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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Status Students and Financial Aid Eligibility

Posted: February 5, 2014

Non-citizen students brought to the United States as young children, through no fault of their own, but meeting several key criteria as determined by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office, will no longer be removed from the U.S. or entered into removal proceedings. Those individuals who can demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive a “deferred action for childhood arrivals” status for a period of two years, subject to renewal.  See: http://www.ice.gov/about/offices/enforcement-removal-operations/ero-outreach/index.htm or http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals#0 for more detailed information.

Having DACA status allows someone to receive a social security number, be able to legally work, and be in good standing with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office. People in a deferred action status are not considered U.S. citizens, permanent residents or eligible non-citizens. This means DACA status students, or any deferred action status students, are NOT currently eligible for federal financial aid programs. However, because a deferred action status student can now obtain a valid social security number, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed.  Successful completion of the FAFSA does not mean or imply the student is now eligible for federal aid.  Having the results of the FAFSA application does not allow UNLV to award federal aid to students with any type of deferred status. However, there are some state and university programs that use the FAFSA application to determine eligibility for specific state and institutional funds. For this reason, students with DACA or any deferred status are encouraged to complete the FAFSA application when considering enrollment at UNLV.