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Undocumented student frequently asked questions: Applying to the UW

Whether you’re applying to the University of Washington as a freshman or transfer student, this page will provide you with answers to the most frequently asked questions undocumented students have about the application process.

I am undocumented, can I apply to the UW?

Yes, prospective students can apply to all three UW campuses regardless of their immigration status. There is no federal or state law that prohibits undocumented students’ admissions to public or private universities in Washington state. All prospective students will be reviewed under the same admissions criteria regardless of status.

Do undocumented students qualify for in-state tuition?

In 2003, the Washington state Legislature approved House Bill 1079 to allow eligible undocumented students to be considered as “residents” for purposes of higher education, which permits them to pay in-state tuition rates at state colleges and universities.

You qualify for HB 1079 if you have lived in Washington state at least three years, and if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • You graduated from a Washington state high school and you completed your senior year of high school in Washington.
  • You earned the equivalent of a high school diploma, such as a GED.

Learn more about HB 1079:

Are undocumented students eligible to receive financial aid?

While undocumented students do not qualify for student aid from the federal government, Washington’s Real Hope Act has expanded eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to eligible undocumented students who meet the program’s eligibility requirements and the following residency criteria:

  • You have received a high school diploma (or equivalent).
  • You maintained a primary residence in Washington for at least 12 consecutive months immediately before your first term at the college determining residency. The Washington residence must be for purposes other than college. If you take any courses at another Washington college during the prior 12 months, you cannot have taken more than six credits in any given term. If you exceed that limit you must prove that you have a Washington residence for non-college reasons.
  • You will affirm that you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or that you will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States as soon as you are eligible to apply.

If you are eligible, you can complete the WASFA application to be considered for State Need Grant.

How do I get started with my application?

Visit our admissions page to learn more about the application process.

If you have additional questions, contact – 206-685-6463