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Undocumented Student Resources: Financial Aid

Resources for undocumented students at Cañada College

Smart Cookie Scholarship

The Smart Cookie Scholarship is a wonderful scholarship opportunity by great friend of Cañada College, Karen Trilevsky.



Financial Aid for Undocumented Students

Wise words: "DO NOT pay any organization, company, or individual to apply for scholarships or for scholarship lists" (MALDEF)

2012-2013 Scholarships for Immigrant Students  from Educators for Fair Consideration (
UC Berkeley Undergraduate Dream Act Aid UC Berkeley Financial Aid & Scholarship Office

More useful resources from Educators for Fair Consideration (

2011-2012 Scholarship Resource Guide (Published by MALDEF): Excellent starting point for scholarships available to AB 540 students. Scholarships are categorized by major, school, gender, and location.

2009-2010 Paying for College: Student Resource Guide
(for US and Non-US citizens): Produced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard's District Office, this comprehensive, 50-page list includes scholarships available to both US and non-US citizens. Scholarships are categorized by deadline, and indicate whether citizenship is a requirement or not.

East Bay Consortium Scholarship Directory
(Published by The East Bay Consortium): Excellent list of regional scholarships available to San Francisco Bay Area students.

Selected Funding Opportunities Open to Non-US Citizens (Published by the National Association of Fellowship Advisors) - Please note: This opens as a PDF


Fees and Fee Exemptions

Application Fee Assistance and Requesting a Fee Exemption

Fee Exemption (must be completed and approved before you file): There are fee exemptions for those under 18, homeless, in foster care, lacking parental support, with income less than 150% of federal poverty guidelines, who cannot care for themselves because of chronic disability, or who have accumulated very serious medical-related debt.  There will be a separate fee exemption form, which must be approved before a DACA request can be filed without a fee. It is hard to know how long it will take to review fee exemption requests.  Check USCIS for more information about these exemptions, and how to apply.

Other Financial Assistance

  • If you need help paying the application fees, you can apply for money from the Fund for DREAMers
  • More than $75,000 has been raised to help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender DACA applicants. Find out more information about the LGBT Dreamers Fund here.
  • Many organizations have established lending circles for DREAMers, which are zero-fee, zero-interest credit-building social loans. Mission Asset Fund in San Francisco provides a $155 charitable donation and will loan DREAMers the remaining $310 for their DACA application. Check out Lending Circles for DREAMers.
  • Self Help Loan for DREAMers, provides individual loans for up to $465. Individuals who obtain the loan can build or repair their credit with an interest rate of 15% APR, which equals to about $35 after 6 months.