(Last Updated on: May 2020)
At My Undocumented Life, we have compiled a list of key information & resources to help you navigate the graduate school application process and experience while undocumented (with or without DACA), including fellowship opportunities that are open to undocumented students and advice from former/current undocumented graduate students.
We will continue to expand this resource page so please make sure to bookmark it!
OVERVIEW OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS
If you need a quick overview of the graduate school application process, we recommend checking out this webinar: “UndocuGrads Virtual Workshop” where 13 formerly/currently undocumented graduate students discussed:
- Reasons why you might consider applying to graduate school
- The difference between Master’s and PhD programs
- Costs associated with applying and attending grad school
- Funding opportunities available for undocumented students
- Recommended next steps to prepare your application
This workshop is particularly helpful if this is your first time learning about graduate school and/or you have questions such as: “How do I identify programs to apply to? What are the application materials that are typically required? How many schools should I apply to? What are some funding options available for undocumented students? How do I start preparing a strong application?”
Note: At My Undocumented Life, we are working hard to organize additional virtual workshops over the summer of 2020 to share our experiences and address any questions/concerns that you may have so please stay tuned by subscribing to our platform (it’s free!)
PREPARING YOUR APPLICATION
One of the first things to know as you prepare your applications is that each application may cost anywhere from $50 to $100+. There may be application fee waivers available depending on the department/school, so we encourage you to reach out to the school you are applying to in order to figure out if you may be eligible for an application fee waiver.
In terms of who to contact, it will vary, but you want to do some research and see if any of the following offices have information available regarding fee waivers: the Graduate Program Office; the Graduate School Admissions Office; the Financial Aid Office. You may also consider fundraising online/offline to help you cover graduate school application costs. For a template you can use when contacting offices regarding application fee waivers and advice on fundraising, check out this post: “I am undocumented- How do I pay for graduate school? (Part 2 of 2)”
Check out these posts featuring scholarship, fellowship, and grant opportunities that are open to undocumented graduate students. For funding opportunities with approaching deadlines, check out this page.
For more personal advice, check out this post: “I am undocumented—How do I pay for graduate school? (Part 1 of 2)”
ADVICE FROM FELLOW UNDOCUMENTED GRADUATE STUDENTS
As you navigate the application process and beyond, it is imperative that you connect with fellow undocumented graduate students who can share their experience, advice, and resources. Check out this post where Carolina, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of My Undocumented Life, shares her personal advice regarding the graduate school application process: “Tips for Applying to Graduate School as an Undocumented Student“
To learn more and join the UndocuGrads National Network with over 800+ members, check out this form.
We also encourage you to read through these posts where fellow undocumented graduate students discuss how they made the most of their grad school experience, how they made decisions about disclosing/concealing their immigration status during their grad school journey, how to gain research experience, and much more.
Applying to Graduate School: If you are currently applying to graduate school programs, check out these posts with important information about the application process, GREs, advice from current undocumented grad school students, etc.
(Coming soon!) Life After Graduate School: Hear the stories of fellow undocumented immigrants who have completed their graduate degrees, including advice on preparing for the job market.
(Coming soon!) Find Your State: Depending on where you live, there are different state-level policies that expand or restrict undocumented students’ access to education, driving, health insurance, and more. For example, in California, eligible undocumented students can apply for in-state tuition rates and state financial aid. On this page, you can find the latest policy updates and key resources based on your state.
Immigration News: The political landscape is constantly changing. Check out this page to stay up-to-date with the latest immigration-related news and policies.
Get Involved: Whether you are looking for ways to support community efforts, considering becoming an organizer, or already a leader in your community, here are resources to help you stay connected and up-to-date, including news about upcoming events, webinars, and more.
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At My Undocumented Life we provide up-to-date information and resources for undocumented immigrants and allies. We post scholarship opportunities that are open to undocumented students, strategies for navigating the educational system, information on how to apply for DACA/Advance Parole, news on DAPA, and much more. Most importantly, we want to provide a sense of community to our diverse group of readers. Learn more about our work here: “About Us“