Undocumented Student Support

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Many members of the University administration, faculty, and staff recognize that undocumented students feel unsafe, confused, and frustrated because of the current political uncertainty. Consequently, all students at Wake Forest University, including those who are undocumented or qualify for the DACA program, can expect support across campus. Ultimately, skilled and caring staff and faculty are here to help undocumented students get the most from their Wake Forest experience and provide guidance as our students navigate their academic pursuits. The University will also work with students to ensure they are able to continue their studies and encourage students to seek support from the Office of Academic Advising should they encounter any personal or familial hardship or challenges due to changing immigration laws.

  • The University also upholds that student privacy remains of the utmost importance and will not voluntarily share student data with anyone other than the student and their designated and authorized legal guardians. We will continue to provide scholarships, support and counseling services, and connections to legal resources for undocumented students.
  • The University will also work with students to ensure they are able to continue their studies and encourage students to seek support from the Office of Academic Advising should they encounter any personal or familial hardship or challenges due to changing immigration laws.
  • The University is committed to ongoing dialogue with students about additions to the University policy and support for community efforts that protect immigrants and other members of marginalized communities who study, live, and work at the University.
  • Staff members in the Wake Forest University Scholars Office (A5C2 – Tribble Hall ), the Intercultural Center (346 – Benson University Center), and the University Counseling Center (117 – Reynolda Hall) and the Office of the Chaplain (Suite 8 – Reynolda Hall) are all resources for undocumented students.

On September 5, 2017, President Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to initiate an “orderly wind-down” of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. Formed in 2012, DACA provided a way for children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to America while young to receive a renewable work permit and pursue higher education. In light of these changes, please review the following sites for the most updated information on the impacts of the legislation:

DHS works hand-in-hand with USCIS to monitor and enforce the laws associated with DACA, but also has the power to create new regulations. As of September 2017, DHS has stated that it will begin collecting social media profiles and search histories of all immigrants, including those here legally through DACA.

In addition to providing timely details about the wind-down of DACA, TheDream.US also provides scholarships to undocumented students to help offset the costs associated with gaining a college degree.

As the largest immigrant youth-led organization for undocumented students in America, United We Dream serves more than 100,000 youth. In light of the end of DACA, UWD is providing regularly updated information about what students need to know regarding their rights and how to stay safe.

USCIS is the governmental department that handles all the paperwork associated with DACA applications and ultimately decides whether or not individuals are approved for the program. As DACA ends in the coming months, those receiving DACA provisions should check this website for any additional details about new rules or regulations.

Courtesy of: Affordable Colleges Online

  • All undocumented students at Wake Forest University maintaining satisfactory academic progress will retain their institutional scholarship support.
  • Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal student aid; however, if the student has been granted DACA they can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get their Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR report is sometimes used by community/private scholarships or institutions to grant financial aid that is not connected to federal or state funding to undocumented students. More information is available at the following links:

In a quickly shifting policy environment, it’s best to look for information and resources from advocacy organizations dedicated to making a college education a reality for undocumented immigrants. Such organizations and programs include the following:

  • Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) works to remove the political, legal and systemic constraints undocumented students face in getting a degree or starting a career. Although E4FC is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, some of its programs are national in scope. Its Dreamer Intake Service is an online service that allows students to fill out their individual information and then receive a personalized legal memo detailing immigration strategies to pursue. They can then take this memo to a local immigration attorney or nonprofit legal service.
  • Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is a civil rights organization that offers legal representation to Latinos throughout the U.S. It documents its efforts on its homepage on a near-daily basis, serving as a de facto news service on litigation related to immigrant rights, voting rights, employment and education.
  • National Council of La Raza (NCLR)As part of its broad agenda of supporting Latino communities, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is concerned with educational attainment and nondiscriminatory immigration policies. Student advocates should look to its extensive affiliate network to find community organizations working alongside NCLR on these issues.
  • National Immigration Law CenterThe National Immigration Law Center files lawsuits on behalf of low-income immigrants in addition to developing position papers aimed at both the public and policymakers. It has developed model language that states can adopt to grant tuition equity to undocumented students, and it tracks state bills that affect immigrants’ access to education.
  • QuestBridge endeavors to bring the nation’s best colleges and brightest low-income students together, QuestBridge seeks to eliminate financial obstacles for students dreaming of a premier education.
  • United We Dream is a youth-led organization that fights for fair treatment of young immigrants. Active in 26 states, United We Dream assists families threatened with deportation. Also, through its DREAM Educational Empowerment Program (DEEP), it supplies online toolkits for youth attempting to go to college. One initiative available to administrators is UndocuPeers, a certification program that teaches K-12 and higher education officials how to better serve undocumented students.

Courtesy of: Affordable Colleges Online 


If you need additional resources or information, please email Shaun Elliott at elliottl@wfu.edu.


Wake Forest is committed to advocating for students and scholars, particularly those who identify as international and/or undocumented. The following documents are examples of our support and engagement.


Office: Reynolda Hall, Suite 302
Phone: 336.758.3824
Email: diversity@wfu.edu

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