Aggies Dream

We want the dream of higher education to be accessible to all students. For undocumented students, this dream may be harder to realize. It is our goal in the Inclusion Center to provide mentorship and resources as we remain abreast of policies affecting current and future undocumented students. In addition, we strive to increase campus and community-wide awareness of experiences and policies that affect our undocumented students with and without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) through advocacy, education, and training. As part of Aggies Dream, there is a club called Aggie Dreamers United on campus. This group is composed of Dreamers and Allies dedicated to improving the academic lives of undocumented students at USU by providing a safe space to network, seek out resources, and share experiences. In addition, this student organization strives to provide education to the community about undocumented student experiences, and participate in campus-wide initiatives. For more information, email Luis Rodriguez or Undocumented@USU.edu

Understanding the terms

The national Immigration Law Center defines an undocumented individual as a foreign national who:

  • Entered the U.S. without inspection or with fraudulent documents
  • Entered with the proper authorization, but then violated the terms of their status and remained unauthorized in the U.S.

In order to help address the many road block our Undocumented/DACA students may face before, during, and after their academic studies. It is important for us to understand the many different terms surrounding our students’ experiences.

  • Dreamer (in reference to the DREAM ACT). The DREAM Act stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. For more information, click on the following link:
    https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/research/the_dream_act_daca_and_other_policies_designed_to_protect_dreamers.pdf
  • DACAmented (In reference to those who have been granted DACA)
    • DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
    • To be considered for DACA
      • Undocumented individuals must meet all of the following requirements as outlined by the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services
        • Have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
        • Arrived to the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday
        • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007
        • Have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
        • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
        • Must be currently in school, or have graduated with a high school diploma or GED, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard of Armed Forces of the U.S., and
        • Must have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security.

What are some ways students who are undocumented pay for their tuition?

By default, undocumented students pay out-of-state, nonresident tuition in Utah’s public colleges and universities. Given the rising cost of tuition, many students are unable to afford non-resident tuition, which can amount to as much as three times what in-state residents pay. To pay for college, many undocumented students take advantage of HB 144, which allows qualified undocumented students to obtain in-state tuition rates.

Since the announcement of DACA in 2012 (see Module 2), many undocumented students are now eligible to work legally in the U.S. Having the opportunity to work legally provides recipients of DACA, or DACAmented students, with an easier pathway to earn money for their educational expenses. This may also allow DACAmented students to work on college campuses, or for employers that offer benefits such as tuition reimbursements and educational stipends.

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