Paying for College

For students who are undocumented.

Great news:

Students who are undocumented CAN get FREE money to help them pay for college!

Below are the different applications that can be completed to apply for financial aid. See more information on each to identify which one you should complete and how to complete them.

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is a term that refers to any money that is being used to help you pay for college. There are different types of financial aid and it's important to know what they are so that you can make sure to to use it properly. Here are the different types of money that you can get to help you pay for college:

  • Scholarships - Free money that is given to you from a any organization based on merit (something you have earned/achieved through your work like your GPA, your test scores, or your service hours). This money does not need to be paid back. (visit our Scholarships Page for more info on scholarships for students who are undocumented).

  • Grants - Free money that is given to you from a government, college, or university based on the demonstrated need (showing that you need help paying for college costs) and does NOT need to be paid back.

  • Work-study - Free money from the government given to you for working a job while in college. This money does not need to be paid back, but you do have to have a job and earn it to use it.

  • Loans - Money that can be borrowed from the government to help you pay for college costs. This money can be borrowed from the federal government, which usually comes with low interest (money doesn't grow as quickly while you're borrowing it) and no-interest (money doesn't grow at all while borrowing). Remember that since they're loans, you will have to pay them back. It's important to borrow carefully and make sure you speak to an advisor or trusted adult with experience in financial aid before you borrow loans to understand what will be expected of you and to ensure that you don't borrow more than you need.

Why can't I fill out the FAFSA if I'm undocumented?

It is recommended that undocumented students do not complete the FAFSA since they are ineligible for Federal Financial Aid. It is important for you to be aware however, that colleges may consider your application incomplete without the FAFSA. Undocumented students should reach out to the college admissions representatives to discuss why their FAFSA is not complete. These representatives will be able to provide you with other options for demonstrating financial need that does not require you to complete the FAFSA.

Undocumented students may need to utilize Financial Aid Calculators to help post-secondary institutions determine the student’s financial need since they are not able to complete the FAFSA.

Below please see some financial aid calculator links:

Big Future College Board Calculator

Saving For College Calculator

Finaid Calculator

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