Leadership Without Borders

Before College

We are committed to supporting every undocumented student’s dream to access and earn a college education.  This is why we work to inform prospective students and their families about how to best prepare for college and apply to the University of Washington.

For additional questions and information, please contact Office of Multicultural Outreach & Recruitment Director, Myndee Ronning, at ronningm@uw.edu, 206.685.3033. You may also visit this page for more information.

Admissions at the University of Washington

One of the most important things for undocumented students to know is that prospective students can apply to University of Washington regardless of their immigration status. There is no federal or state law that prohibits undocumented students’ admissions to public or private universities in the State of Washington. All prospective students will be reviewed under the same admissions criteria regardless of status. 

Students who are interested in applying must take the following steps towards applying. Please visit Undocumented Student Resources page for more information. 

How to Apply

Financial Aid & Scholarships

The undocumented status of a student exempts them from applying for federal student aid using the FAFSA, but this does not have to be a barrier to attending and succeeding in college. Below are resources that will support undocumented students in Washington state to attain and fund their higher education. Please visit Financial Aid for Undocumented Students page for more information. 

1. WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid)

While undocumented students do not qualify for student aid from the federal government, Washington’s Real Hope Act has expanded eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to eligible undocumented students who meet the program’s eligibility requirements and the following residency criteria:

  • Have graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED®.
  • Have lived in Washington for three years prior to, and continuously since, earning the high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Sign an affidavit (written promise) to file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States when eligible to apply. *

 *Students granted deferred action for childhood arrival (DACA) must also complete and sign the affidavit.

If you are eligible, you can complete the WASFA application to be considered for State Need Grant.

2. SB 5874

SB 5874 (replaced HB 1079), signed on June 9th, 2022, allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at Washington state colleges and universities. Students must have maintained a primary residency in Washington state for at least 12 months prior to the first term at the school and must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. Students must also sign and submit this residency affidavit, certifying that they will file for citizenship as soon as they are able to.

what you should know about daca – 1

Every attempt has been made to have accurate and up-to-date information.  However, the information in this FAQ is not legal advice. Every person’s situation is different. We want to encourage those directly impacted by the decision to consult with a legal professional for additional information on legal options.

To learn more about DACA we recommend visiting the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.  

4. Scholarships

Undocumented students are eligible to apply for a variety of private scholarships. In addition to conducting your own research, we recommend learning more about the following scholarships:

Here, you will find a list of scholarships from the University of Washington, community colleges, and other outside organizations that surround our communities. The Leadership Without Borders team is happy to support you with answering any questions, or with the application process itself. Please don’t hesitate to contact us via email at undocu@uw.edu, via phone at 206-685-6301, or visit us at the Ethnic Cultural Center (Room 303)

Also check out the list compiled by Beyond HB 1079 of Scholarships. Beyond Dreaming Undocumented Students Scholarships WA State (PDF)