Undocumented and DACA Student Resources

Who Are Undocumented Students?

Undocumented students are students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or “eligible noncitizens.”  Each year we consider applications from students living in the United States without documentation of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid, but are eligible to compete within our out-of-state/international applicants when determining financial awards.  Within the larger group of undocumented students, there is a subgroup of students who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Who Are DACA Students?

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action. This process is called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The purpose of DACA is to protect eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: 1) protection from deportation, and 2) a work permit. The program expires after two years, subject to renewal.

It is the student's responsibility to contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, to request consideration of DACA.  This determination is not made by the college.

PLEASE NOTE: DACA does not grant a path to permanent residency or citizenship. 

What Are The Requirements For DACA?

  • You were under 31 years old as of June 15, 2012;
  • You first came to the United States before your 16th birthday;
  • You have lived continuously in the United States from June 15, 2007 until the present;
  • You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time you apply;
  • You came to the United States without documents before June 15, 2012, or your lawful status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • You are currently studying, or you graduated from high school or earned a certificate of completion of high school or GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or military (technical and trade school completion also qualifies); and
  • You have NOT been convicted of a felony, certain significant misdemeanors (including a single DUI), or three or more misdemeanors of any kind. Consult with an attorney about ANY contact you have had with law enforcement or immigration authorities.

According to the Center for New Americans (CNA), as of February 1, 2017, the current legal recommendations for those seeking DACA  is do not apply at this time.

Financial Aid at Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College Undocumented and DACA Students MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR MOUNT HOLYOKE IF THEY DEMONSTRATE  FINANCIAL NEED. Theses include merit scholarships and need-based financial aid. (All applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships with their admission application.)

Undocumented students are not eligible for federal or state financial aid PROGRAMS.

To apply for need-based financial aid from the College, an applicant who identifies as an undocumented or DACA status student should follow the application requirements, with the exception of filing the FAFSA, according to their application plan. For more detailed information about financial aid, including scholarships for undocumented and DACA students, visit the financial services website at https://www.mtholyoke.edu/sfs/undocumented-and-daca-students

Immigration Legal Services

Pro Bono (Free)

Fees Accepted

Emergency loans are available to assist with legal fees. For more information on this process, contact the Dean of Students Office via email or call 413-538-2550.

On Campus Support

  • Dean of Students Office: Latrina L. Denson, Assistant Dean of Students
  • Immigration paperwork:  Jenny Medina, Immigration Specialist
  • Career Advising and InternshipsKelly Woods, Associate Director of the Career Development Center
  • Study Abroad: Joanne Picard, Dean of International Studies
  • Religious and Spiritual Life: Annette McDermott, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life
  • Undocumented Immigrant Alliance (UIA), for peer and social support.  UIA supports all students who identify as an immigrant, including undocumented students. For more information, contact Marcella Runell Hall, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.

Local Resources

American Civil Liberties Union Massachusetts: This site will provide up to date information on legal action against the executive orders and initiatives to uphold constitutionally granted liberties.

Center for New Americans: Center for New Americans (CNA) is a community-based, non-profit adult education center that provides the underserved immigrant, refugee and migrant communities of Massachusetts' Pioneer Valley with education and resources to learn English, become involved community members and obtain tools necessary to maintain economic independence and stability.

Council on American-Islamic Relations Massachusetts (CAIR): CAIR's mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA Coalition): The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. We serve the Commonwealth's one million foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, strategic communications, citizenship assistance, and AmeriCorps initiatives that provide capacity-building for community-based organizations.

Additional Resources

  • U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.
  • U.S. Department of State (DOS) mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic work and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.
  • U.S. Visa Bulletin visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family sponsored preference adjustment of status.
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) general immigration resources for quick links to information and resources.
  • U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) mission is to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.
  • National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild is a national non-profit that provides legal assistance and technical support to immigrant communities, legal practitioners, and advocates working to advance the rights of non-citizens.
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
  • Educators For Fair Consideration (E4FC) mission is to empower undocumented young people to achieve their academic and career goals and actively contribute to society.
  • United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. Its nonpartisan network is made up of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states.
  • Federal Trade Commission-Consumer Information guidance for avoiding scams against immigrants.
  • USA.gov Scams and Frauds learn how to protect yourself from and respond to common scams and frauds.
  • Center for New Americans is a community based education and resource center for immigrants and refugees in Western Massachusetts.
  • Community Legal Aid immigration unit represents low-income clients seeking various forms of humanitarian immigration relief.
  • Ascentria Care Alliance offers refugee resettlement services; legal services for immigrants; and foster care for refugee children.
  • MassLegalHelp promotes justice by providing practical information about your legal rights in Massachusetts. 
  • DACA Educator Toolkit empowers undocumented young people to achieve their educational and career goals

Interacting with Public Safety and Service

The enforcement of federal immigration laws is the duty of the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Mount Holyoke College Public Safety and Service does not have the authority, nor the resources, to enforce federal immigration laws. We rely on the cooperation of our community to ensure our success in preventing and solving crime. To that end, Mount Holyoke College Public Safety and Service personnel do not make inquiries into the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses or others who request our assistance. We do not use the threat of immigration status/deportation as leverage with victims, witnesses or suspects.

Interacting with local police within the Five College Community

Amherst, MA 


North Hampton


South Hadley