Undocumented Student Support

Dreamers Welcome

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.

  • Campus Support
    • The University will not voluntarily share protected student data with anyone other than the student and to anyone authorized by the student, or as otherwise allowed or required by law.
    • 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.
  • Financial Aid
    • 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:
  • Advocacy Orgs

    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 

Additional Resources and Information

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

Undocumented Students Advisory Group (USAG)

The USAG is a group of Wake Forest staff and faculty who support and influence institutional practices and policies on behalf of undocumented and DACA students. The following individuals make up the USAG, and you may reach out to any of them with additional questions or feedback regarding the experiences of undocumented and DACA students on campus.

Presidents’ Alliance Resource

Wake Forest has been a member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration since 2019. As stated on the Alliance’s website, this group of “college and university leaders are dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses, and communities.”

Please visit the Alliance’s website for the latest information on immigration reform and its impact on Higher Education.