FAQs on Northwestern Policies & Practices
The information provided in response to the FAQs listed below is meant only as a guide and should not be considered legal advice. If you have questions related to legal advice, please contact SES for more assistance.
How does Northwestern support DACA students, undocumented students, and students with undocumented family members or prospective students in these categories? What resources are available for such students?
Student Enrichment Services (SES) coordinates services for DACA students, undocumented students, and students with undocumented family members.
- SES is available Monday – Friday
- 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
We understand trying to navigate the immigration and related issues facing such students can be difficult. We are committed to providing support for all students and doing our best to connect students to helpful resources.
If you are a graduate student, SES can connect you to the appropriate people at The Graduate School or within your specific school.
Does Northwestern Police Department ask students about their immigration status, request immigration documentation from students, or detain students based on their immigration status?
The Northwestern University Police Department does not question students about their immigration status, ask them for immigration documentation, or detain them for reasons related to their immigration status.
I am in DACA status or I am undocumented. Where should I go if I have questions about applying to Northwestern?
Northwestern has a need-blind undergraduate admissions policy for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, undocumented students, and DACA students. This means that financial aid is not a factor in determining undergraduate admission. Northwestern's generous need-based aid program can assist in defraying the costs of your college education. However, applicants are encouraged to apply for financial aid.
You can find FAQs regarding DACA and undocumented applicants on the undergraduate admissions website.
If you are interested in applying for graduate school studies, you should contact SES in order to be connected to the right person to answer your questions.
I am in DACA status or I am undocumented. Are there financial aid resources available to me?
Undergraduate undocumented students or DACA recipients wishing to apply for need-based financial aid at Northwestern should submit the College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS) application and federal tax returns or a Non-Tax Filer Statement along with documentation of household income. Additional materials may be requested as needed.
The Financial Aid Committee will use these forms to establish the family contribution and to determine eligibility for Northwestern need-based scholarship assistance. Undocumented students without a valid Social Security number cannot submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Since undocumented students are not eligible for federal and state financial aid, undocumented students may need to obtain non-governmental or other institutional scholarships to help fund their education.
You must still apply for scholarships. Students should first check in with a Northwestern financial aid counselor to discuss the financial aid application process.
Undocumented undergraduate students or students with DACA status may contact SES for a referral to a financial aid counselor in the Financial Aid Office. See the undocumented student section in the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid for additional information.
Prospective or current graduate students who are undocumented or have DACA status should confer with Student Enrichment Services (SES) for a referral to appropriate sources of assistance with regard to graduate study financial aid.
I am a US citizen, but my parents are undocumented. do my parent's immigration status affect the financial aid resources available to me?
No. As an undergraduate applicant, your parents’ immigration status does not affect your eligibility for federal or state financial aid. The FAFSA does not ask about your parents’ immigration status.
If your parents do not have Social Security numbers, you must enter all zeros when the form asks for parents’ Social Security numbers.
Can I work on campus if I have DACA status or if I am undocumented?
Undergraduate DACA students with unexpired Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) can work on campus as long as the position is not a work study position. To learn more about employment opportunities on campus, please see the non-work study job portal for Northwestern students.
Undocumented students cannot work on campus unless they have a valid EAD.
All Northwestern students are required to show proof of health insurance. I am in DACA status or undocumented. Am I eligible for health insurance through the university?
Undergraduate DACA and undocumented students who are enrolled in a degree-seeking program and are registered for classes are able to enroll in Northwestern’s student health insurance plan, NU-SHIP. However, all students on the NU-SHIP plan are charged an annual premium through their student account.
Financial aid may be able to provide financial assistance to cover the costs associated with the NU-SHIP plan – contact SES for additional information. Alternatively, you can show proof of health insurance from outside the university that meets the coverage requirements.
I am a DACA recipient or undocumented. Am I eligible to live on-campus?
If you are an admitted undergraduate student, you are able to live on-campus without regard to your immigration status. The Office of Residential Services is not informed of any student’s immigrant status.
Please contact Student Enrichment Services for more information on residential life. SES can connect you to an appropriate person for additional assistance.
I am very stressed and anxious about my DACA or undocumented status or the undocumented status of a family member. Is there someone I can talk to?
If you are an admitted student, you can speak to someone at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS provides free support to meet your mental health needs including brief individual therapy, group therapy, after hours crisis consultation, and stress management workshops.
CAPS records are confidential and are kept separate from medical records. They will not document your immigration status. You can make an appointment to speak to someone at CAPS.
In addition, you can utilize NUhelp to share a concern for a student, identify safety and security resources, discover health and wellness programs, and find academic assistance.
I would like to get involved with a student group on campus that discusses concerns for undocumented individuals. Is there an active group?
The Immigrant Justice Project is a student-run organization led by a coalition of students seeking to learn and advocate for immigrant rights at Northwestern University, in the Chicago Metropolitan area, and for the nation at large. The International Student Association promotes interaction among students from different cultural backgrounds and serves as a platform to engage with global and cultural issues.