Attending UMBC as an Undocumented Student
Information for Undocumented Students
“At UMBC, we are committed to supporting all members of our community, and we recognize that each person brings a valuable perspective and set of experiences to our campus. It is important for our country to support dreamers, not only so that they can live fulfilling and purposeful lives, but also so that our country can benefit from the ideas and skills they bring to society.”
-Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President Emeritus
Prospective students who are undocumented or a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) individual, may apply for admission following the standard process. For freshmen applicants, more information about how to apply can be found here and for transfer applicants here. The admissions process is confidential and immigration status is not considered by our admissions committee.
“As a world-class university, UMBC is strengthened by the diverse perspectives dreamers bring to our classrooms, the discoveries they make in our laboratories and the service they provide to communities based here in Maryland, across the United States and around the world.”
– Dr. David Di Maria, Associate Vice Provost for International Education
A Note About Residency Classification for Tuition Differential Purposes
Maryland high school graduates may be eligible for in-state residency for tuition differential purposes, thereby, significantly reducing their educational expenses. Visit registrar.umbc.edu/services/residency for more information on the Nonresident Tuition Exemption for Eligible Maryland High School Graduates.
Need-Based Financial Aid
As the Federal financial aid programs generally require that the student be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, undocumented and DACA students are normally ineligible to receive federal financial aid. For more information on what constitutes an eligible non-citizen, view our page on financial aid citizenship requirements. The U.S. Department of Education provides information about financial aid for undocumented and DACA students.
Undocumented students who are classified as Maryland residents for tuition purposes are eligible for certain state aid programs, even if ineligible for federal aid. These programs are the Howard Rawlings Educational Assistance Programs (Educational Assistance Grant, Campus Based Educational Assistance Grant and Guaranteed Access Grant), the Part Time Grant program, Near Completer Grant, Cybersecurity Public Service Scholarship, and Legislative Scholarships (Delegate and Senatorial awards). Click here for more information on the program and the Maryland State Financial Aid Application (MSFAA).
UMBC offers limited need-based institutional aid for eligible undocumented students through the UMBC Grant. Students may apply for this grant annually.
UMBC offers merit scholarships to all qualified entering freshmen, including undocumented and DACA students. Merit awards are based on student’s academic performance including high school cumulative grade point average and SAT/ACT scores (if provided).
Community College transfer students, including undocumented and DACA students, are considered for merit scholarships based on their cumulative grade point average earned at their prior colleges.
Many private organizations offer scholarships to students based on a variety of criteria. Many undocumented and DACA students can identify scholarships and awards to help them meet their college expenses from private donors. A number of these opportunities can be found by searching UMBC’s Scholarship Retriever.
“We stand firm in our support for undocumented students’ access to public education, particularly our own ‘Dreamers’, students of diverse backgrounds earning degrees at UMBC through provisions of the Maryland Dream Act.”
– UMBC Leaders in response to DACA decision
Support and Resources
For more information about resources, programs and student organizations dedicated to supporting diversity and inclusion, please visit the Resources for Undocumented and Immigrant Students and Community Members page.
“I rise when I see discrimination and inequality and I take a stand against any injustices.
I rise for those who feel fear. I rise for those who don’t have a voice.
I rise for those who live in the shadows. I rise for my father.”
– Idania Ramos, Student Ambassador, UMBC Mosaic Center