Special Student Populations

Undocumented/DACA Students

There is no federal law that prevents undocumented/DACA students from attending college. Students do not need to have a social security number in order to apply to college. In addition, the state of Illinois is one of a growing number of states that permits most undocumented students who graduate from an Illinois high school to pay in-state tuition rates at Illinois public universities. In addition, the RISE Act, which was passed in 2019 and implemented in January 2020, now allows many undocumented students to qualify for Illinois state aid known as a MAP grant. The Alternative Application is a separate application. DO NOT fill out the FAFSA.

Helpful Websites 

Undocumented students may apply for many of the local and national scholarships linked at the bottom of our Paying For College page. Look for those that do not require U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency. You can also apply for merit scholarships at most colleges. Below are several additional resources listing scholarships specifically for undocumented students.

There are a number of colleges that offer Dreamer specific scholarships and below are a few to consider:

Students with Learning Differences

Students who have a learning difference or other diagnosed disability that requires accommodations at the collegiate level will most likely go through the same application process as any other student and will apply for their accommodations after being admitted to the school. The exception to this rule may be when someone is applying to a college’s specific learning disabilities program. There are various levels of support available to students depending upon the particular college or university. These supports can range from minimal, those that are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, to structured, for-fee programs that offer the highest amount of support at the collegiate level. It is important that students thoroughly evaluate their needs through discussions with their parents, counselor, and case manager if applicable. This will help match you to the appropriate level of accommodations you may require.