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Financial Aid for DACA students: Scholarships and grants for higher education

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  • Financial aid for DACA students.
  • Learn about the options.
  • Find alternatives to federal aid.

Figuring out financial aid for college is a significant challenge for DACA students, who are often ineligible for federal programs.

Thankfully, some states offer in-state tuition rates and state-sponsored financial aid under certain conditions.

By understanding the different types of financial aid that are available, DACA students can substantially reduce the financial burden of college.

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The role of in-state tuition

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In-state tuition dramatically benefits a significant number of DACA students by making higher education more financially accessible.

In-state tuition can be significantly lower than out-of-state rates, according to Bankrate.

States like California and New York have been particularly inclusive, offering comprehensive access to in-state tuition rates, while others might impose more restrictive eligibility criteria.

For DACA students, accessing in-state tuition rates can often mean the difference between attending college or foregoing it altogether due to prohibitive costs.

State financial aid for DACA students

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State aid represents another potential source of financial aid for DACA students

Although DACA students aren’t eligible for federal aid, they can still fill out the FAFSA to qualify for state resources.

States such as California and Texas, for instance, provide state-funded grants that don’t need to be repaid, directly reducing the financial burden of higher education.

These grants can cover a substantial portion of college expenses, thus reducing the need for loans and other less desirable forms of financial aid.

Utilizing school-specific aid

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School-specific programs are another critical source of financial aid for DACA students, particularly within private colleges and universities that often have more resources to offer.

Many prestigious institutions, including Ivy League schools, have committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, including those with DACA status.

This type of aid usually does not require repayment, which makes it an excellent option for managing the costs associated with higher education, especially in private settings.

DACA students are encouraged to engage directly with college financial aid offices to uncover potentially untapped resources that could help them fund their education.

Private scholarships and grants

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Private scholarships and grants are indispensable financial resources for DACA students, as they offer funds that do not require repayment and can significantly ease the financial demands of higher education.

Numerous organizations and foundations offer scholarships based on merit, financial need or specific criteria such as targeting nonresidents and undocumented students.

For instance, offers substantial scholarships that can completely cover tuition at partner institutions, providing significant support to those who qualify.

Actively searching for these opportunities online can uncover a wide variety of options tailored to different backgrounds, academic interests, and educational aspirations.

Financial aid for DACA students: Private loans

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Although less ideal due to their financial implications, private student loans remain a viable option as a last resort.

These loans, which are available from banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, require repayment with interest and often call for a cosigner or stringent credit requirements.

DACA students should consider private loans only after exhausting all other financial aid options to minimize future financial burdens.

It’s crucial to carefully weigh the long-term implications of taking on such debt and to explore every possible alternative before resorting to this type of financial aid.

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