive years immediately before graduating from a Florida high school;
  • Submits an admissions application to a Florida College System institution within 24 months of high school graduation; and
  • Submits an official high school transcript(s) that provides evidence of meeting the criteria above.
    This waiver will adjust the tuition cost to the in-state tuition rate.

Note: Home education students are not eligible to receive this waiver since one of the requirements is that the student attended a Florida secondary school.

If I live in Florida, which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, do I have to do anything to be eligible to receive this benefit?

Yes. Visit any EFSC Admissions Office to complete an affidavit after you have applied to the college and submitted an official high school transcript that indicates you have attended a Florida secondary school for three consecutive years immediately before graduating from a Florida high school.

IMPORTANT: You must apply to EFSC (or another Florida College System institution) within 24 months of high school graduation to qualify. Students miss out on the residency classification if they do not apply on time.

As an undocumented student, I know I am not eligible for financial aid from the federal government. Where can I look to find private scholarships?
Can I use my scholarship money to pay expenses other than tuition?
Scholarships can be used to pay most educational expenses, including but not limited to: tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, the cost of a computer, and personal expenses including transportation. You should check with the organization that awarded you a scholarship about any restrictions on its use.
If I have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), am I able to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®)?

DACA students can complete the FAFSA if they have been issued a Social Security Number (SSN), however they are still NOT eligible for federal financial aid or for Florida state financial aid.

Please see the above FAQs for information about Florida in-state residency tuition waivers for which DACA students may qualify.

For more information about the DACA program, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website