Undocumented Student Resources
Undocumented Students Are Welcome Here!
Over the years, Oberlin College has made significant progress in eliminating barriers for undocumented students, and it is important to highlight the activism of the Obies for Undocumented Inclusion (OUI) student organization, which was the catalyst for the creation of visible systems of support for undocumented students across Oberlin College.
The Multicultural Resource Commons strives to continue addressing the concerns, needs, and development of our undocumented students and the faculty and staff who work with them on a daily basis. We do this by providing students with one-on-one life advising, connecting students with Oberlin College and external resources, providing purposeful programming, training our faculty and staff, and connecting with community-based organizations and immigration experts.
If you have questions about Undocumented Student services here at Oberlin, we encourage you to reach out to Chris Donaldson, Assistant Dean for Inclusion and Belonging, at email@example.com with questions or comments.
What does it mean to be undocumented?
An undocumented student is any non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident living in the U.S. without a valid non-immigrant visa.
There are a few ways that someone can become undocumented:
- Lived in the U.S. for most of their lives but lack a way to become a legal resident or citizen of the U.S.
- Submitted immigration application/petition is denied & continued to remain in the U.S.
- Entered the U.S. without inspection
- Entered the U.S. legally, but immigration status has since expired (e.g., overstayed a VISA)
Can I attend Oberlin College & Conservatory if I am undocumented?
Yes! Oberlin College & Conservatory is committed to providing high-quality education to all qualifying students, regardless of citizenship status.
Will Oberlin College & Conservatory share my immigration status with federal immigration officials?
Oberlin College & Conservatory will do everything in their power to not release or share any student information with federal immigration officials unless required to do so by court order. The Office of Campus Safety does not make inquiries into citizenship status and does not provide information on immigration status to anyone except when required by law. If ICE was to come on to campus inquiring about undocumented students, the campus community should call campus safety immediately.
Do I qualify for financial aid & scholarships?
Yes! Although you do not have access to federal financial assistance, you do have access to institutional & private financial assistance so long as you meet their eligibility requirements.
Can I work on campus?
You can work on campus if you have a valid work permit. For example, if you are a current DACA recipient with a work authorization document, you can apply for regular student employment at Oberlin College & Conservatory.
Should I tell my employer if my DACA permit & work permit expire?
You do not have the legal obligation to tell your employer that you have DACA or that your work permit has expired. However, if you continue to work after your DACA or work permit expires, you are doing so without authorization, & your employer could terminate your employment at any time.
To learn more about your employment rights as a DACA recipient, visit the National Immigration Law Center's information about DACA & Workplace Rights.
What should I do if I feel I have been the victim of discrimination or harassment on campus?
If you feel you are experiencing discrimination or harassment on campus, you can contact the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion to discuss concerns, rights, & how to file complaints.
What support services are available on campus to students experiencing depression or anxiety?
Counseling & Psychological Services offers mental health services to students undergoing depression or anxiety free of charge.
Where can I learn more about my rights as an immigrant in the U.S.?
Only immigration attorneys can provide you with accurate advice about your immigration status & how you can pursue your legal rights.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offers basic information about the rights of immigrants in the U.S.
Additional information can be found here or at:
- National Immigration Law Center
- United We Dream
- Immigrant Legal Resource Center
- Ohio Immigrant Alliance
- Catholic Charities Legal Immigration Services
- Martin Jolic & Associates, LLC Immigration Law Firm
- Attorney Stacy Lee Cozart Martin, International Institute of Akron
As an undocumented student, why should I stay in school?
Everyone's journey is different & you have to do what is best for you & the holistic needs of your life. However, gaining an education provides a multitude of connections, both professionally & socially, & can increase the potential avenues of employment for your future. Getting a secondary education is more than just the academic knowledge gained. Staying enrolled will provide you with the opportunity to continue to foster friendships & mentorships that will help you navigate your life beyond the completion of your degree.
Oberlin College & Conservatory wants you here & will support you through your degree completion. You are an important member of the Oberlin community. While none of us know the future of immigration policies, you need to know that a college degree & higher education holds value throughout the world.
To learn about the institutional support for undocumented & DACA students at Oberlin College & Conservatory, please contact Chris Donaldson, Assistant Dean for Inclusion & Belonging, at firstname.lastname@example.org.