There are more than 450,000 undocumented students in the United States, according to a report by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Michigan State University, like many other major universities, admits and supports students based on their academic qualifications, regardless of their immigration status. MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, has been explicit in his advocacy for a better public understanding of the impact of immigration policies and practices on our students, campuses and communities, and s he is joined with other university presidents and chancellors across the country in expressing this support. through the aforementioned alliance.
MSU recently launched an improved version of its dedicated Support for Undocumented Students, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and mixed immigration status students website, undocumented.msu.edu.
The website provides parenting resources, contact information for many relevant campus services, and details on financial aid and admissions. There is also a robust Frequently Asked Questions section that covers legal obligations and MSU policies regarding undocumented and DACA students.
“We recognize that there are students interested in attending MSU who, despite their immigration status, wish to exercise their right to access education,” says Jabbar R. Bennett, Ph.D., vice president and director of diversity at MSU. “We hope this website will help prospective students decide to join MSU by showing them what supports are in place if they enroll.”
It can be a challenge for institutions to navigate their legal obligations and stay true to their missions, which in MSU’s case is to provide the best and broadest education possible. Recognizing that undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid, MSU is proud to offer a wide range of financial support tools to all of its students, including state aid and private scholarships. . All students are encouraged to apply for the MSU Merit Scholarships, which are available to students of any immigration status.
“We are happy to provide this website as a resource to help prospective students and their families navigate what is already a complicated higher education system in the United States,” Bennett said. “We know that financial aid and admissions issues are barriers for members of under-represented groups in general, so we hope that providing this information in one central location can serve as a road map.”