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Scholarships for Undocumented Students

Despite heated controversy over immigration laws as it appears on the nation's political agenda, at least seventeen states allow non-native students to pay in-state tuition after having passed a tuition equity bill. While they may seem scarce, there are plenty of scholarships for undocumented students. Not all scholarships will explicitly call for "undocumented" students - they may require students to have a specific status such as DACA, AB 540, etc. Some scholarships may not even ask about immigration status or citizenship, so you may qualify for those scholarships if you are currently undocumented. Make sure to check your state's immigration laws and policies when applying for scholarships and other forms of financial aid, in addition to reading all scholarship eligibility requirements.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allows certain undocumented students who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007, to receive a renewable, two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. In some states, like in California, AB 540 students may qualify to attend college and pay in-state tuition; being exempt from paying non-resident tuition. Be sure to know your status and all the eligibility requirements when applying for these kinds of scholarships.

There are specific organizations such as TheDream.Us that help immigrant youth and undocumented students who have received DACA status achieve their American Dream through the completion of a college education. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund also provides students a scholarship program, regardless of their immigration status, as long as students can demonstrate a commitment to advancing Latino civil rights through their career.

Not only do such organizations provide scholarship programs and opportunities, but they also have education resources based on your state - be sure to check your current or prospective college's scholarship and financial aid opportunities to help fund your college education. You may need to conduct some personal research and stay updated on immigration policies, as they are constantly fluctuating and may have some gray areas. Even if a state does not have a DREAM Act, schools may offer merit scholarships that are not tied to federal funding. And remember to conduct a free search to see what scholarships you may be eligible for.

Below are just some scholarships available to undocumented students, or ones that do not request immigration status or citizenship. Read the eligibility and status requirements carefully when applying. You can find more information on these and other awards by completing a profile and conducting a free college scholarship search on Scholarships.com.

First in the Family Humanist Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 6/10/2018
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Four (4) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to graduating LAUSD seniors who will be the first in their immediate families to go to college. Preference will be given to students who are (or have been) in foster care, homeless, undocumented students and/or LGBTQ. A two to three paragraph essay must accompany the application (between 400-700 words) on the following topic: Humanism is based on the [...] More

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: Varies
  • Through its Fellowship Programs, the Ford Foundation seeks to increase the diversity of the nation's college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

    Predoctoral, Dissertation, and [...] More

Freedom From Religion Foundation Catherine Fahringer Memorial Award

  • Application Deadline: 6/17/2018
  • Amount: $2,500
  • The First In The Family Freedom From Religion Foundation Catherine Fahringer Memorial award is available to high school youth who live in the U.S. who identify as atheist, agnostic, humanist and/or secular, and are accepted into two or four-year colleges. Preference is given to students of color (Black/African American, Latino(a), Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American) who are (or have been) in [...] More

Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois

  • Application Deadline: 2/15/2019
  • Amount: $23,000
  • Created in 1988 by the award-winning teachers of the Golden Apple Foundation, the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program recruits and prepares a rich ethnic diversity of bright and talented high school graduates for successful teaching careers in schools of need throughout Illinois.

    Golden Apple Scholars are selected from these distinct paths:
    - Graduating high school students
    - Pathway [...] More

Latino Resources College Scholarship Fund

  • Application Deadline: 5/31/2018
  • Amount: $2,000
  • The Latino Resources College Scholarship Fund was launched in 2014 as a responsive Latino student success initiative. Through the Latino Resources College Scholarship Fund monetary awards are made to exceptional Latino college students in order to support increased Latino college completion rates. Latino students who are pursuing college education goals at a two-year community college, vocational [...] More

PepsiCo Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 5/31/2018
  • Amount: $5,000
  • The PepsiCo Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship Fund is awarding scholarships to students of Latino descent who are
    beginning or continuing their studies at a higher education institution. The fund provides financial assistance to
    qualified Latino/a students in an effort to promote academic success. PepsiCo Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship
    Fund Recipients will be honored at the annual Si Se Puede [...] More

Single Parent Professional Certification Scholarship of Northwest Arkansas

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: $500
  • The Professional Certification Scholarships are for students pursuing certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Patient Care Technician, or in Phlebotomy from UAMS/Schmieding Center, Petra Allied Health, PRN, NTI, or NWACC. Applicants must be a single parent and a U.S. resident or a resident with DACA Status, and a resident of Carroll, Madison, or Washington County, Arkansas. Must be [...] More

Single Parent Traditional Scholarship of Northwest Arkansas

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: $1,750
  • The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, Inc. (SPSF NWA) works to help single parent families become financially stable and independent. We do this by providing direct financial assistance to low-income single parents who are pursuing a career-related course of study in order to gain sufficient employment to meet the basic needs of their families.

    Eligibility:
    -A single [...] More

South Carolina Teaching Fellows

  • Application Deadline: 12/1/2018
  • Amount: $24,000
  • The Fellowship is awarded each year to as many as 175 high school seniors. Fellows receive up to $24,000 in funds while they complete a degree leading to teacher licensure. A Fellow agrees to teach in a South Carolina public school one year for every year he or she receives the fellowship.

    Fellows attend one of ten Teaching Fellows Institutions across the state. These schools include Anderson [...] More

Student Excellent Equals Degree (SEED) Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 4/15/2019
  • Amount: Varies
  • If you attend a Delaware high school, keep your grades up and stay out of trouble, you can go to Delaware Tech tuition-free with aid from the Student Excellent Equals Degree (SEED) Scholarship.

    Eligibility:
    -Must be a new, full-time first-year student (12 credits or more) at Delaware Technical Community College no later than the fall semester immediately after the student's graduation from a [...] More

Support Creativity Graduate Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 5/5/2019
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Design something creative that illustrates your passion for your specific creative field. This can be done in absolutely any medium (drawing, painting, animation, digital media, film, etc.) Submit an essay that explains this piece of work. Also, make sure to express why you should receive this scholarship and any financial hardship that you may be going through. It can be as long as you want and [...] More

Support Creativity Undergraduate Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 5/1/2019
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Design something creative that illustrates your passion for your specific creative field. This can be done in absolutely any medium (drawing, painting, animation, digital media, film, etc.). Submit an essay that explains this piece of work. Also, make sure to express why you should receive this scholarship and any financial hardship that you may be going through. It can be as long as you want and [...] More

The Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 1/26/2019
  • Amount: Varies
  • The Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship is awarded to deserving undergraduate or graduate students who demonstrate leadership, academic competitiveness, community involvement, and financial need. You must be an Illinois resident attending a college or university located in the State of Illinois in order to apply; be an undergraduate or graduate student
    and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. High school [...] More

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund College Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 4/2/2019
  • Amount: $5,000
  • HSF/ General College Scholarships are designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage in obtaining a college degree. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis to graduating high school seniors, community college transfer students, undergraduate students and graduate students. Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage and have a minimum of 3.0 GPA for high school students. A minimum of 2.5 [...] More

The Pinnacol Foundation College Scholarship Program

  • Application Deadline: 4/15/2019
  • Amount: Varies
  • The Pinnacol Foundation Scholarship Program helps the children of Colorado workers injured or killed in a compensable work-related accident - regardless of insurance carrier - pay for a post-secondary education.

    Eligibility:
    -Be the natural, adopted, step-child or full dependent of a worker injured or killed in a compensable work-related accident during the course and scope of employment [...] More

TheDream.US Community College Graduate Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/8/2019
  • Amount: Varies
  • The Community College Graduate Scholarship is available to community college students with demonstrated financial need who have earned their associate's degrees and seek to complete their bachelor's degrees at one of our four-year Partner Colleges. Students who are currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program are not eligible. Scholars are selected from a nationwide pool of [...] More

TheDream.US First Time College Student Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/8/2019
  • Amount: $25,000
  • The TheDream.US First Time College Student Scholarship is available to high school seniors or high school graduates with demonstrated financial need who are first-time college students and seek to earn a career-ready associate's or bachelor's degree at one of our partner colleges. Students who are currently enrolled in college are not eligible. Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, demonstrate significant [...] More

United Methodist GBHEM Doctorate Level Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 3/7/2019
  • Amount: $10,000
  • GBHEM Scholarships administers scholarship programs with one general application. Criteria for each scholarship program varies. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA person and be an active member of The United Methodist Church for at least one year. Applicants must have a masters degree and be enrolled in a doctoral program for ministry. A minimum 2.5 GPA is also [...] More

United Methodist GBHEM General Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2019
  • Amount: $2,000
  • GBHEM Scholarships administers scholarship programs with one general application. Criteria for each scholarship program varies.

    Eligibility:
    -Must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA person
    -Must be an active full member of the United Methodist Church for at least one year (international applicants must be active full members for at least three years. Other Methodist [...] More

United Methodist GBHEM Ministry as a Career Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: 3/1/2019
  • Amount: $10,000
  • GBHEM Scholarships administers scholarship programs with one general application. Criteria for each scholarship program varies.

    The minimum requirements for Ministry scholarships are:
    -Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA person
    -Applicants must be an active full member of The United Methodist Church for at least 1 year (International applicants must be active full [...] More

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Last Reviewed: May 2018

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