DACA and Undocumented Student Resources

Elmhurst University strives to build a community that values and embraces diversity and inclusion.

We are committed to all our students, regardless of citizenship, and all students are eligible for consideration for merit-based academic and enrichment scholarships. We are committed to providing guidance and support to undocumented students at Elmhurst University.

Admissions and Financial Services

All students, regardless of citizenship, can seek admission at Elmhurst University, including undocumented students. Undocumented students are not eligible to receive federal or state financial aid, though students may qualify for other types of merit-based and enrichment scholarships. Scholarships range in the amount awarded and the University is committed to assisting undocumented students with scholarship opportunities and loan support. Incoming and current students are encouraged to meet with Financial Services to discuss options for support. Elmhurst University adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to protect the privacy of all student educational records.

Undocumented students may be eligible for the RISE Act. The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity Act, which went into effect in January 2020, means that if you are an Illinois resident but ineligible for federal financial aid, you may still apply for state assistance.

Who is Eligible?

Generally, undergraduate Illinois students who are undocumented and transgender students who have not registered for Selective Service will still be able to apply for aid through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

  • Transgender Students: According to the RISE Act, if you are eligible to file the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid as a transgender student, you do not have to register for Selective Service in order to qualify for Illinois state aid. However, you will not be eligible for federal student aid if you are required to register for Selective Service but do not do so.
  • Undocumented Students: For eligible non-citizens to apply for a MAP grant through the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, you must meet the following criteria:
    • You resided with your parent or legal guardian while attending a public or private high school in Illinois.
    • You graduated from a private or public high school, or received the equivalent of a high school diploma, in Illinois.
    • You had attended school in Illinois for at least three years as of the date you graduated from high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma.
    • You will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at the earliest opportunity you are eligible to do so. By signing the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, you will be providing an affidavit stating this intention.
    • You have not established a residence outside of Illinois or hold a visa from another country.


Guide to Completing the Application

Programs and Support Services

Elmhurst University is committed to supporting undocumented students through a variety of programs and resources. There are not any legal resources available on campus. However, those seeking information can schedule a meeting with the Director of Student Support Services and Intervention, who can provide general information regarding national organizations and law firms that help explain undocumented rights and the shifting legal landscape. 

The Office of Equity and Inclusion offers programs related to diversity and social justice education, while also providing support networks for specific student populations, including undocumented and DACA students.

Professional Development and Training

Elmhurst University is committed to learning and growing to support our undocumented students. Through the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the University can offer training to increase awareness for the inclusion of undocumented students and their experiences across campus. Training is open to faculty and staff.

University Contacts

Elmhurst can provide resources to support undocumented students. Please reach out to:

Colleen Zavodny, Elmhurst University

Colleen Zavodny

Director of Student Support Services and Intervention
Office of Student Affairs

Elizabeth Quirarte, Elmhurst University

Elizabeth Quirarte

HSI Wellness Case Manager
Office of Equity and Inclusion

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Undocumented Student Resources

Scholarships for DACA and Undocumented Students

Mobile Apps

  • DREAMers Roadmap: A free national mobile app that helps undocumented students find scholarships to go to college. (iOS and Android)
  • Notifica: App which allows undocumented immigrants to activate a plan if they come in contact with immigration law enforcement authorities or find themselves at risk of being detained. (iOS and Android)
  • Know Your Rights: A must-have resource which aims to help immigrants defend and protect themselves by learning their legal rights. (Android)

Connect with #elmhurstu