Scholarships often require students to be either a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen. For students, who don’t meet this criteria finding money to pay for college can be more challenging. If you are unsure of your citizenship status or do not meet one of these criteria, below are resources that will help you to find money to pay for your college expenses. College is not out of the question for you if you use these resources.
Step 1: Review the Compendium for scholarships that do not require citizenship. Many scholarships will tell you in the description if they require citizenship.
Step 2: Choose your top 1 or 2 schools and contact the financial aid office. Let them know that you are not eligible for federal aid and will need assistance in applying for financial aid. Several colleges including University of Delaware, Delaware Tech and Delaware State have financial aid officers assigned to help students through this process. Often times private schools also have financial aid officers available to assist you. Contact them as early possible so that you can complete the process and get as much funding as possible.
Step 3: Consider state scholarships such as the Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) and Inspire. SEED covers full tuition at Delaware Tech and Inspire provides up to $3,000 a year at Delaware State University. Undocumented students are eligible to apply for the SEED scholarship at Delaware Technical and Community College and must meet the same eligibility requirements as documented students. To qualify as an undocumented scholarship recipient, the student must have:
- Attended a high school located within the State of Delaware for two or more years
- Graduated from a Delaware high school
- Applied for all campus-based financial aid (scholarships, etc.) for which s/he would be eligible
- Submit a notarized Tuition Affidavit (available in Delaware Tech’s Financial Aid Office) which certifies that the student is an undocumented person and that s/he has filed an application to legalize his/her immigration status or will file an application to legalize his/her application status as soon as s/he is eligible.
Step 4: Consider other scholarship research. Organizations such as The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund have pulled together a large list of scholarships for you to consider.
- Hear interviews with undocumented students in the U.S. who overcame challenges to go to college at the College Board site.
- A tip sheet produced by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators is designed to help undocumented students answer some of the pressing questions they have while contemplating whether or not they can enroll in school.
- The National Association for College Admission Counseling compiled a page of resources including details of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).