Financial Aid and Student Loans for Immigrant Students
May 1, 2019
According to The National Center for Education Statistics, eight percent of U.S. undergraduate students are immigrants. Similar to other determined individuals, they attend school to further their careers and improve their lives. Statistics show that over one million immigrant students are attending universities and colleges in this country. Out of these, not all may be legally permanent residents or naturalized citizens.
Many of these students seek loans and financial aid to help with school costs, but it can be difficult. However, there are certain options for these students. Any student that seeks financial assistance should start looking at their options early, at least a year in advance. It is important to know that in addition to tuition, there will be costs for housing, books, supplies, food, transport, and other incidentals.
Non-citizen students may be able to borrow money from private student loan companies. The process begins with filling out a loan application. Most of the time, a co-signer will be required. This person will need to be a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen that lived in this country for a specified time. They will also need to have a good credit history as their credit score will determine the interest rate of the loan.
Undocumented immigrants usually cannot obtain federal financial aid for school. This is regulated by the U.S. Department of Education. Eligible non-citizens may be able to obtain aid. To determine eligibility, the student should contact their school’s financial aid department for information. Students can also complete a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
To qualify for loans, work-study, grants, and other aid, students must meet certain criteria. This includes being a permanent or conditional permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen. There must be documentation, such as a permanent resident card or official Department of Homeland Security documentation.
Many immigrant students will not qualify for loans and federal aid, and there are other choices that may provide help. Certain states permit immigrants to try for state financial aid; in-state tuition may also be available. There are also resources to help search for student loans, scholarships, and grants. The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators allows students to search online for private scholarships that are based on factors such as country of origin, academic performance, and other parameters. Immigrant students can also get in touch with their embassy or government to see if any aid is offered.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students may be able to receive aid; DACA status allows them to legally attend college in this country. Although this program is no longer taking new applicants, current recipients can apply. The best place to start is the school’s financial aid office.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Help Clients with Financial Aid and Student Loans
If you have an immigration concern, the Philadelphia immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC can help. There are options for immigrant student financial assistance, and we can help you receive the aid you deserve. Call us at 215-496-0690 or complete an online form today for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients throughout the tri-state area, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.