The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program seeks to protect you and others who came to the United States without the proper documentation through no fault of your own. However, it does not necessarily mean you have all the same rights and protections as your natural-born peers, and this holds true when it comes to financial aid eligibility.
If you wish to attend college and are a DACA recipient, you may be looking for financial assistance to help you do so. What types of financial aid might you qualify for?
Unfortunately, you and other DACA recipients are not eligible to receive federal financial aid to help pay for college. However, you should not let your parents’ status determine whether you try to obtain financial aid. You may be able to lower the costs associated with attending college through other methods.
You may, for example, be able to apply for financial aid that comes from your school of choice or the state of Colorado. You may also find that you are able to obtain some financial assistance through securing private scholarships. If you wish to try to secure financial aid from the state or the college you hope to attend, the first step typically involves filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.
The FAFSA form
You may be able to complete the FAFSA form if you are a DACA recipient with a valid Social Security number. States and colleges use that information to determine whether you are eligible for any type of aid they may provide. A counselor at your high school may be able to help you determine whether this is your best option.
Your parents do not need to have valid SSNs in order for you to submit a FAFSA form, but they cannot electronically sign the online document. Instead, they must enter zeros where they would have included the SSN, print out the signature page and mail that to the address on the form.