Undocumented Students

What is an Undocumented Student?

Typically an undocumented student is an immigrant who entered the U.S. without inspection or legal permission or through the use of false papers. Being undocumented can also refer to a person with expired paperwork or a person in deportation proceedings. Not having a social security number is one potential sign of being undocumented. Undocumented students often learn more about their legal status while in high school and have questions about how it impacts their ability to attend college in the U.S.

Most college-bound undocumented students:

  • Have lived in the United States most of their lives
  • Have been brought to the U.S. by their parents at a young age
  • Learned English and think of themselves as American
  • Attended elementary, middle, and high school in this country
  • Excelled academically in high school and want to pursue a college education
  • Currently lack a way to become legal residents or citizens in the U.S.
*Information above is compiled and published by Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)


What is a DACA Student?

DACA is an immigration benefit available to undocumented children who meet specific criteria. It is a 2 year status that allows an undocumented person to be protected from deportation and receive work authorization. While DACA provides some benefit, there is still no specific process for many undocumented students to legalize their immigration status.

Additional Information


Resource Guides:


Financing for Undocumented and DACA Students

Unfortunately, federal regulations do not allow undocumented and DACA students to receive federal financial aid. Also, current state regulations do not allow undocumented and DACA students to receive in-state tuition rates at universities in North Carolina. This can be a heavy burden for students when planning for college. Below are some additional resources students can review to help them search for additional funding.