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College Advising Guide for Undocumented Students > Western Illinois University

Updated: January 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?

The essay and recommendation are both optional and it is not necessary to disclose residency status in either.

Contact person for undocumented students, parents, and counselors:

Audrey Barrientos
Senior Admissions Counselor
(708) 948-7497

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

Undocumented students are eligible for any merit based scholarships. This includes our automatically awarded Western Commitment Scholarships. Minimum qualifications are an ACT composite score of 20 or higher and a high school GPA of 3.0/4.0.

Students with a minimum 30 ACT and 3.0 GPA will automatically receive a $40,000 ($10,000 over 4 years) scholarship upon acceptance to the university which will cover full in-state tuition.

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?

For students with at least a 20 ACT and 3.0/4.0 GPA only: Once students submit the Affidavit of Intent to File an Application to Become a Permanent Resident form, the merit scholarship will be increased to the maximum need based portion to cover approximately 25% to 33% of direct costs (between $5,000-$7,000 total), depending on the academic profile.

At this time, we do not have an alternative for the FAFSA.

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?

Under the STUDENT INFO section of the application, there is a sequence of questions that students should provide the following answers:

‘Are you a U. S. Citizen?’ <<NO>>

‘Do you have a permanent residency card?’ <<NO>>

‘if you selected ‘NO’ to both questions above, please select one of the following:

‘Are you requesting consideration for admission under Illinois Public Act 93-7 (Illinois Dream Act) <<YES>>

‘Are you requesting consideration for admission with a United States Visa <<NO>>

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?

As students fill out the application, please encourage them to enter all zeros for 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?


Additional comments:

Here is the link to the Affidavit of Intent to File an Application to Become a Permanent Resident form.  It is NOT required for admission, but will be required in order to offer in-state tuition & fees as well as scholarships.

WIU offers Spanish speaking tours every Friday during the academic year.

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