What are Undocumented Immigrant Student Scholarships?
America’s undocumented immigrant population is estimated to number over 10 million people. Of those individuals, many are students making their way through high school and college. Just as their families came to the country to earn a living and contribute to their communities, many of these students are looking to take full advantage of the education offered to them. In many cases, they may require extra financial assistance. Undocumented immigrant scholarships are the solution.
Offered by certain schools and public institutions — as well as private organizations like businesses, non-profit programs, and foundations set up by individual donors — undocumented immigrant scholarships provide a means of funding college for students who may not otherwise be able to afford it. Want to learn more about these scholarships and how you can qualify? Read on for your crash course.
How Do I Qualify for Undocumented Immigrant Student Scholarships?
As you may have guessed, to qualify for an undocumented immigrant student scholarship, you must be an undocumented immigrant. Many scholarships consider self-identification to be proof enough, but some may request proof of enrollment in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) where applicable. Additionally, some forms of accepted identification for immigrant students include consular identification cards, driver’s licenses, municipal identification cards, and community identification cards. These are your first steps to earning an undocumented immigrant student scholarship.
Your next steps will be to take care of the additional application requirements. These often involve extra submissions, usually in the form of essays, proof of GPA, or letters of recommendation. While there are certain avenues of financial support for undocumented immigrants that aren’t scholarships per se and don’t require these types of submission materials — most notably, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) — most sources of undocumented immigrant student funding will ask for submissions from students. As most scholarships are in limited quantity, these submissions help administrators choose the finest applicants. You’ll want to get a head start on these as soon as possible to make your scholarship application the best it can be.
Why Are Undocumented Immigrant Student Scholarships Important?
An undeniable source of culture and work ethic in the United States, undocumented immigrants contribute to the country in a major way. Due to individual backgrounds and institutional barriers, many of these immigrants live below the poverty line, or close to it. This includes undocumented immigrant students preparing for college and currently enrolled in college. For these students, funding an education isn’t always easy. On top of pre-existing barriers, most undocumented immigrants don’t have social security numbers, which means they can’t enroll in FAFSA and qualify for most federal aid. Scholarships for undocumented immigrant students provide a means for these students to pay for college. In turn, they can share their unique perspectives on campus and beyond, learn from their peers and educators, and work towards the careers of their dreams to make the world a better place.
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