Gleeson Plaza and lower campus.

Undocumented Students & DACA

Uncompromising, undeterred, unbiased — the University of San Francisco is committed to helping undocumented students bolster their future as citizens of the world. We are morally committed to supporting all students regardless of the identities they hold. All applications are considered equally, regardless of citizenship status.

USF has joined with the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities to express their unwavering support for Undocumented students.

USF Statement:

As a Jesuit institution of higher learning, like many Jesuit projects for the past four and a half centuries, we like to stand with our two feet straddling frontiers and boundaries: between faith and reason, between charity and justice, between the past and the future, and always, between cultures and countries. We have a long tradition of the service of faith, constituent to which is the quest for justice, improving social structures so that it is easier for people to glimpse the divine within the mundane. Providing an education to students who are the descendants of immigrants from long ago alongside students who come to USF from abroad to study is a great example of this Jesuit preference. So too is our practice of educating 'DREAMers,' students who themselves stand with one foot each in two worlds, though often precariously."


Application or Admission Questions

The University of San Francisco considers applications for graduate programs, regardless of citizenship status. Your application will be handled with the utmost confidentiality and care.

Please contact Erin Doran at ( for guidance with your application.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Undocumented students do not have legal U.S. immigration status, which prevents them from receiving state (Cal Grant) and federal (FAFSA) financial aid. However, there are several places that offer financial assistance and support to undocumented students. The list below consists of some external resources and scholarships available to undocumented students.

Undocumented Allies

The University of San Francisco's faculty and administrators are committed to helping undocumented students navigate the university. Whether a current or prospective student, these individuals are a great resource, for questions & support. All inquiries will be handled not only with the utmost care & confidentiality, but genuine compassion.

School of Nursing and Health Professions Admissions
Graduate Admission
Telephone: (415) 422-4124

Office of Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Telephone: (415) 422-2821

Financial Aid
Angelika Williams
Assistant Vice Provost

Gender and Sexuality Center
Alejandro Covarrubias
Assistant Director
Telephone: (415) 422-2848

Task Force to Support Undocumented Students (TFSUS)
Dr. Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales
Task Force Co-Chair
Assistant Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs
Telephone: (415) 422-5741

Chican@-Latin@ Studies
Karina Hodoyan
Associate Professor
Telephone: (415) 422-5964

University Ministry
Luis Bazan
Associate Director
Telephone: (415) 422-2708

For General Questions please contact the Office of Antiracism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at or call (415) 422-2821.

Non-Profit & Legal Resources

Undocumented Students seeking additional support & resources may explore any of the following Non-Profit & Advocacy Groups for more information.

Resources for DACA

External Non-Profit Advocates

Legal Support & Services

The University of San Francisco does not provide Legal Support/Counseling, but UnDocumented students may seek out the following legal advocacy groups for support & information.

Undocumented Student Definitions

Directly borrowed from the Office of Diversity & Community Engagement the following terminology is often used in discussions surrounding UnDocumented Students:

Cultural citizenship— Used to describe undocumented people who take part in the class, cultural, and linguistic knowledge and skills that establish the cultural capital of social groups in the U.S.

DREAMer — Refers to undocumented students who benefit from the DREAM Act. DREAMer is commonly used by students who connect with the DREAM Act movement and as a way to navigate away from the negative connotations given to terms such as undocumented, immigrant, and non-U.S. citizen.

Entry without inspection — Refers to individuals who have entered the U.S. without presenting normative government accreditation (i.e. visa).

Financial aid — Commonly refers to financial assistance available through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid and the state of California. Student aid covers school expenses such as tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. Learn more about financial aid for undocumented students.

Illegal — A racially charged slur used to dehumanize and discriminate against immigrants and people of color regardless of migratory status. The word is shorthand for "illegal alien," "illegal immigrant" and other harmful terms. The Applied Research Center (ARC) and, have presented the Drop The L-Word campaign to eradicate the slur from everyday use and public discourse.

International student — Includes any student who currently holds a visa of any type or is seeking a visa. Undocumented students are not considered international applicants because many do not qualify for a visa and, therefore, do not have to go through the international admission process.

Legal citizenship — Obtained by individuals who are residing in the U.S. legally due to the attainment of permanent residency or citizenship through a visa or green card. These individuals obtain a social security number (SSN).

Mixed status family — Families in which one or more members are undocumented. It is important to know this information because it may affect the way a student fills out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Non-citizen —Applies to students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, do not hold a valid visa, or are not seeking a visa for study or documentation for residency in the U.S.

Overstayed visa — Refers to individuals who have stayed in the U.S. after their tourist, visitor, or student visa has expired.

Unauthorized — Used to describe individuals who possess a birth certificate or identification card but are residing in the U.S. without legal authorization.

Undocumented student — Refers to students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, do not hold a visa, or have not applied for legal residency. In many, cases the term non-citizen refers to undocumented students. These students are eligible to be admitted to USF. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid.


Plyler vs. Doe, 457 US 202— Establishes that undocumented immigrant students have a right to a K-12 public school education. This ruling stated that undocumented children who were brought to this country by their parents would be relegated to a permanent underclass in the United States if they were to be denied access to a public school education k-12 due to their undocumented immigrant status. Unfortunately, the right to a public education was not extended to higher education by the Plyler vs. Doe ruling.

DREAM Act (National)— The Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is a piece of proposed legislation that would provide a pathway to permanent residency and U.S. citizenship for qualified undocumented immigrant students. Congress has not yet approved the DREAM Act.

California DREAM Act— A combination of three bills (Assembly Bill (AB) 540, AB 130 and AB 131) that allow undocumented and nonresident documented students to pay resident fees at public colleges and universities and apply for private scholarships, state-administered financial aid, university grants, and Cal Grants.

Assembly Bill (AB) 130— Gives undocumented students access to private financial aid in the State of California.

Assembly Bill (AB) 131— Provides undocumented students who graduate from high school with the opportunity to apply for and participate in all student financial aid programs administered by the State of California.

Assembly Bill (AB) 540— Exempts certain non-resident students who have attended high school in California and received a high school diploma or its equivalent from the payment of non-resident tuition.

Cal Grant— Financial aid awarded to undocumented students who qualify under AB 540 criteria and have completed the Dream Act application.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)— Establishes that certain individuals who arrive in the U.S. as children may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. The Secretary of Homeland Security makes these determinations on a case-by-case basis.

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced an end to the DACA program. We are looking at the E4FC resources site regularly for updates and guidance.

We make the utmost effort to keep this information up to date and accurate, but if you have specific inquiries please reach out to an Immigration Attorney.