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College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students > Columbia College Chicago

Updated: March 2015

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?

 All prospective students are given a safe opportunity to identify and disclose information regarding any identity that represents the likeness, form, and representation of the human experience. Such opportunity gives us a chance to better understand ways for in which we can celebrate the unique identities our student body embodies. A prospective students disclosure of an undocumented status has no negative effect in the admissions process.

Contact person for undocumented students, parents, and counselors:

Precious Davis
Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment Initiatives

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

All prospective students who complete an admissions application at Columbia College Chicago are immediately considered for merit-based scholarships

The Presidential Scholarship is a merit based scholarship four year program which ranges from $1,000- $12,000. Scholarship applicants are expected to excel in their academic achievements as well as demonstrate significant accomplishments, talent or ability in their intended major.


  • Outstanding high school seniors entering for the first time in Spring 2015 or Fall 2015 semester
  • Outstanding incoming transfer students who have earned fewer than 65 transferable college credit hours and entering for the first time in Spring 2015 or Fall 2015 semester
  • Students able to submit samples of their creative work (a.k.a. portfolio) that demonstrate strong accomplishment, talent, or ability in their intended area of study
  • Students who have earned a cumulative high school or college grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent)
  • Students who have been admitted to Columbia
  • International and undocumented students may be considered

Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis however we encourage students to have everything turned in by the priority date of January 15th.

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?

 All prospective students regardless of citizenship status may meet with a Columbia Admissions Counselor to assist with the navigation, planning, and opportunities for a prospective student with unmet 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?

 Columbia College Chicago is an inclusive community open to all creative students. We do not report or record on immigration or citizenship status. A student’s immigration status will not impact their admission to the college. Undocumented students are given a chance to identify as undocumented. Please select any and all identities that best describe who you are as an individual on our admissions application.

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?

There is no such field on our admissions application 

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?


Columbia is an urban institution whose students reflect the economic, racial, cultural, and educational diversity of contemporary America.

Columbia’s intent is to educate students who will communicate creatively and shape the public’s perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their times.

Columbia College Chicago is an undergraduate and graduate institution whose principal commitment is to provide a comprehensive educational opportunity in the arts, communications, and public information within a context of enlightened liberal education.

Columbia conducts education in close relationship to a vital urban reality and serves an important civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the city of Chicago

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