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College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students > Swarthmore College

Updated: April 2016

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?

Yes, we always welcome disclosure of any kind of identity or background. Students, counselors, and advisors may also email their regional director in the admissions office with this information.

Contact person for undocumented students, parents, and counselors:

Andrew Moe
Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions and Director of Access and Programming
(610) 328-7764

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

We practice need-blind admissions for all undocumented students, both freshmen and transfers. We also meet 100% of financial need, and we do not include loans in financial aid packages. All loans have been replaced with grant-based assistance. Nearly all resources are dedicated to need-based aid.

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?

Undocumented and DACA students are required to complete a 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?

We are part of Common Application, so I believe students typically will select “I do not hold a currently valid U.S. non-immigrant Visa”. Students who overstay their visa sometimes also choose B2 Tourist and then put their expiration date. Others may choose “Other Visa Type”. It’s not always clear via the Common Application, but if the information is disclosed in the application, we have an internal box we check to make sure we know who our undoc and DACA students are in 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?

I believe on the Common Application, a blank field is allowed.

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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