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Applying for financial aid when facing immigration challenges

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Video transcript

- So the lay of the land for an undocumented student can be really tricky. Some schools have money for you, some schools don't. It might depend on the state that you live in. So in California, if your from California, you've gone to school in California, you might be eligible under the California Dream Act and you can apply and receive federal and state aid. But if you're not, it can be really tricky to apply for aid. Certainly every student who's academically excellent should apply to colleges just in case there's aid for them somewhere. Most private schools have aid for undocumented students. It might be worth contacting schools in advance to ask them their policy when you're choosing which schools to apply for. A lot of schools will use the CSS profile as an aid application instead of the FAFSA. It can be different too depending on your personal circumstances, so a student with DACA might be able to work and might even be able to get institutional work study to help support their education, whereas a student without a work permit might have to be more clever borrowing from relatives, hoping for merit based scholarships. Merit based scholarships are often an excellent option for undocumented students. Some students find they need to alternate, go to school for one semester, don't go the next semester, gather up more scholarships and work and then go again and it can be very tricky and difficult but certainly the education is worth it.