University News

Undocumented applicants considered under domestic status

Undocumented, DACA-status students to be admitted need-blind with demonstrated need met

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The University will classify DACA-status and undocumented students as domestic applicants beginning fall 2017, whereas previously these students were admitted on a need-aware basis similar to the process for international and transfer students.

For the fall 2017 admission cycle, undocumented applicants and students who qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will be considered as domestic applicants, meaning they will be admitted via a need-blind admission policy, the University announced in a press release today.

“We seek to ensure that undocumented and DACA-status students who have been raised and educated in this country and apply for admission to Brown are treated fairly and equitably,” said Provost Richard Locke P’17 in the press release.

In order to reach these students, the University will be continuing communication efforts to clarify its admission policies to all applicants.

“In seeking to attract the most talented and promising students to Brown, our goal here is to make our policies and resources regarding undocumented and DACA students both clear and accessible,” wrote Brian Clark, director of news and editorial development, in an email to The Herald. Meeting this goal includes tapping into the University’s partnerships with organizations like Questbridge that aim to help underprivileged high school students apply effectively to Brown, Clark added.

The decision follows the release of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which the University unveiled in February. The final version of the plan, which followed a working draft released the previous semester, incorporated feedback from various community members. This feedback included student demands, some of which were drafted by a group of Latinx students and focused on legal services they wanted the University to provide for undocumented students.

“This work would have been impossible without the tireless labor of students, faculty and alumni, especially women of color and undocumented students who are too often the subject of institutional erasure,” Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition, a student group, published on its Facebook page Monday evening. “We recognize that there is much work left to be done, and BIRC is determined to remain active in the implementation of these policies at Brown.”

While the University’s admission process has been open to undocumented and DACA-status students for several years, applicants were previously admitted on a need-aware basis — the same standard used for international and transfer students. This change in the admission policy comes as a number of institutions, including Oberlin College and Wesleyan University, choose to eliminate the distinction between undocumented and domestic applicants.

Though undocumented students are ineligible for federal financial aid, the University plans to meet the full demonstrated need of undocumented and DACA-status students through University-funded financial aid.

The University plans to bolster on-campus academic and social support for undocumented and DACA-status students through the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center, as well as the Offices of the Dean of the College and Campus Life and Student Services.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly implied that the release of the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan had been prompted by student demonstrations. In fact, the plan’s revision was informed by student demonstrations, among much other feedback. The Herald regrets the error.