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College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students > City Colleges of Chicago

Updated: February 2013

Does your college knowingly admit undocumented students?


Would you advise the disclosure of their status in the application process through their essay or counselor recommendation?

We are an open admission institution that does not require students to indicate their immigration status on the application, nor do we require recommendations.

Contact person for undocumented students, parents, and counselors:


Do you have institutional aid or merit/talent based scholarships for which an undocumented student would be eligible?

There are many scholarships available through our Foundation that do not require a student to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Students can search available scholarships through the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation website. If a scholarship does not indicate that citizenship or permanent residency is required, undocumented students are welcome to apply.

How would an undocumented student apply for financial assistance or a need-based scholarship at your institution? Are they required to complete a CSS Profile or an institutional financial aid application in lieu of a FAFSA?

The Foundation scholarship process is currently undergoing revisions. However, effective for the Fall 2013 term, students will be able to check a box on the online scholarship application that indicates they “do not qualify for financial aid.” If they check this box, they will be directed to a series of questions regarding household size, number in college, and family income. This information will be used to determine the applicant’s estimated financial need.

When completing the question on the application regarding citizenship is there an applicable choice such as “non-citizen” or “other” and if not, should they leave the question blank? Is a blank field permitted when completing an online application?

The online scholarship application will have options for citizenship status including: U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident; or “other.” Undocumented students should select “other.”

If an undocumented student is completing the online admissions application, he/she can check a box that says “I do not have a Social Security Number.”

How should an undocumented student answer the question regarding social security number? Should they use zeros or leave it blank? Again, is a blank field permitted when submitting an online application?

A student is able to indicate that he/she does not have a Social Security Number.

Can students submit an online application if they are paying the application fee with a fee-waiver?


If undocumented students are required to complete a paper application, do the online instructions direct them to do so?


Do any state laws exist that restrict an unauthorized student’s access to higher education or could cause them to feel generally unsafe living within the state?


Are there any institutional policies that exist at your college requiring administrators to report a student’s status?


Do you believe that the mission of your institution creates an environment where an undocumented student would be embraced and feel welcome on your campus?


All students are welcome at the City Colleges of Chicago. In addition to the scholarship opportunities available to students, we also offer flexible payment plans and highly affordable tuition.

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