DACA and Undocumented Student Services
DACA & Undocumented Student Resources
Oglethorpe has a history of welcoming students who are eager to make a life, make a living, and make a difference. This includes immigrants of all immigration statuses. Since our 2019 partnership with TheDream.US, a national scholarship program that helps provide access to college education for immigrant youth who came to the country at a young age without documentation, the number of undocumented students enrolled at Oglethorpe has greatly expanded. Additionally, Oglethorpe enrolls a growing population of undocumented and DACA-mented students outside of this scholarship program.
We are committed to serving all of our undocumented students while prioritizing their safety and privacy. The purpose of this FAQ section is to outline the types of resources, policies and support currently in place and those in development. We hope that our students of different immigration statuses can use these FAQs to connect with peers, faculty, staff, programs, and resources on campus, as well as help the campus community stay updated and involved in expanding the support available.
Undocumented Student FAQs
Yes! Undocumented students can apply and are encouraged to connect with our admission office. You do not have to disclose your immigration status to apply, but if you choose to do so, know that student education records are private and protected by federal law under FERPA.
Learn more about applying to college as an undocumented student
Eligible applicants are also encouraged to apply for TheDream.US scholarship program, the nation’s largest college access and career success program for DREAMers. Oglethorpe is the first and only Georgia college to partner with TheDream.US.
Learn more about TheDream.US scholarship at Oglethorpe
No. Oglethorpe enrolls students with and without DACA, and all are welcome to apply. TheDream.US scholarship program also accepts undocumented students without DACA who meet other immigration eligibility criteria.
Oglethorpe takes the privacy and safety of undocumented students very seriously. The privacy of all student records is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Oglethorpe does not disclose any student’s personal information outside of the university (including law enforcement or government offices) without the student’s prior written consent unless required to do so because of a duly issued warrant or subpoena.
Furthermore, as of a 2021 U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo on immigration enforcement, colleges and universities are included under the term “protected area,” a location that is generally protected from enforcement actions by ICE and CBP. Oglethorpe supports this policy and will work to ensure it is upheld.
While Oglethorpe does not have a law center, we will do what we can to connect students with legal resources and information. Please see immigration lawyers near campus in the link below as well as important considerations when seeking legal consultation.
National Immigration Legal Services Directory (near Oglethorpe)
Seeking Legal Consultation Handout
While programs and resources are constantly being improved and expanded, undocumented students are encouraged to take advantage of some of the following opportunities on campus:
Follow the OU Undocu Student Services account on Instagram (@undocupetrels) for updates and information around events, scholarships, jobs/internships, and community partnerships.
Join the OU Monarchs undocumented student organization and follow them on Instagram (@oumonarchs).
Schedule an individual advising appointment through Global Education’s Bookings Scholars with TheDream.US can select specific advising, but any undocumented students are encouraged to make an appointment under “General Questions/Advising” to discuss opportunities or to get connected with resources. You do not need to reference your immigration status or any personal information that you do not want to in order to book an appointment.
Attend one of Global Education’s Scholarship Advising sessions held on Fridays, twice a month, to find individual scholarships that do not require proof of citizenship or legal permanent residency to apply (check OUConnect for details).
Schedule a virtual appointment through Handshake with Career Development to get information about jobs and internships open to students of different immigration statuses.
Schedule an appointment with the Counseling Center to get support from Oglethorpe’s counseling team.
If you are interested in learning more about the immigration context in Georgia as well as how to support our undocumented students on campus, take a look at the following resources:
OU Undocu-Ally Workshop Recording
Resources for Faculty and Staff
Follow UndocuPetrels and OUMonarchs on Instagram
For a look at the immigration context in GA (and the nation), check out the Higher Ed Immigration Portal
TheDream.US Scholarship Program
Your scholarship covers all of your tuition and basic student fees for 4 years if you are a first-time college student, or 2 years if you are a Community College graduate. Basic fees include your $250 orientation fee your first semester, your $140 student activity fee each semester, and your enrollment deposit. You will also receive a $500 annual stipend from TheDream.US to be used towards housing, books, or other costs.
Your scholarship does not cover room and board costs or lab fees, overload fees, or any other fees not covered in the above description. Students who do not meet the qualifications for an exemption from on-campus housing are required to live on campus for at least 3 of their 4 years at OU, and their scholarship does not include these costs. We will prioritize low-cost housing for scholars who request it by the priority housing deadline. Commuter students will also be responsible for paying their $225 commuter meal plan fee per semester, 100% of which is loaded onto your Petrel Pass so that you may eat in the dining hall or the on-campus coffee shop. Students taking a science course with a lab or certain art courses may also have to pay a $100 lab fee as part of their bill to cover materials needed for the class.
Every scholar with TheDream.US receives a $750 stipend each semester to help with expenses. Review the information below to see where your stipend will be applied:
- If you are living on campus, your stipend will go directly to housing fees
- If you are a commuter, your stipend will first go to any current balance on your student account (meal plan, fees, etc.)
- Any remaining stipend funds can be used as a payment method through the Oglethorpe University Online Bookstore
- If you have any stipend funds leftover, they can be mailed to you as a check later in the semester after Oglethorpe and TheDream.US have confirmed enrollment and paid out scholarship funds (likely October/November for fall semester and March/April for spring).
You can always reach out to Chris Summers ([email protected]) with any specific questions about stipends or financial aid.
A scholar advisor is someone to help you out on campus related to the specific needs and experiences of recipients of the TheDream.US scholarship. As much as everyone at Oglethorpe is eager to support your studies, they may not always know everything about your scholarship or the specific experiences of Dreamers. Your advisor is someone you can come to when you have questions about your scholarship, getting connected with other students, or even if you just need someone to talk to about other issues in your college life and aren’t sure where to go. Your Dream.US scholar advisor at Oglethorpe is Peter Dye, and you can contact him with any questions or concerns at [email protected].
According to the National Scholarship Program Guide, the scholarship is intended to cover one major and one degree. However, you may seek a minor if it does not require additional credits beyond those required for your degree (128 credit hours).
If pursuing a double major or minor beyond what is covered by TheDream.US is important to you, you can consider applying for outside scholarship to help cover those additional tuition expenses.
Your scholarship does not cover summer classes at Oglethorpe, but you can apply for additional scholarships to help finance summer tuition (see additional scholarships question below for details).
According to the National Scholarship Program Guide, if you fail or drop a class and need to retake it, you will not lose your scholarship, and you do not have to reimburse TheDream.US for the costs of the classes. The amount paid for those classes (generally determined by how long you were in the course before withdrawing) will be deducted from your maximum award amount which means you will have less funds available to complete your degree.
If your GPA drops below 2.5, work with your scholar advisor to develop a plan to improve your GPA. If your cumulative GPA remains below a 2.0 for more than one academic year, you will lose your scholarship.
Always talk with your Academic Advisor and review the OU academic calendars for course withdrawal deadlines each semester.
Provided you follow the steps below, you are able to take a break in enrollment while keeping your scholarship.
According to the National Scholarship Program Guide, if special circumstances require you to take a term off or to drop all your classes mid-term, you should:
- Complete US Request Form in your ISTS Portal to take a break in enrollment. Requests will be reviewed and approved or denied within 2-3 weeks.
- Notify your Scholar Advisor and explain the reason for your break in enrollment and the date you will return;
- Upon your return, meet with your Scholar Advisor to develop a plan for completing your degree on time (3 years if an associate degree; 6 years if a bachelor’s degree).
You cannot take off more than two semesters. Your time off will be included in the maximum time you have to use your award.
While you cannot stack additional Oglethorpe merit scholarships (beyond what you have already been offered) towards your tuition, you can apply for additional scholarships from outside groups or foundations. Here are a few good resources to help get you started:
- Check out this list of undergraduate scholarships from Immigrants Rising that do not require proof of citizenship or legal permanent residency.
- Follow Immigrants Rising on Instagram as they post scholarship opportunities open to undocumented students every Friday.
- Follow the OU Undocu Student Services page on Instagram for additional undocumented student resources.
- Attend a Global Education Scholarship Advising session for help finding and applying for individual scholarships (details on OU Connect).
There are many factors affecting which opportunities different students can pursue, so it is always a good idea to make an appointment with your scholar advisor or with Career Development to talk over specifics.
For students with work authorization through DACA or TPS, there are a range of on and off-campus work opportunities including positions on Handshake (provided they are not Federal Work Study). Set up an account on Handshake and make an appointment with Career Development to discuss jobs and internships.
Students without work authorization cannot be employed on or off campus; however, there are opportunities for unpaid experiences funded with scholarships as well as independent contracting opportunities. Take a look at the following opportunities and make an appointment with Career Development and your scholar advisor to discuss details.
- For TheDream.US scholarship recipients: Internship Funding Program
- For all OU students (regardless of work authorization): Paul Hackett Internship Scholarship
- For all OU students* (regardless of work authorization): Micro-Internships through Parker Dewey
*With the exception of F-1 visa holders who cannot work as independent contractors unless granted a work permit (OPT or SEH)
Additionally, students who have lived in the dorms for one year can apply to be a Resident Assistant (RA) and receive a discounted housing rate.
Yes! If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow the OU Undocumented Student Organization @OUMonarchs and the OU Undocumented Student Center, @UndocuPetrels for updates on events and resources. You can also check OUConnect for information about student organizations and upcoming events. Your scholar advisor (Peter Dye, [email protected]) can also help connect you with a representative from the student organization or an upperclassman that may have insights and experience related to your needs and questions.
Resources for Faculty and Staff
Teachers as Allies: Transformative Practices for Teaching Dreamers and Undocumented Students
Teachers as Allies provides educators with the information and tools they need to involve immigrant students and their American-born siblings and peers in inclusive and transformative classroom experiences. The authors show how immigration policies, ICE enforcement, and societal attitudes affect undocumented students and how teachers and school leaders can recognize these influences on the students’ day-to-day lives and learning.
eBook available at the OU Library
We Are Not Dreamers: Undocumented Scholars Theorize Undocumented Life in the United States
The widely recognized “Dreamer narrative” celebrates the educational and economic achievements of undocumented youth to justify a path to citizenship. While a well-intentioned, strategic tactic to garner political support of undocumented youth, it has promoted the idea that access to citizenship and rights should be granted only to a select group of “deserving” immigrants. The contributors to We Are Not Dreamers—themselves currently or formerly undocumented—poignantly counter the Dreamer narrative by grappling with the nuances of undocumented life in this country. Theorizing those excluded from the Dreamer category—academically struggling students, transgender activists, and queer undocumented parents—the contributors call for an expansive articulation of immigrant rights and justice that recognizes the full humanity of undocumented immigrants while granting full and unconditional rights. Illuminating how various institutions reproduce and benefit from exclusionary narratives, this volume articulates the dangers of the Dreamer narrative and envisions a different way forward.
eBook available at the OU Library
TheDream.US Undocu-Ally Training Packet
An excellent resource for allies of undocumented students that helps define common terms, outlines steps to becoming an ally, and discusses tips and strategies for creating an inclusive environment:
TheDream.US Effective Practices Toolkit
A useful collection of resources related to the undocumented student experience, career connections, legal rights, and more.