Undocumented Students

As an undocumented student, it is important that you know your rights and stay informed about immigration policy.

Resources for Undocumented Students

The Law in the State of Illinois

An undocumented student refers to students who were born outside the United States, but have lived in the country for a significant portion of their lives, and who reside here with no documentation stating U.S. citizenship or legal residency. House Bill 60-In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students (Signed into law as Public Act 093-0007) states that undocumented students in Illinois may receive in-state tuition if they meet the following conditions:

  • Student resided with his or her parent or guardian while attending a public or private high school in Illinois.
  • Student graduated from an Illinois high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Illinois.
  • Student attended an Illinois high school for at least three years as of the date of graduation from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in Illinois.
  • Student provides the community college with an affidavit (oath made in writing) stating her/his intent to file an application to become permanent residents as soon as they are eligible. The affidavit can be obtained in the Intercultural Student Services office located on the second floor of the Student Center on main campus.

This does not guarantee admission to a state community college or university. Students must meet admissions requirements and must contact the community college and/or the university directly.

Professions that require state licensing or certification require background checks, a social security number and state examinations. If you are undocumented, it may be difficult to pursue any type of state licensing or certification. Some of the professions that require a state license or certificate are in health care, education, and government. Potential friendly careers include, business ownership, hotel management, restaurants, journalism, computers, manual labor, trade fields, radio and TV broadcasting, administrative positions, and cash based business.

Undocumented students are not eligible to apply for state and federal financial aid, but may be eligible for many private scholarships.

Begin looking for scholarships as early as possible. Work with your high school guidance counselor or any other school personnel who you trust.

Contact individual groups or colleges/universities about resources that may be available. Some private scholarships available to undocumented students living in Illinois include: 

View Federal Student Aid's resource on Financial Aid and Undocumented Students.

Scholarship Do's and Don'ts

  • Check eligibility requirements for the scholarships you are interested in applying for.
  • If an application asks for your Social Security number and you do not have one yet, leave that space blank.
  • Contact the scholarship provider for application details and deadlines.
  • Provide accurate information. Providing false information or providing a false Social Security number is a Federal offense.
  • Scholarship scams exist. Do not pay any fees to apply for scholarships.