Higher Education & Its Costs: Undocumented Immigrants at University - DuPage County Immigration Attorneys | Mevorah Law Offices LLC
Button 3 Button 1 Button 2 Button 4 Button 5 Button 6
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Free Initial Consultation | Se habla español 630-932-9100
Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000

Higher Education & Its Costs: Undocumented Immigrants at University

Posted on in Immigration
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Print

DREAM Act, Illinois immigration attorneys, immigrants at university, lawful permanent residence, Mevorah Law Offices LLC, undocumented immigrant, undocumented immigrantsIn the United States, higher education is becoming increasingly expensive and has therefore created a market for scholarships and grants. Most of the time, the recipients of these awards are accepted and congratulated. However, there are those who protest when a grant or scholarship goes to an undocumented immigrant. Rights and privileges, such as higher education, they argue, should be reserved for citizens.

The DREAMers

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was introduced into Congress in 2001; however, a version of it has never passed both houses. Too many lawmakers have decried it during its lifespan as an ‘amnesty’ and a ‘shield’ for gang members to avoid deportation. Its aim is to provide an avenue toward citizenship for young people who were brought to the U.S. as children when, it is implied, the choice to immigrate was not entirely their own.

One of the biggest bones of contention during floor debates on the bill was the question of tuition rates for undocumented immigrants. A major plank in the DREAM Act when created was to repeal Section 505 of the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) that banned undocumented immigrants from receiving in-state tuition at universities. It states that someone who is not lawfully present in the country is not eligible for in-state tuition based on residence unless a citizen may get the same benefit without regard to residency.

This requirement is one of the issues that caused debate to break down during Congress’s 2007-08 session, during which misconceptions were stated that insinuated that the Act mandated giving in-state tuition rates to the undocumented. This was never the case, but the bill was shelved due to the arguments.

The DREAM Act has been stalled in committee for quite some time. However, all is not lost; there is significant ground being gained.

Positive Signs

The College Board estimates that only five to 10 percent of undocumented immigrants attend college currently, primarily due to lack of funds. However, in the past few years, state legislatures and private institutions have stepped in to help the undocumented increase their access to universities and other higher education like vocational schools.

The most important program that contributes to increased numbers of immigrants attending universities is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was implemented by the Obama administration in 2012. This program, which implements many of the requirements originally stated in the DREAM Act, mandates that to be eligible, an immigrant must be in school or have received a GED or diploma. If someone graduates high school, he or she is statistically more likely to attend university if it is possible.

Also, there are increased numbers of grants and scholarships offered solely to undocumented students. Recently, the Pritzker Foundation of Chicago announced it would provide around $3 million to 70 undocumented high school students in the city in order for them to attend college. Harvard University has also given scholarships to undocumented immigrants, including a full scholarship to Dario Guerrero, a young Mexican who learned he was undocumented only at the beginning of high school.

An Immigration Attorney Can Help You

If you need help getting on a path to citizenship or lawful permanent residence, the Illinois immigration attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are great to have on your side. Contact our DuPage County, IL office today for a consultation.

Latest Blog Posts


  • DuPage County Immigration Lawyers
  • Elite Lawyer
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • 2015 Top 40 Lawyers Under 40
  • Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau

Let us start helping you with a FREE initial consultation.

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.

One Stop For All Your Legal Needs

Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 40 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from four offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Naperville, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

Client Focused Representation

Our practice is focused on meeting your needs with flexible hours and locations to serve you:

  • Free initial consultations
  • Saturday and evening appointments available
  • Home and hospital visits if your injuries prevent you from traveling
  • Multiple locations throughout Chicagoland
  • Veteran trial attorneys
  • Experienced negotiators
  • Payment plans available
  • Cash, check, or credit card accepted