SECTION III: Scholarships / Financial Aid

There are scholarships available for undocumented students through private organizations and some colleges and universities offer institutional scholarships and grants.

Students must think carefully about how to talk about their immigration status on college and scholarship applications. Undocumented students should never, ever misrepresent or lie about immigration status, social security numbers, etc. Students should try to make sure the reader knows the challenges they have faced, their economic need, and their motivation.

Scholarships Offered by Colleges and Universities

Each college implements its own scholarship application procedures. If you are presented with a question that does not apply to you, do one of two things:

  • seek guidance from the college (let them tell you how they prefer that you answer the question); or
  • leave the appropriate section blank and contact the financial aid advisor at the college for further advice.

Staff at the college can then work with you on an individual basis and provide additional guidance to assist in the processing of your scholarship application.

Private Scholarships Offered by Businesses, Service Agencies, or Philanthropic Organizations

Some businesses and philanthropic organizations provide scholarships to students who are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents – some resources are listed below. Contact each scholarship provider for applications and details about requirements and deadlines.

Local Scholarships

The Dream Project

Arlington Community Foundation

Esperanza Fund

Mary Marshall Scholarship:

Arlington Fairfax Chapter of the Izaak Walton League

Ilumina Scholarship

Latino/a Law Students’ Association

Virginia High School League

Virginia PTA Scholarship for future teachers


National Scholarships and Databases


McDonald’s Educates

Optimist International

GreenPal Business Scholarship

Chicano Organizing & Research in Education–Que Llueva Café Scholarship

Get Ready for College


Latino College Dollars: Scholarships for Latino Students

Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Migrant Scholarships

Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF)

United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) Application.pdf

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Chicana Organizing and Research in Education Que Llueva Café Scholarship

Get Ready for College Database

Other Financial Aid Resources:
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators: Student Aid Tips for Undocumented Students

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