Undocumented and DACAmented Students Frequently Asked Questions

What is DACA?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA is a program established by former President Obama in June 2012. Under DACA, the Department of Homeland Security defers taking action to remove qualifying undocumented immigrants, commonly known as DREAMers, and also grants renewable term-limited work authorization.

DACA status is subject to renewal every two years. To be eligible for DACA, an individual must:

    1. have come to the United States before he or she turned 16
    2. have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
    3. be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
    4. have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, having no lawful immigration status at the time he or she requests consideration of deferred action with USCIS
    5. be in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
    6. not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors and must not pose a threat to national security or public safety

DACA does not provide lawful immigrant status nor a path to citizenship, but it does provide authorization to work and the government’s assurance that the person may remain in the United States without being placed in removal proceedings. More information about DACA can be found at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration website.

What do I need to know if the DACA program ends?

Read What Do I Need to Know if the DACA Program Ends? from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Who can undocumented and DACAmented students speak with about their needs?

  • For the Taylor Family Center for Student Success, contact Dr. Jennifer Alanis or call 314-935-8118.
  • For the Center for Diversity & Inclusion contact Dr. Jacob Chacko or call 314-935-7535
  • For the Office for International Students and Scholars, call 314-935-5910
  • For the Office of Scholar Programs contact Julia Macias or call 314-935-8379.

Are legal resources available to undocumented or DACAmented students?

Through the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), the university will provide information and referral resources for undocumented students needing legal assistance.

Will my student information remain private and protected?

The university will zealously protect the privacy of confidential student information and will adhere to the privacy protections granted to our students by federal law. The university will not release information about immigration or citizenship status to third parties unless required by court order or other legal requirement.

Does WUPD get involved in immigration enforcement?

The primary role and responsibility of the Washington University Police Department (WUPD) is to maintain a safe learning environment. WUPD officers are visible, accessible and dedicated to their primary goal: making sure that every member of our community and our visitors feel safe on and around our campuses. As a matter of course, WUPD officers do not inquire about immigration status in carrying out their day-to-day responsibilities; they only will do so if related to criminal violations or threats of violent behavior. Further, WUPD does not detain individuals solely because of their immigration status. It is neither the university’s practice nor expectation that WUPD will function as an agent of the federal government in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. WUPD will of course comply with lawful subpoenas or other legal requirements.

Are there mental health and counseling resources that specifically address undocumented and DACAmented students, or students from mixed-status families?

While we do not offer specialized services for undocumented students or DACAmented students, the counseling center staff are attuned to the unique stressors that our undocumented students may face. To reduce barriers, we offer free counseling appointments, walk-in hours when students are in acute distress, and support groups if we identify that there is an interest amongst students. The “Let’s Talk” program was created to specifically reach out to students who may experience additional barriers to seeking traditional therapy services. Let’s Talk sessions are held in multiple locations on campus including the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Office for International Students and Scholars.

What are admissions policies toward undocumented students?

Undocumented students receive the same admissions review as all applicants to our undergraduate programs. Students may choose to apply through the Common Application or the Coalition Application, which have optional questions regarding undocumented/DACA status. We do not have a WashU supplement to the applications. Applicants who are currently in the DACA Status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) will need to select “Other (Non-US)” for citizenship status. Then answer “No” for “Do you currently hold a valid U.S. Visa?”

Does Washington University offer financial aid or other financial support to undocumented or DACAmented students?

Washington University meets 100% of need for all admitted students. This policy applies to domestic students, international students, DACA students and undocumented students.