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Empowering Dreamer Student Success. Tools and Resources to Address the Financial Aid Opportunities and Challenges of undocumented Students. The Presenters. Laura Bohórquez , United We Dream Dream Educational Empowerment Program Coordinator. Gaby Baca, BCTC Latino Outreach Coordinator

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Empowering dreamer student success

Empowering Dreamer Student Success

Tools and Resources to Address the Financial Aid Opportunities and Challenges of undocumented Students

The presenters
The Presenters

Laura Bohórquez,

United We Dream

Dream Educational Empowerment Program Coordinator

Gaby Baca,

BCTC Latino Outreach Coordinator

Kentucky Dream Coalition, Core Team Member

Erin Howard,

BCTC Latino Outreach Director

UWD Dream Educational Empowerment Program Leader

Status 101 definitions of common immigration status







International Student



LPR: Legal Permanent Resident


Status 101: Definitions of common immigration status

Empowering dreamer student success

No reliable estimation regarding the number of undocumented immigrant youth in Kentucky.

DACA Statistics as of August 2013 for KY:

2,118 applications have been accepted from KY

1,633 individuals have been approved for DACA

Current policy deferred action for childhood arrivals daca

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: immigrant youth in Kentucky.

For youth who:

Entered US before age 16

Must be under age 31

Lived in US since June 15, 2007

Graduated from high school, completed a GED or enrolled in school

Pass background check

Eligible for protection from deportation, access to work authorization, and considered lawfully present.

Current Policy:Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Understanding daca

DACA is not the DREAM Act. immigrant youth in Kentucky.

It is not a law.

DACA recipients cannot get federal or state financial aid.

DACA is temporary (2 years) and may be renewed so long as the program is not eliminated.

In KY, DACA recipients can get a driver’s license*

Ineligible for Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA benefits.

Understanding DACA

Resources for daca

Text immigrant youth in Kentucky. "OWNIT" to 877877

www.weownthedream.org (online screening tool)

(855) DREAM-31

DACA Fee “Scholarships”http://www.dreamactivist.org/deferred-action/daca-scholarship/

Resources for DACA

Current context for dream
Current Context for DREAM immigrant youth in Kentucky.

DREAM under Senate Bill “S.744” (passed on

DREAM under House Proposal “Kids Act”

Passed on June 27, 2013

No age gap

Five years to citizenship

DACA streamlining

Allows some deported Dreamer’s to return to U.S. on RPI status

Access to loans and work study

Dreamers not required to pay fines

Lenient expectation to higher Ed.

In conversation:

  • Proposed to have an age gap

  • Only for students who meet the chosen qualifications

  • No pathway for citizenship for parents

  • Longer pathway to citizenship for Dreamer’s

Access to higher education in ky

Per CPE policy KRS 13:0245 Section 8: immigrant youth in Kentucky.

An undocumented student who graduates from a Kentucky high school can enroll at Kentucky colleges/universities as in-state residents for tuition purposes.

Undocumented students and DACA-mented students are not eligible for KEES, CAP or any other state financial aid.

They may be eligible for institutional scholarships

Access to higher education in KY

Empowering dreamer student success

  • Ally Network Collective Goals: immigrant youth in Kentucky.

  • Educational Equality

  • Legislative Reform

  • Raise Consciousness & Awareness

  • Develop Resources

  • Role of Community Partners

  • Leverage community resources not under institutional guidelines

  • Provide direct services and advising

  • Role of Practitioner Allies

  • Leverage their social and professional roles to advocate educational resources for undocumented students

  • Counsel/encourage student goals

  • Role of Undocumented Students

  • Hold institutions accountable

  • Counter narratives & student representation

  • Student activism and organizing

Source: Chuan-Ru Chen, A., Doctoral Candidate, UCLA Department of Education

The atmos p here
The Atmos immigrant youth in Kentucky. phere

  • Safe Spaces must be welcoming environments that undocumented youth and their families can easily recognize even if they have never met the staff or volunteers working in the office.

  • On your door: Display UWD Safe Space Symbol

  • On your walls: Display posters from movement or post news articles in support of DREAM efforts

  • On your bookshelves: Include titles like

  • We Are Americans (Perez, 2011),

  • Americans at Heart (Perez, 2012),

  • publications from UCLA IDEAS like Underground Undergrads and Undocumented and Unafraid

  • On your face: Meet each student and their family with a smile. Never assume anything about their status. If they open up to you, be sensitive and understanding. Listen before you speak.

Empowering dreamer student success

The Language immigrant youth in Kentucky.

The key actions
The Key Actions immigrant youth in Kentucky.

Educate yourself and build your DREAM knowledge.

Educate your colleagues and your administration.

Be careful to not make assumptions about a student’s identity. Do not pry information or details from student. Let them open up to you in their own time.

Form a network with other allies to share resources, ideas and resolve difficult conflicts/situations. Maintain an updated list of supportive contacts who are willing to supports students as educational or professional mentors.

Be trustworthy. A student’s story is not yours to share unless you get permission. If you do share a student’s story be respectful.

Have courage. Address those that spread misinformation and question policies and process that limit students.

Integrate DREAM friendly information, resources and speakers in your events, programming and services.

Maintain consistent office hours and create a system for youth and their families to be able to contact you in case of a crisis.

Connect to the local immigrant youth led or immigrant rights organization in your area.

Display art, posters, news articles, books, etc. in your office space.

The immigrant friendly college counselor

Identify at least one staff member who will be the “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Whenever possible, provide direct, authentic language access to parents

Consistency and trust

Frame educational pursuits as investments that provide opportunity for the student, family and their community

Make no assumptions about ethnicity, race, status, etc.

Be prepared to answer tough questions

Inform other high school educators of financial aid /higher education access opportunities

Raise awareness on campus.

The Immigrant Friendly College Counselor

Undocuhealth serving the mental health needs of undocumented immigrants
UndocuHealth “go-to” counselor for immigrant students: Serving the mentalhealth needs of undocumentedimmigrants

Overcoming feelings of hopelessness

Anxiety over deportation/ family separation

Financial stress and burden

Societal impact/internalized stereotypes

Fear of sharing status

Pressure of hiding (could be dependent of culture)

Depression and thought of suicide is far more common among undocumented youth than we think

Self hate self blame for status

Anger at the privileges that other people have

Placing limitations on self based on those of society

Financial aid case studies

Financial Aid Case Studies “go-to” counselor for immigrant students


Case Study “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Citizen child of undocumented parent

  • Student

    • completes FAFSA with SSN

    • enters income information manually or using data retrieval

    • signs FAFSA with PIN

  • Parent

    • completes FAFSA using “000-00-0000” for SSN (Note: if parent holds ITIN to file taxes, do not use in place of SSN)

    • enters income information manually

    • ineligible for PIN with no SSN; prints, signs, mails signature page



Case Study “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Citizen child of undocumented parent

*Make sure student contacts financial aid office of school they plan to attend*

  • Student provides verification of income by standard means

  • Parent verification of income:

    • If tax filer – must provide IRS Tax Transcript, ineligible for data retrieval with no valid SSN

    • If non-filer – may submit W-2 or signed statement if earnings below filing requirement

    • If foreign income – school must collect foreign return/documentation and convert to U.S. currency



Case Study “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Citizen child of undocumented parent

  • Student eligible for TIV aid as citizen

  • Student may be offered additional Unsubsidized Stafford Loan due to parent’s inability to borrow PLUS with non-citizen, non-LPR status (DCL GEN-05-16, Q&A #5)


Department of education
Department of Education “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Dear Colleague Letters

DCL GEN-06-09

Victims of human trafficking

DCL GEN-10-07

Battered immigrants-qualified aliens & VAWA

DCL GEN-05-16 Q&A #5

Additional unsubsidized loan for parent who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident

2013-2014 Federal Student Aid Handbook

Volume 1 – Student Eligibility, Ch. 2, Citizenship

Extensive information on citizenship issues and resolution, including sample images of acceptable documentation

Application and Verification Guide, Ch. 4, P. 80, 83

Information on verifying income for non-filers, nonresident filers and foreign income 

Application eligibility

Case Study “go-to” counselor for immigrant students


  • Student not eligible for TIV or state aid in Kentucky

  • Encouraged to file FAFSA with SSN issued through DACA process

  • May file CSS PROFILE

  • Eligible for outside grants and scholarships

Application & Eligibility

Scholarships “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Other options to consider:

Explore payment plan options

Alternative fundraising ideas:


Support Letters

Fun stuff!

Be creative!

Living out loud our stories our struggle
Living Out Loud: Our Stories, Our Struggle “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Living Out Loud is an anthology of writing from the Latino Outreach Leaders (LOL) of Lexington, Kentucky. These texts reflect the LOL students’ viewpoints of growing up Latino in the U.S. Southeast, a relatively new receiving area for Latin American immigrants. Their writings illustrate the complexities of voices writing from their lived experiences as los nuevosKentuckianos. Proceeds from sales fund scholarships for youth who cannot access financial aid.

Empowering dreamer student success

Organizations & Agencies “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Best practices


Resource guides


Educators for Fair Consideration

Knowledge is the first step for us all
Knowledge is the first step for us all… “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Gracias! “go-to” counselor for immigrant students

Bluegrass Community and Technical College

Latino Outreach and Student Services

Kentucky Latino Education Alliance

Erin Howard, Director



Gaby Baca, Coordinator



Laura Bohórquez, DEEP Coordinator

United We Dream