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Undocumented Status FAQ

Here are the most commonly asked questions about undocumented status. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please contact admissions.

  • An student of undocumented status is any Non-U.S. Citizen or Non-Permanent Resident living in the United States without a valid non-immigrant visa.
  • This is different from being an international student living outside of the U.S. applying for a student visa or living inside the U.S. in possession of a visa.

No, you do not need to enter a Social Security Number (SSN) on your admissions application. 

On July 16, 2021, Judge Andrew Hanen, a federal district court judge in Texas, ruled that the DACA program was unlawful. Judge Hanen ordered the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to stop processing new DACA applications until the litigation is resolved. Students should be aware that:

  1. Current DACA recipients are not affected and DHS will still accept and process renewal applications. If you need help with DACA renewal assistance, please email Prof. Violeta Chapin and her law students in the Immigration Clinic at Colorado Law School.
  2. The ruling does affect new DACA applicants who may be eligible for the program. Because there is a conflicting ruling out of another circuit, this ruling does not stop USCIS from accepting new DACA applications at this time, but it does stop them from processing or granting new DACA status on any applicants. What is not clear at the moment is whether USCIS can process new DACA applications that were submitted before this ruling; it remains to be seen what will be decided.
  3. USCIS has issued new guidance to state that all biometric or fingerprint appointments that had been scheduled for new DACA applicants are canceled, and those applicants should not appear for their scheduled appointments. 
  4. The ruling does not command the DHS to take any enforcement action against any DACA recipient, and it does not strip anyone of their current DACA status in any way. This is an evolving case and more litigation is expected to follow through the appeals process. 

  • ASSET (Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) is a Colorado law adopted on April 29, 2013, allowing eligible students of undocumented status to pay in-state tuition and receive the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF) stipend at Colorado public colleges and universities.
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a 2012 executive order from President Obama that grants deferred deportation action (renewable every two years), a Social Security Number (SSN) and employment authorization.
  • Students who qualify for ASSET do not automatically qualify for DACA and vice versa. A student may qualify for ASSET or DACA only, qualify for both, or qualify for neither. These policies do not automatically grant federal financial aid or a path to U.S. citizenship.

  • Whether USCIS can approve DACA applications for former DACA recipients depends on how long ago their last DACA grant expired. Someone previously granted DACA who did not apply to renew within one year of its expiration is considered to be an "initial" applicant. Likewise, someone whose most recent DACA grant was terminated is considered now to be an initial applicant. While USCIS will accept initial applications, the agency cannot approve them as long as the court order remains in effect.
  • Former DACA recipients whose status expired less than one year ago may request DACA as "renewal" applicants and USCIS can approve these DACA requests and EAD applications. Applicants should follow the Form 1-821 D instructions for renewal requests.

Someone who has never been granted DACA can file an 1-821 D application following the instructions for initial DACA requests, but USCIS cannot currently approve these requests. They will be on hold until and unless the injunction is lifted. Those who choose to apply now should be advised that they could lose their filing fee if USCIS is not able to adjudicate these requests in the future.

  • If you are interested in gaining residency through ASSET, contact the Tuition Classification Manager directly. 
  • You may visit the Exceptions to One-Year Domicile webpage for more information (view the ASSET/Three-Year Colorado High School drop down tab under the section Colorado High School Exceptions).

  • Students attending Aims under DACA or ASSET do not qualify for federal or state financial aid. These students are eligible for the College Opportunity Fund (COF) and may be eligible for institutional and foundational funds. 
  • We encourage students attending Aims under DACA or ASSET to search for scholarships here.

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) is not tied to ASSET, however, DACA and non-DACA students may receive in-state tuition and COF as long as ASSET residency requirements are met. 
  • Eligibility for ASSET in-state residency begins with three years of Colorado high school attendance and completion of a Colorado GED or High School graduation. See additional ASSET requirements.

Yes, your personal information is safe. Any information you share with Aims about yourself and your family is protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Aims will not release student information to federal immigration officials. 

You can learn more about all of the ways Aims helps students of undocumented status succeed by visiting the Student Services page, which outlines financial aid, tutoring, accessibility, counseling, and more.