Resources for Undocumented Students

This page provides information and resources for undocumented students and their families regarding enrollment at Illinois and eligibility for in-state tuition.

Citizenship & Residency

All students are welcome to apply to Illinois regardless of citizenship or residency status. At Illinois, an undocumented student's legal status does not impact their admission decision. However, tuition rates differ for in-state and out-of-state residents. Some non-citizens, including undocumented students, may be eligible for in-state tuition, although they do not qualify for Illinois Commitment. Review our residency information for more information about eligibility.

How to Apply for Undergraduate Admissions

In order to apply for admission, you must complete an application. Within the application, you'll be prompted with a series of questions regarding your current residency/citizenship. You should answer the questions to the best of your ability, using the guide below for reference.

Step 1

In the "Personal Information" section, you're asked to provide a Social Security Number. You may either leave this blank or enter a DACA-assigned Social Security Work Number.

A Social Security Number is required for students who apply for federal financial aid. Please note that undocumented students are not encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the State of Illinois.

Step 2

In the "Contact Information" section, you're asked a series of questions regarding your citizenship/residency status.

Contact information section screenshot

Q. Are you a U.S. citizen? A. No

Q. Do you currently have or plan to have a valid passport from another country prior to enrollment and will you be in need of a student visa? A. No

Citizenship and residency questions screenshot

Q. Select the statement that applies to you: A.  I have never applied for a permanent resident card (Green Card), nor possess one.

Q. What best describes your current status? A.  Other and my family residence is in the United States

Citizenship and residency statement screenshot

Affidavit Questions

Q. Do you reside with your parents while attending a public or private high school in Illinois? A. Yes

Q. Did you or will you graduate from a public or private high school in Illinois? A. Yes

Q. Did you or will you attend school in Illinois for at least 3 years as of the date you graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma? A. Yes

Q. If you're not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, will you provide the University of Illinois with an affidavit stating that you will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at your earliest opportunity? A. Yes

Affidavit questions screenshot

Step 3

Once you've applied and your eligibility for in-state tuition has been reviewed, you may be asked to submit a signed affidavit. For more details, review our residency information.

Definitions

Open Illinois provides information, resources, and guidance for undocumented students, DACA students, and those impacted by immigration reform.

  • Acevedo Bill: The informal name for Illinois General Assembly Public Act 093-07 and 110 ILCS 305/7e-5, which is the law that allows for in-state tuition for certain students who aren't U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, or don't possess a green card, visa, or other legal documentation, provided specific criteria are met. See "In-State Tuition Qualifications" for more information.
  • Affidavit: Students who meet the criteria for in-state tuition under the Acevedo Bill (110 ILCS 305/7e-5) must, if prompted by the university, sign and submit the University of Illinois Residency Affidavit document in order to be eligible to receive in-state tuition at Illinois. The affidavit requires students to answer a series of questions and commit to filing an application to become a permanent resident of the U.S. at their earliest opportunity. Completed forms should be submitted to our office prior to enrollment or to the Office of the Registrar after enrollment.
  • DACA or DACAmented: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country before their 16th birthday and before June 2007 to receive a renewable 2-year work permit and exemption from deportation. DACA students aren't eligible for federal or state financial aid.
  • Financial Aid: Commonly refers to the financial assistance that's available through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid and the State of Illinois’s Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Student aid covers school expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. There are 3 categories of federal student aid: grants, work-study, and loans. The Financial Aid program at Illinois is administered by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

    To be eligible to receive student aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. International and non-citizen students aren't eligible to receive federal or state financial aid. However, students may qualify for other types of financial aid and/or scholarships. Visit Federal Student Aid and College Zone to learn more about federal or state financial aid eligibility.
  • HB 2691 (Hernandez/Aquino): HB 2691 creates the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act. Under the bill, a student who resides in the State of Illinois and who is not otherwise eligible for federal financial aid would be eligible for state financial aid and benefits including programs administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and assistance provided by public institutions. The advocates and sponsors were focused specifically on providing access for non-citizen students who have not yet obtained lawful permanent residence and transgender students who are disqualified for failure to register for selective service.
  • International: The university considers any student who currently holds a visa of any type or is seeking a visa to be international. Even if you don't require a student visa (F or J) to attend Illinois, you're viewed as an international applicant. Most policies that apply to those seeking student visas will apply to holders of other types of visas. Visit the international student’s page for additional information about admissions policies for international students and International Student and Scholar Services for information on being an international student at Illinois.
  • Residency Status: Refers to in-state or out-of-state residency for purposes of tuition assessment. Residents of the state of Illinois are assessed in-state tuition, and all other students are assessed out-of-state tuition. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and holders of certain types of visas may establish Illinois residency and qualify for in-state tuition provided certain conditions are met. The Illinois law described above as the Acevedo Bill allows for some students, including non-citizens, to qualify for in-state tuition provided specific criteria are met.
  • Undocumented: Refers to students who aren't U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., who don't hold a visa to reside in the U.S., and who haven't applied for legal residency in the U.S. or aren't eligible to do so. In many (but not all) cases, the term "non-resident" also includes undocumented students. Undocumented students are eligible to apply for and be admitted to Illinois. Currently, undocumented students aren't eligible for federal or state financial aid.

If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to email us or call us at 217-333-0302. You can also visit our Chicago Satellite Office. Please call them to schedule an appointment.

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