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College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students > Illinois Wesleyan University

Updated: August 2014

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?

This is typically captured by the citizenship question on the application, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be addressed in the essay or recommendation. However, it is helpful for us to know as much as possible about the situation so that we can assist the student as best as possible.

Contact person for undocumented students, parents, and counselors:

Nancy Vasquez
Assistant Director of Admissions

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

Merit scholarships are available based on academic criteria (GPA, test results, and rank). Qualifications can very based on strength in certain areas, but about 75% of incoming candidates meet merit aid qualifications.

Talent scholarships are based on audition or portfolio review.

Need-based grants are available if we can receive some financial information from the student. We usually recommend that they fill out and submit the CSS PROFILE.

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?

We utilize the CSS PROFILE.

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?

It simply says “U.S. Citizenship” and the student can answer “yes” or “no.” They should answer this question to let us know how to best counsel them through the process.

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?

For on-line, using all zeros is permissible. For paper, it can be left blank. If it isn’t a required field for an on-line application, it can also be left blank.

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?


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