Types of Aid:

Not Eligible:
1. Federal Loans (Perkins, etc.) and Federal Grants – even if you have a SSN or ITIN, but you are not a "Resident/Citizen," you are undocumented and you are not eligible for subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
2. Private loans (Sallie Mae, Citibank, etc) – you can apply even if you are undocumented BUT you will need to check their eligibility criteria. DACA students with SSN or ITIN, are eligible to apply, but again, check criteria of the lending agency.
a. Co-Signed Loans - Some require a resident/citizen co-signer with good credit.
b. Student Loans - you want to apply for these because the interest is low and you don't have to start paying them off right away
c. Parent Loan- interest depends on credit and you have to start paying back the borrowed money right away (like a credit card)
4. Scholarships and Private Fellowships: Free Money!
a. Given by non-profit organizations – you apply to these separate from your college applications. In Rhode Island you can apply for the Tam Tran Scholarship.
b. Given by academic institutions BUT make sure it is not a federally funded scholarship – sometimes your application to these scholarships is included in your college application. Other times, you must apply to them separately. In RI, students are NOT ELIGIBLE for the TD Program (URI) and may not be eligible for Upward Bound (RIC) because they are federally funded programs.

More Resources

Below are links to resources for undocumented students looking for ways to finance their college education. In addition to application deadlines, these may give students possible pointers to help them in their scholarship search:

NOTE: When Applying for Financial Aid:

Under current law undocumented student cannot apply for state or federal financial aid.

HOWEVER, if you are a U.S. citizen but one or both of your parents are not, you ARE eligible for federal student aid, so be sure to fill out the FAFSA form or, if required, the CSS Profile form. Remember, it is important for your parent(s) to submit only a valid social security number (SSN), and not one that is legal solely for employment purposes, stolen or made up. If your parent provides an inaccurate SSN, your FAFSA form will be rejected by the government. Your parent should use 000-00-0000 on the FAFSA form if he/she does not have a SSN.

In-State Tuition Policy in Rhode Island

Undocumented students who are Rhode Island residents benefit from a policy passed in 2011 by the RI Board of Governor’s for Higher Education (RIBOG) that expanded who can qualify for resident tuition. The policy allows undocumented students to pay resident tuition if:
  1. The student has attended an approved Rhode Island high school for three (3) or more years and continues to live in Rhode Island; and
  2. The student has graduated from an approved Rhode Island high school or received a high school equivalency diploma (GED) from the state of Rhode Island; and
  3. The student is not a U.S. citizen and/or does not have lawful immigration status, he or she has filed an affidavit with the institution stating that the student has filed an application for lawful immigration status, or will file such an application as soon as he or she is eligible to do so;
  4. A student without lawful immigration status shall file an affidavit with the institution of higher education stating that the student has filed an application to legalize his immigration status, or will file an application as soon as he is eligible to do so; and
  5. The student is not, and if he or she lives at home, his or her parents are not in the United States on a temporary visa as embassy representatives or international students.
  • Download a copy of CASO’s Resource Guide for Undocumented Students in Rhode Island »
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