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UW Dream Project

Undocumented students

This page exists to provide information to support students whose presence in the United States is undocumented. The Dream Project’s goal is to provide all students with access to higher education, regardless of their background. If you are still have questions about the effect of undocumented status on college admissions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


An undocumented student is a foreign national who: (1) entered the United States without inspection or with fraudulent documents; or (2) entered legally as a non-immigrant but then violated the terms of his or her status and remained in the United States without authorization (as defined by the National Immigration Law Center).

The undocumented status of a student exempts them from applying for federal student aid using the FAFSA, but this does not have to be a barrier to attending and succeeding in college. Below are resources that will support undocumented students in Washington state to attain and fund their higher education.

WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid)

In Washington state, there is an application available for eligible undocumented students to access State Need Grant funds. See for details and to apply

HB 1079

House Bill signed into law by Governor Gary Locke on May 7, 2003. It allows undocumented students topay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. Students must have lived in WA state for at least 3 years and have attained their high school diploma or GED.

The student needs to sign an affidavit in order to receive or be eligible for HB 1079. (affidavit here)

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

[NOTE: Recent political changes have caused important new recommendations on DACA by organizations engaged in advocacy for undocumented students. Please see this community advisory from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project]

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.

Individuals who can demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the DACA guidelines.

You may request consideration of DACA if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
  6. You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
    • Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
    • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
    • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
  7. Have entered the US under the age of 16 years
  8. Have continued residence is US since June 15, 2007
  9. Have been present in the US on June 15, 2012 and when making the request
  10. Currently be in school or graduated

Information obtained from


For more information, visit

Check out a list of scholarships for undocumented students. Here is another, older list of scholarships that may be useful.