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Undocumented students and DACA

The University of Massachusetts offers a vibrant learning environment which embraces diverse people, ideas, and perspectives. Our innovative scholarship, teaching, policy development, student leadership, programs and services have made us known as a forward-thinking and socially conscious university.  We encourage the application and enrollment of undocumented students and students granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Who are undocumented students?

Undocumented students are students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or “eligible noncitizens.”  Each year we consider applications from students living in the United States without documentation of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid, but are eligible to compete within our out-of-state/international applicants when determining financial awards.  Within the larger group of undocumented students, there is a subgroup of students who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Who are DACA students?

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. This process is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and it is the student's responsibility to contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, to request consideration of DACA.  This determination is not made by the university.

Once a student has been granted DACA, he/she is eligible for:

  • In-state Tuition Benefit: In November 2012, the governor of Massachusetts announced that Massachusetts students who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals authorization after August 2012 would be eligible for in-state tuition and fees.  When completing an application to attend UMass Amherst, students with DACA should indicate that they are a non-U.S. citizen and a Massachusetts resident.  Then, submit both of the following documents via email (changes@admissions.umass.edu) to be added to the Common Application: 1) Employment authorization card and, 2) I-797, Notice of Action showing you have been approved for deferred action.  Please note: students must also meet Massachusetts residency requirements to be eligible for in-state tuition.

More Information

  • US Department of Education - Fact sheet about undocumented students and financial aid
  • Fastweb - Financial Aid and Scholarship information for Undocumented Students

  • UMass Amherst Financial Aid Scholarships Search Board