Applying to colleges is already tricky, and it can be especially confusing for undocumented & DACAmented when navigating paperwork, in-state vs out-of-state tuition, etc. The most important thing to do is to advocate for yourself-reach out to your TOPS Coordinator, a College Success Coach, or anyone else you can lean on to help you through the application & decision process…and then celebrate that you ARE going to college!!!

  • Federal law does NOT prohibit undocumented & DACAmented students from applying to colleges. The Federal government only prohibits federal aid for undocumented & DACAmented students (Pell Grants, SEOG, and loans). Know that you CAN go to college.
  • Reach out to the campus’ program for undocumented students for advice. Clubs such as DREAMers of UW Madison provide supported to undocumented & DACAmented students from students in your position! They will be able to show you the ins & outs of the specific college, and give helpful advice. For help locating these, check Facebook or Google, or reach out to the College Success team!
  • Find out how the admissions process at your schools of interest might vary. Some schools might view you as an in-state student, while others might process your application as an international student.
    • Know that college staff are NOT required to report your documentation status to any government entity–but if you are hesitant, ask your TOPS staff to reach out for you!
  • Ask the college if undocumented & DACAmented students are eligible for institutional aid. If so, what does the average package look like? How can you apply?
    • Again, this will vary from school to school.
  • Know what you will be charged. Even though you live in Wisconsin, some schools may charge “out of state” tuition to undocumented & DACAmented students, making tuition MUCH more expensive. Work to find the most viable options, so you can know what to expect.
    • Apply to scholarships early on!! Scholarships do exist for undocumented & DACAmented students. Check out our scholarships page for more information, then, if you do have a school in mind, ask the College Success team for more specific information on that school.
    • Work with the college, if necessary, to provide proof that you graduated from a Wisconsin high school (your transcript), or of residency in Wisconsin (ex: a lease)
  • Consider applying for DACA
    • There are community resources that will help with navigating the legalities of applying for DACA, check out our resources to learn more!
  • Check out this page for parents about applying for colleges!