Resources for Undocumented Students

Who are Undocumented Students?

Undocumented students are not United States citizens or U.S. permanent residents. However, many have lived in the U.S. most of their lives. There is no federal or state law that prohibits the admission of undocumented students to public or private colleges. Most face great financial obstacles since they are not eligible to complete a FAFSA to be considered for federal and state financial aid.

Undocumented students are eligible to apply for and be admitted to Illinois Institute of Technology. They can also apply for institutional need-based financial aid via Illinois Tech’s processes.

What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is the name used for a process announced by the U.S. secretary of homeland security on June 15, 2012. Under this process, if an individual came to the U.S. as a child and meets several key guidelines, they can request consideration of deferred action. Deferred action refers to a decision to delay or put off the removal action of an individual. DACA may be granted for a period of two years and may be renewed under certain circumstances. DACA does not provide an individual with lawful status; however, recipients may obtain work authorization and a social security number. Visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website for more information about DACA.

Undocumented Student Support and Resources

As we live out Illinois Tech’s mission statement and uphold our commitment to diversity—one where our university values, respects, and appreciates the different backgrounds of our community members—we are proud of our commitment to provide support and resources for current and prospective undocumented students, their families, and allies. This website includes information regarding enrollment at Illinois Tech, financial institutional support, scholarships, employment, outside resources, and much more.

Admission and Application

All students are welcome to apply to Illinois Tech regardless of their citizenship or residency status. Admission to Illinois Tech is based on a variety of academic, extracurricular, social, and personal qualities. All students are held to a high standard of academic excellence, aptitude in mathematics and science, social service, and a desire to pursue a high-quality educational experience. Submit your application as early as possible so our admission staff can help you through the process. All applications will be treated and evaluated equally by the Admissions Committee.

First-Year Student

Transfer Student

Application Deadlines

Tuition and Fees

Illinois Tech is a private university, so tuition is the same for residents of the state of Illinois as it is for out-of-state and U.S. non-citizens. Visit the Student Accounting Office website for information about tuition and fees, billing, payment plans, 1098T Form, and more. 

Undocumented students are not eligible to receive federal and state financial aid. However, students can be evaluated for additional need-based institutional financial aid by completing Illinois Institute of Technology’s Application for Additional Financial Aid. Students should note that institutional scholarship funds are not conditional upon the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Therefore, if DACA were repealed, Illinois Tech students would retain their institutional scholarship funds awarded via Illinois Tech. Admitted students should submit the following documents to initiate the review for additional funds.

2020-2021

The application and supporting documents should be submitted to:

Leticia Moreno
Assistant Director, Office of Financial Aid
lmoreno2@iit.edu
Phone: 312-567-3422.

United Minds Inspiring Innovation Scholarship

The United Minds Inspiring Innovation (UMII) scholarship supports undocumented Illinois Tech undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need but do not qualify for federal aid (FAFSA). This scholarship is possible by the creation of a referendum by the Undocumented Student and Allies student organization at Illinois Tech, which was passed by the Illinois Tech Student Government Organization on April 7, 2016. Funds are available through a $4.50 per semester opt-in fee and other private donations. To date, approximately $47,000 has been awarded among 31 recipients since the scholarship's inception. Private donations are accepted all year round. You can donate on the Illinois Tech alumni website. 

Scholarship Details

  • One-time semester award
  • Must be enrolled for the awarding term
  • Scholarship amounts vary between $500 and $2,000 based on eligibility
  • Based on funding availability, preference will be given to:
    • Student who have completed their first semester
    • Students who have not received this award more than twice

The United Minds Inspiring Innovation (UMII) scholarship application for the Fall 2020 term is now open.
The UMII Scholarship application can be found here:

Applications must be submitted to Leticia Moreno at lmoreno2@iit.edu by 5 pm on Friday, October 30, 2020. Scholarship recipients will be notified via email on Wednesday, November 4, 2020.

Private Loans

Private Loans may be utilized to finance educational expenses. When selecting a private loan, students should consider using FASTChoice, a compilation of lenders who are selected by our staff because of their friendly lending practices. 

Private Loan Process

  • Apply for private loan through the lender
  • If the loan is approved, the lender will contact Illinois Tech to request certification of the loan
  • After certification, the student will receive an email within 24 hours
  • Disbursement will occur to the student's account within three weeks of certification*

*Courses must be in session, and it assumes no additional information is required by the lender or the Office of Financial Aid

Outside Scholarships

All students should research outside scholarship options. Illinois Tech is committed to helping students with this process. We regularly add outside scholarships to our Scholarship Opportunities spreadsheet, which can be accessed through the Scholarship Channel on the myIIT portal.

DACA Repeal Resources

Below are resources regarding the changes to DACA, including information on DACA issuance, renewal, employment, health care, family planning, and much more.

Legal Resources

Chicago-Kent College of Law alumni have volunteered to advise or represent Illinois Tech students, staff, and faculty seeking legal assistance with immigration or other issues arising from their status. All volunteers are practicing immigration law attorneys and will be offering their services free of charge.

Undocumented Students and Allies (USA) Executive Board

Undocumented Students and Allies (USA) is a student organization within the Illinois Tech student body that was founded in 2011. USA's mission is to provide awareness about undocumented students at Illinois Tech, create a safe environment where students can express themselves openly, and support students in pursuing a higher education regardless of their status

Career Services

Illinois Tech’s career development coaches create and prepare job search strategies in support of the post-graduate visions of our undocumented students, including students with DACA status. Career Services team members proactively speak with employers to ensure they understand DACA students’ eligibility for internships and full-time opportunities. DACA students may apply to all posted positions on our online employer database. Students are able to create customized searches for jobs, internships, and more within our online employment database. For additional career development support, make an appointment with a career development coach. You can contact Career Services at 312.567.6800 or careerservices@iit.edu for general questions.

Student Health and Wellness Center

You can make an appointment to see a nurse practitioner, physician, or staff psychologist at the Student Health and Wellness Center. Our wellness staff provides basic medical and psychological services including consultation, stress relief, individual and group counseling, grief support, general checkups, and more.

The Student Health and Wellness Center is located on the third floor of Illinois Tech Tower on Mies Campus. Psychological services also are provided at the Conviser Law Center, located at 565 West Adams Street, one day each week. If you experience any difficulty in making an appointment, please feel free to call the front desk at 312.567.7550. 

Legal Services

The alumni network of Chicago-Kent College of Law has created a list of attorneys who have expressed an eagerness to support members of the Illinois Tech community who are undocumented. Please contact One Stop at 312.567.3810 or via email at onestop@iit.edu and we will connect you with an attorney from this network.

Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs

At such time as a student's academic studies might be interrupted, the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, in association with relevant academic and administrative departments, will work closely with students to develop a set of plans to assist students toward the completion of their academic studies and intended degrees pursued at Illinois Tech. 

Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs
IIT Tower, Suite 2C8-1
10 West 35th Street
Chicago, IL 60616
312.567.3300
ugaa@iit.edu

The following are answers to common questions regarding undocumented students who attend Illinois Tech.

How many undocumented students are there at Illinois Tech?

It is not known how many undocumented students attend Illinois Tech. The university does not ask about the immigration status of students who reside in the United States or attempt to keep such a list. The university does not provide information to anyone concerning immigration status, except under certain legal obligations.

Do we have a sanctuary campus?

We protect all students—whether they are international, undocumented, or U.S. citizens—in the same manner. The city of Chicago has defined itself as a sanctuary city. There is no agreed-upon definition of the term sanctuary campus, and we do not identify our university campuses in such a manner; however, we do protect our students’ safety—and their privacy, except under certain legal obligations.

Where should undocumented students go for help?

Undocumented students can access the same university student services that are available to all students. Within student services there are staff members who are knowledgeable about issues related to a student’s undocumented status.

What is the university's position on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

Illinois Tech President Alan W. Cramb recently joined a number of civic leaders and the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition  in sending a letter to our country’s future leadership to highlight the many positive attributes of DACA and to request that the program be supported and continued. Cramb has also joined more than 450 college and university presidents in signing a statement of support for the DACA program and for undocumented immigrant students.

Will Illinois Tech Public Safety collect information about the immigration status of its students or disclose such information to immigration officials?

Illinois Tech Public Safety does not collect such information about any student and as such, cannot disclose information that it does not have. Public Safety is not a police department.

Will Illinois Tech allow students with DACA to keep scholarships if DACA is repealed?

Yes, Illinois Tech scholarship funds awarded to students are not conditional upon DACA policy. Therefore, if DACA were repealed, students would retain their scholarship funds. 

Does Illinois Tech share the immigration status of its students with the federal government?

The immigration status of a student is not shared with the federal government unless the student received a visa from Illinois Tech to enter the United States.

As a general rule, the university does not, absent consent, share information about its employees or students with third parties, including government agencies, except as required by law. This generally means that the university has received a lawfully issued subpoena or comparable order and is then compelled to share such information.  

Two regularly occurring instances when student data is reported to the government are as follows:

  • All international students who receive a student visa to attend Illinois Tech have their status updated each semester as required by federal law. This information is provided electronically through SEVIS, which is maintained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If the university did not provide this information when required, a student would be out of status with his or her visa. 
  • Students who receive a salary or scholarship from the university have their names, addresses, social security/tax identification numbers, and salary or scholarship amounts reported to the Internal Revenue Service and, with respect to salary, the state of Illinois. No scholarship information is shared if the student does not have a social security number.

What is the university's policy on requests from law enforcement?

Illinois Tech's Policy and Procedures Handbook outlines that the following procedures should be followed “if a law enforcement officer requests any records or information or any sort of surveillance from the University in regard to the University or concerning a member of the staff, faculty, or student body.” Please review the handbook below.