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Someone told me that there are grants for immigrants, is it true?

I am a new immigrant to the United States from Venezuela. I have lived here for six months. I’m told that there are grants for immigrants here. I am interested in pursuing higher education to improve my job prospects. Are there grants offered for educating immigrant students? I have to move from one part-time job to another to survive. The earnings are low and I can’t save enough for my education. Are undocumented immigrant students eligible to apply? Please tell me how I could urgently access the grants.

Naomi Doyle

in Study Abroad

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Aaron Lee on March 19, 2018

Your question is interesting but complicated. You don’t state whether you are a documented immigrant or not. The answer thus varies depending on your status.

  1. Assuming that you are documented, the answer to your question is yes. Immigrants apply for grants in the US. All states offer federal grants for the education of immigrant students who are documented. You have to get admission to college first, you do that by applying to the college you desire to join. All you need to do after that is fill in a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You will get the grant and pursue your education.
  2. Your answer is a little complicated if you are undocumented. There is no law prohibiting immigrant students who are undocumented from accessing education in the country. So, you can still get a college education. You are not eligible to apply for the FAFSA grants though. Only citizens and documented immigrants can get that. Your best option is still to apply to a college of your choice first. The good news is that the colleges are not obliged to know your immigration status before admitting you. Some colleges will ask, of course, leave those ones out of your itinerary. The more liberal ones will admit you. Once you are in, then you can still look for a grant.
  3. Contrary to what most people believe, there are education grants for students who are undocumented immigrants. These grants are privately offered by organizations that support refugees, immigrants and persons from communities with low incomes. You can find some of these grant offers at the Repository of Resources for Undocumented Students.
  4. America has a soft spot for scholars. While it is expressly illegal to be an undocumented immigrant in the US, nothing stops you from being a student. It is also good that you can still find time to do your part time jobs. The law will be softer on you if you can flash some student ID. Most immigrants don’t have the desire or requisite qualifications to join an educational institution. They want the American dream without the American education. You sound like you do have both, which makes you a more desirable individual as far as American culture is concerned. This applies whether you are a documented immigrant or not. So the sooner you get enrolled into a college, the better for you.

Noel Byrda year ago

If you are not documented, the best thing is to find your way back to Venezuela. I know that sounds tough, even unfair, but you will be booted out anyway. The federal government will catch up with you, and it will not matter that you are an undocumented immigrant student. There is no soft spot for immigrants of any kind in the country, who are undocumented. If you are documented, then it is all smooth sailing. Apply for college as advised, get yourself a grant, and pursue your education to the highest level. The bottom line here is that you have to be documented. It is just your bad luck that you are in this country at the wrong time. Negative sentiments about immigrants without official papers have been increasing here by the day. If you are documented, fine, if you are not, out! Nothing else will work for you.


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