Reach out early to your academic advisor or the Financial Aid Office, all of the information you share with them is protected by FERPA (Family Education and Privacy Act.
Reach out to other undocumented students at Northeastern Illinois University or that have graduated to ask them how they successfully navigated the higher education system. For example, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, they are a national group that can connect you with others students in similar situations locally.
Financing Your Education
Undocumented students do not qualify for ANY Federal or State student financial aid, therefore is recommended that you look and apply early for scholarships. Apply for scholarships that do not ask for citizenship or residency requirements. Read the specific requirements of the applications.
Most applications will require a personal statement and letters of recommendation. Make sure you take time to work on your personal statement, and as a courtesy to those from whom you are requesting letters of recommendation for give them at two weeks notice before you need to turn in the scholarship application.
Apply for as many scholarships as you can and do not get discouraged if you do not get one on the first try, you will be successful. Good luck in your search!
Northeastern Illinois University tuition scholarships based on merit are now available to ALL students regardless of their citizenship status.
The following scholarships may vary state by state, but these are a good way to begin your search:
Educators for Fair Consideration
Educators for Fair Consideration's mission is to support undocumented students in realizing their academic and career goals and actively contributing to society.
MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community", MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.
Uited States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI)
USHLI is a Chicago-based national nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization that promotes education, civic participation, and leadership development for Latinos and other similarly disenfranchised groups.
Latino College Dollars
This is a national listing of organizations that award grants and scholarship targeting eligible Latino students.
Dream Activists are a migrant youth led, multi-cultural coalition of undocumented youth who have come together from various states to build support for legislation such as the DREAM Act and empower our communities to come out as undocumented and unafraid.
All students are welcome to reach out to all of the departments of the University. The following are important departments you should know.
- Admissions Office
- Academic Advisement and Testing Center
- Financial Aid Office
- Proyecto Pa'Lante
- Project Success
Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs
- Northeastern Illinois University-El Centro Campus
- Carruther's Center for Inner City Studies
- URO Undocumented Resilient and Organized
- Do I have to be a citizen to be admitted to NEIU?
No, citizenship status is not a requirement for admission. However, Illinois residency is required for in-state tuition. In order to qualify for in-state tuition, you must complete the NEIU Affidavit. All information you share with the university is confidential according to the FERPA guidelines.
The NEIU application asks for a Social Security number. What should I write?
You should leave that question blank. A student ID will be generated with your application and that will be how we will identify you as a NEIU applicant or NEIU student. The social security number is only required if you plan to seek federal financial assistance through the FAFSA.
The NEIU application asks for me to check my citizenship status, which one should I choose?
If none of the statuses listed under that section apply to you then check the one "Non U.S. Citizen (select if other categories do not apply)". This will help inform us to mail you a NEIU Affidavit. This does not affect your admission. Also, check out important application deadlines.
- Will I be reported to immigration if I attend NEIU?
No, under the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) your privacy is protected.
- Can I apply for financial aid?
You are not eligible for Federal Financial Aid such as the Pell Grant or Stafford Loans. You should look to private scholarships such as those listed on our "Financing Your Education" section.
- Am I eligible for NEIU Scholarships?
Yes, but you must meet the scholarship criteria. Scholarships range from merit to talent based.
If I am a transfer student do I still need to submit my high school transcripts?
Yes, in order to satisfy the requirements of Public Act 93-0007 you must submit official high school transcripts.
- What are the requirements of Public Act 93-0007?
Please view the legislation here:
Public Act 93-0007
- Am I required to register for a set number of classes?
No, you are not required to register for a specific amount of classes. However, you will need to understand that it may take a little longer to complete your degree if you take less than 4 classes a semester.
- Are there certain majors that I should not consider?
There maybe some majors that will require you to sit for a state exam and you will need to have a valid social security number. You should consult with the Major Program Advisor for requirements.
What happens if I am admitted to NEIU as an undocumented student, but then I am finally able to get my green card?
You should submit this new information to the Admissions Office. This could help you qualify for federal assistance.