While all students face challenges when planning for college and their future careers, undocumented students face the additional hardship of living in a country that does not recognize them as citizens or legal residents. In most cases, these young people have no control over their citizenship status because they came to the United States as children with their parents. Thus, while the United States may feel like home to them, their positions as students, workers, residents, and future citizens is often uncertain.

Researchers estimate that . . .

. . . every year, 65,000 undocumented students who have lived in the country for more than five years graduate from U.S. high schools.1 Despite being committed to living and working in the United States and desiring to advance their education, many of these students find they are unable to do so because their undocumented status brings with it overwhelming barriers. According to the College Board, undocumented students encounter barriers in three primary areas when pursuing higher education:

  1. admissions policies;
  2. tuition policies; and
  3. financial aid policies.2

Texas has recognized the lost opportunities caused by these barriers, both for undocumented students and for the states that invest in their K-12 educations, but then limit access to colleges and universities. Texas has taken steps to allow undocumented students to pursue higher education, thus increasing the opportunity for these young people to contribute to the Texas workforce and economy.

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1The College Guide for Advising Undocumented Students. Austin College Access Network (2013).

2Advising Undocumented Students. The College Board. (2012). http://www.firstinthefamily.org/highschool/Downloads_files/Advising%20Undocumented%20Students.PDF