An undocumented student is one who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent resident, and does not hold a visa to reside in the U.S. According to Marisol Campos, Student Activities Assistant and Undocumented Student Resource Liaison for Morton College, an individual is undocumented if they enter the U.S. without inspection or with fraudulent documentation, or if they had proper documentation but overstayed their stay timeframe and remained in the U.S. without authorization.
The demographics of undocumented students are varied. “In 2019, the Higher Ed Immigration Portal reported 48.5% of undocumented students to be of Latino descent, 24.2% were of Asian American Pacific Islander descent, 12.5% were African American, and 12.9% were Caucasian,” explained Campos. “Undocumented students make up approximately one in three students.”
Due to constant expansion of legislation, it’s common for many individuals to be unaware of opportunities that provide access to college or trade programs. “The State of Illinois expanded its policies and issued new laws that allow for more inclusive services and resources for Illinois’ undocumented population,” added Campos. “Some policies offer access to in-state tuition, state financial aid, and a statewide private scholarship dedicated to providing funds to undocumented students (The Illinois Dream Fund). A recent law passed in Illinois requires each public college and university to designate an Undocumented Student Resource Liaison to help undocumented students access financial and academic support within their respective institution.”
Morton College offers a variety of direct support resources and services, including free counseling services, academic and career support, access to free food items through the Panther Pantry, numerous scholarship opportunities, technology support programs, and community building through student clubs and organizations. “At Morton College, we provide students with referrals to community partners who provide external services according to students’ needs,” said Campos. “These services include access to legal services, case management, healthcare, and scholarships.”
For more information, please contact:
3801 S. Central Avenue
Cicero, IL 60804