Being a DACA student is challenging in itself. You are not able to apply to many scholarships your peers can due to your citizenship status. You also do not qualify in receiving the pell grant, federal financial aid and federal student loans. I know this might seem like a lot and it can be quite demotivating since the system continues to fail you and your dreams. Do not let this hold you back, there are many other opportunities available to you that are not talked about enough! We hope we can highlight some of these financial resources.
DREAMer’s Roadmap a FREE mobile app that helps undocumented students find scholarship opportunities. It provides DACA students with different financial opportunities and scholarships that are available for non-citizens.
Tip: The first question you should be asking yourself during the scholarship applying process is if you qualify as a non-citizen. Do not waste your time applying for scholarships that will not give you your money because of your citizenship status.
Go to our 'High School Advice + Tips' to learn more about how to organize yourself with scholarships and grant deadlines.
The reality of college tuition for DACA students is that a lot of colleges consider DACA students as “international students” which means they have to pay the international tuition rate. Make sure to research your schools and the tuition rates between domestic and international students. There are schools that do the same price for both international and domestic students. However, there are also schools that have really expensive tuition prices for international students in comparison to domestic students. However, it is also important to recognize that for each state in America, there are different kinds of laws towards DACA students. Make sure you research the laws behind your state and what that means for your education.
CA Dream App is an amazing resource only available for students in the state of California that can apply for state aid but are not able to fill out a FAFSA because they do not qualify. Check their website for upcoming deadlines for the application!
TheDream.US connects students with the opportunity to research National scholarship opportunities within “lockdown states”, which are states that do not extend their in-state tuition to DACA students.
Their mission statement: “The National Scholarship is for high school or community college graduates. The Opportunity Scholarship is for students who live in targeted, locked-out states where they cannot get in-state tuition. Your eligibility for both is based upon where you live.” (https://www.thedream.us/scholarships/)
HACU- Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities has a page of links that provides students with more information about local scholarships and the state rights for DACA students.
Continue to research for scholarships around the internet and through your local community who might have non-profits or organizations that provide DACA students with scholarships and grants. If you want to know ways on how to organize the deadlines of these scholarships, please visit the ‘High School Advice + Tips’ to learn more!
For example in Kansas, The Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance (KSMODA) is a great organization that works with DACA students.
Their mission statement: “ The Kansas/Missouri Dream Alliance is a youth-led organization working in Kansas and Missouri educating, advocating, and providing undocumented youth with the resources necessary to reach their goals.” (https://www.ksmoda.org/)
They provide undocumented youth with resources to reach their college goals. We encourage you to check out their organization and the resources that they provide for DACA students.
Learn more about your DACA and your rights in your specific state with, Informed Immigrant.