Many Hispanic families bring their kids to the U.S. in search of a better future. A lot of them become U.S. residents, and even citizens; but those who cannot get legal status in the country face significant hardships, especially in getting an education. Student loans for undocumented students are not provided by the government, making it harder for these kids to go to school.
Undocumented students are eligible to go to college, butare not able to receive any loans from the government, or the state in which they reside. This leaves families in charge of all college fees, including tuition, school supplies, and living expenses. Tuition rates vary depending on the university, but they are usually not cheap, the tuition for one year can easily reach $20,000 or more in one of the cheaper universities.
Only a few states have so far passed laws that allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition, as well as receive financial aid from their university. Texas and New Mexico provide financial aid to undocumented students, and Oklahoma has a limited eligibility. There are certain requirements students have to meet in order to be eligible, among which, they must sign an affidavit, a written sworn statement, saying that, when possible, in the future they will become a U.S. resident or citizen.
For a student who is a U.S. resident or citizen it is very easy to get student loans, financial aid, or scholarships that help pay for college. An undocumented student has to do far more research into finding ways to fund college. Their status in the country does not make them eligible for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), or government loan funds. Private institutions sometimes give out scholarships to undocumented students, if they meet the requirements and pass the interviews. Undocumented students should look for scholarships that do not require U.S. residency or citizenship. It’s good to look at the admission’s policies of the colleges you’re interested in applying to, to see if they offer any financial help for you. This website offers a way to search for scholarships and grants for undocumented students.
Securing a student loan is a very important step on the ladder to success. Loans provide the ability for people to go to school and realize their dreams. Unfortunately, for undocumented students the road is a little tougher. FAFSA only gives students loans, scholarships, and grants to U.S. residents and citizens. This does not mean it is impossible for these Dreamers to go to school, it’s just a bit trickier. They must look outside the government financing system, into private organizations that help care for undocumented students, and want to help fund their studies. They must excel in school, and show a desire to want to move ahead. It is important that these students worry about their ACT and SAT scores when they are in high school, have a higher than average GPA, and take part in extracurricular activities. All of this will help them be at the top of the list!