Support for Students Who are Undocumented

Can students who are undocumented still attend college?

Yes. Students may attend college or university in Texas as long as they apply and are accepted/admitted. They may also avoid paying out-of-state tuition by meeting the residency requirement of SB1528. Review the check list in the Family Guide for DREAMers in the Rio Grande Valley to help you get started.

What Financial Aid support is available to students who are undocumented?

If you are not eligible to complete the FAFSA because of citizenship or visa status but are eligible to be classified as a Texas resident for tuition purposes, you may be eligible under SB 1528 to apply for state financial aid through the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). The TASFA deadline is March 15.Application packets are available by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

What is the Dream Act?

The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act is a Federal bipartisan legislative bill initially proposed in 2001 that would provide conditional permanent residency to immigrant youth who fulfill certain criteria. This bill has seen multiple iterations and revisions, but has never been approved at the Federal level. Texas passed their own DREAM Act granting similar benefits to immigrant youth.

Texas SB 1528 amends the Education Code to classify certain immigrants or resident aliens and certain former residents as Texas residents for college tuition purposes. The bill establishes the criteria those individuals must meet to qualify for resident status and pay in-state tuition and fees at a public college or university in this state.

What is DAPA?

The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and lawful Permanent Residents program was rescinded by the Department of Homeland Security on June 15, 2017. The rescission does not affect the terms of the original DACA memorandum as outlined in the June 15, 2012 memorandum.

What is DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was founded 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. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

Where can I go to get assistance in completing my DACA application for renewal?

You may reach out to organizations and/or individuals recognized and accredited by the Department of Justice to assist in immigration proceedings and that must comply with the Code of Federal Regulations, 8 C.F.R.§ 1292.1-1292.20.

Who can you reach out to at UTRGV?

You may email with questions or contact any of the following individuals:

List of Reachable Faculty for Dreamers
The first column lists the faculty's name. The second column provides the faculty title. The third column states the faculty's email
Name Title Email
Rebecca Gadson Dean of Students and Associate Vice President of Student Life
Douglas Stoves Senior Associate Dean for Students for Student Rights & Responsibilities
Delma Olivarez Associate Dean for Student Involvement
VACANT Administrative Manager
Jose Aaron Hinojosa Program Coordinator for the Center for Diversity & Inclusion

Response to January 8, 2018 Court Decision (Last updated on 01/23/18)

On January 9, 2018, a federal court ruled that while a lawsuit decides whether the termination of DACA was unlawful, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must continue to accept renewal applications. This is guidance on who is eligible to apply at this time. Please note, as the lawsuit moves forward, this advice may change.

Frequently Asked Questions: Rescission of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The Department of Homeland Security has made available FAQ’s in response to the September 5, 2017 announcement of the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program.

Other Resources

Visit the Center for Diversity and Inclusion for more information.