Resources for DACA or Undocumented Students

Scholarships/Financial Aid

Good news! DACA and undocumented students can receive GMercyU merit scholarships as long as you meet eligibility requirements as listed on our Scholarships page.

While federal and state financial aid resources for undocumented students are limited in type and amount, we encourage you to explore the sites below and then meet with Financial Aid if you have any further questions. These resources explore a variety of scholarship opportunities and frequently asked questions concerning financial aid eligibility, requirements, and resources for undocumented students:

  • Financial aid information for undocumented students regarding eligibility and completing the FAFSA form: (see below on applying for aid without a social security number)

  • Resources for accessing higher education as an undocumented student such as terms to know, state laws concerning higher education policies for undocumented students, things to consider during the college search, and options to pay for college:

  • Essential information and resources for undocumented college students, including scholarship opportunities, advice from fellow undocumented students, and information on how to apply to graduate school:

  • This resource provides specific college scholarships for DACA and undocumented students, place to locate scholarships, and things to consider during the scholarship application process:

  • List of undergraduate and graduate scholarships and fellowships (updated frequently):

  • Dreamers Roadmap is a mobile app created to help undocumented students find scholarship opportunities, making this highly accessible in real-time:

Appying for Aid Without a Social Security Number

This process outlines the steps needed in order for an individual without an SSN to have their identity verified and account created.

Step 1: An individual should visit, select “Create Account” and complete all steps, including answering 1-4 knowledge-based verification questions via TransUnion®.

Step 2: Upon completing the Create Account process, the individual will see a confirmation page with the results of their identity verification. If they fail the TransUnion® process, FSA will automatically assign a case number to the individual.

Step 3: Once the case number is created, FSA will send them a verification email in their preferred language (English or Spanish), which will include their case number, along with guidance on how to submit copies of unexpired acceptable documentation (listed below) to verify their identity. Individuals will also be required to submit an attestation and validation of identity form along with their approved identity documentation. This form will be available on

Provide one (1) of the following documents to establish identity:

  • U.S. Driver’s License
  • U.S. State/City Identification Card
  • Foreign Passport


One (1) set of documents below to establish identity:

  • Municipal Identification Cards + utility bill
  • Community ID + utility bill
  • Consular Identification Cards/Matricula Consular + utility bill

Step 4: Upon receipt of the email that FSA was unable to verify their identity, an individual is then required to submit one or a combination of their acceptable documentation from the list above and a signed attestation form to:

Step 5: FSA will review an individual’s submitted documentation and signed attestation form to ensure it is acceptable and matches the account information provided during the Create Account process. If there is a successful match, the Department will finalize the account creation. The individual will receive an email indicating their identity has been verified and that they may now use their account username and password (FSA ID) to log in at and complete applications for student financial assistance programs.


Legal Support

If you are an undocumented or immigrant student, an ever-changing set of laws and policies can directly impact college and graduate school plans. It’s important that you understand the recent history and stay updated on ongoing changes to immigration laws in the U.S., especially as they impact how and where you can attend college. If seeking support, advocacy, and/or representation below you can find some directories that can help in your search:

  • Discover how to find a free immigration lawyer and low-cost legal help, why to get help, when to get help, who can provide legal help, and how to represent yourself:

  • The Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC) provides high quality legal services so that vulnerable immigrants and their families have access to justice and a more secure future:

  • Search for immigration legal services providers by state, county, or detention facility. Only nonprofit organizations that provide free or low-cost immigration legal services are included in this directory:

  • Find an immigration lawyer on AILA website (American Immigration Lawyers Association):

  • Directory of free or low-cost immigration attorneys created by Temple University’s International Student and Scholar Services Office:

Health Support

Undocumented immigrants are far more likely than other U.S. residents to be uninsured, which creates barriers to healthcare. Even without insurance, undocumented immigrants can receive medical care at certain health facilities, and many of these locations charge on a sliding scale. Undocumented immigrants also may qualify for emergency Medicaid, which covers access to healthcare during an emergency medical condition. Explore the following resources to have a better understanding of your healthcare options and right to insurance as an undocumented student:

  • Learn more about healthcare options for undocumented immigrants including your rights to insurance, care, and privacy:

  • My Undocumented Life blog seeks to provide resources for undocumented immigrants. They are continually expanding this health-related page as more information comes in, so be sure to return to it periodically:

  • Community Health Centers is the largest network of primary healthcare providers in Pennsylvania. This network of health centers includes Community Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics and other like-mission providers providing care for underserved rural and urban areas throughout Pennsylvania. Use this database to search for a health center near you:

  • Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative (PRHC) is a regional coalition consisting of Philadelphia’s three refugee ressettlement agencies and eight refugee health clinics. The core mission of the Collaborative is to create an equitable system of refugee health care in the Philadelphia region that ensures a consistently high standard of care for all newly arrive refugees. Each year, PRHC provides domestic health screenings, primary care, and access to laboratory, radiology, and subspecialty services to 800 newly arrived refugees. PRHC also provides ongoing primary care and women’s health services to established refugee patients:

Financial Support

Finance planning and support appears differently for DACA recipients and undocumented students. We encourage you to explore these resources to have a better understanding on financial planning and support, along with a guide to immigrant rights to public benefits in Pennsylvania:

  • Financial planning and support for DACA recipients including information on: financial systems and challenges, legal fees for immigration, building credit, finding tuition assistance, purchasing a home, and traveling:

  • Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s guide to immigrant’s rights to public benefits in Pennsylvania, such as TANF, SSI, SNAP, and MA:


At Gwynedd Mercy University, we are dedicated to creating a better future for students who are immigrants. Advocates and allies are invited to keep up to date about legal landscape impacting undocumented students in higher education, including the changing status of DACA and on effective practices for supporting undocumented students at the college level. We encourage you to explore the following resources to understand how to aid students who are immigrants:

  • Provides guidance in matters concerning Constitutional violations, institutional discrimination, and other practices or policies resulting in unequal treatment against any group, including immigrant or undocumented Americans:

  • The American Immigration Council promotes education, advocates for judicial protections, and advances cultural exchange related to immigration issues and needs:

  • Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project provides support and services to keep families together, particularly those separated by enforcement personnel despite their status as asylum-seekers:

  • Immi helps immigrants understand and consider their options for staying in the United States. Immi provides access to education, resources, and legal support:

  • Freedom for Immigrants is a nonprofit organization that manages the nation's largest immigration detention hotline, drafts legislation, and organizes visitation opportunities for individuals in detention centers:

  • Immigration Advocates Network offers free and accessible online resources to connect leading immigrants' rights organizations with one another. This network improves communication and collaboration between groups and advances service capacity and access to justice for immigrants:

  • International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) organizes law students and lawyers to advance legal and human rights for refugees. It specializes in legal and judicial challenges to existing immigration laws:

  • Kino Border Initiative (KBI) collects supplies and distributes humanitarian aid for refugees and migrants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border:

  • National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) provides advocacy and representation for immigrants facing removal, people struggling to gain access at the borders, and families separated by aggressive law enforcement tactics:

  • This organization provides shelter and humanitarian support for migrant families and individuals during their often-perilous travels to the U.S. border:

  • Women’s Refugee Commision (WRC) provides support and advocacy for women, children, and youth seeking asylum in the U.S. to flee violence, persecution, and abuse:

Other Resources

Knowing resources available to students who are immigrants and undocumented are important steps when considering higher education. Knowing the different resources allows better support for those in need. Here are a few more resources you may want to consider exploring that discuss overcoming common barriers, a college guide for DACA and undocumented students, and more:

  • A resource library for immigrants including immigration help (legal help, know your rights, DACA, detention and deportation, TPS, and LRIF), health (mental, healthcare, COVID), life in the US (driver’s license, government benefits, employment), and education:

  • Resources for undocumented college students including advocacy resources, campus safety, support for online learning, and more:

  • Nationalities Service Center (NSC) offers comprehensive services in language access, legal protection, community integration, employment and health and wellness:

  • Compilation of resources to help undocumented students overcome common barriers, such as legal help, advocacy help, government agencies, educational support, and financial support:

  • College guide for DACA and undocumented students, such as navigating campus life, career assistance and employment:

  • Guide for applying to college as a DACA or undocumented student, including scholarships and more: