Admission, financial aid policy clarified for undocumented students

Rice University is restating and expanding its undergraduate admissions and financial aid policy to clarify that undocumented students are welcome to apply for admission as entering students or transfer students and for financial aid from the university. This applies to undocumented students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status at the time of admission and to undocumented students without DACA status who will have graduated from a U.S. high school at the time of matriculation and who have lived in the U.S. for an extended period of time as undocumented immigrants.

financial aid and admission applications“Rice University encourages all applicants,” President David Leebron said. “We consider candidates for undergraduate admission without regard to nationality or citizenship, and that includes undocumented students. It is important that undocumented students know they are welcome at Rice and can apply for financial aid from the university that will account for their ineligibility for federal and state financial assistance. We believe that it serves both these talented students and our nation to assure that they have access to a Rice education.”

Leebron and Provost Marie Lynn Miranda said that the impetus for these changes came from the positive discussions they had with members of the Students of Color Collective during the past academic year. The Rice policy has been revised online; it applies to applicants being considered for admission for fall 2017 and thereafter.

Rice has a need-blind admissions policy for domestic students and meets the full demonstrated need of admitted students through a combination of scholarship awards, work study and loans. Domestic students include people who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, undocumented students who have been granted DACA status at the time of admission, and undocumented students who do not have DACA status but are long-term residents in the U.S. and who will have graduated from a U.S. high school by the time of matriculation.

For international students, a candidate’s ability to fund the cost of attendance is a factor considered in the admission process. Limited funds are available to applicants requesting financial aid. However, Rice meets full documented need of admitted international students.

President Barack Obama introduced the DACA initiative in 2012 so that undocumented students could pursue college without the threat of deportation. According to estimates from 2014, more than 65,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year.

About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.