Student Success and Retention

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DACA and Undocumented Student Resources

The University of Northern Iowa is committed to student success, which includes providing a campus culture that reflects and values the evolving diversity of society and promotes inclusion. As a campus community we strive to fully support all of our students, including undocumented students, families and those most directly affected by the recent phase-out of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). We have compiled information and resources to help students and their families navigate these barriers while continuing to move toward their educational goals.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has developed a national online resource to serve DACA/DREAMers and their families. It is titled the Community Resource Center for DACA/DREAMers and HSIs and is available in app form by searching HACU CRC in the App Store or Google Play.

The UNI Alumni Magazine recently published an article titled I don't belong here highlighting student and alumni experiences related to DACA and immigration policy.  Read to learn more about how these issues impact our students and their families, along with information about campus and community support.

University of Northern Iowa Resources

Letter from President Mark Nook celebrating the Supreme Court decision to uphold DACA and committing to the work ahead

Letter from Iowa Regent university presidents to Iowa Congressional delegation advocating for action on DACA and legislation to protect Dreamers

Statement of support from President Mark Nook

American Council on Education letter in support of legislation to protect Dreamers released October 19, 2017, signed by UNI as well as 800 other colleges and universities

Statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and our undocumented immigrant students, The Pomona College Letter, signed by the University of Northern Iowa along with 545 other colleges and university presidents

Counseling Services, 103 Health Services, 319-273-2676

Center for Multicultural Education, 109 Maucker Union, 319-273-2250

Dean of Students, 118 Gilchrist, 319-273-2332

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, 105 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2700

Office of the Registrar, 115 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2241

International Students and Scholars Office, 113 Maucker Union, 319-273-6421

University Human Resource Services, 27 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2422

Student Success and Retention, 118 Gilchrist Hall, 319-273-2332 (ask for Kristin)


Deferred Action (DACA) Program and Dream Act Legislative Information

Current status of DACA:

US Citizenship & Immigration Services - Update as of July 17, 2019:

American Council on Education summary information on U.S. House passing Dream Act, June 4, 2019

Financial Information and Resources

Educational and financial resources for Latino students and parents from the Iowa Department of Human Rights:

Scholarships and resources for undocumented students:

Iowa College Aid resources for DREAMers:

Scholarships available to undocumented students (see pages 38-42):

Tuition and financial aid policies:


Legal Information and Assistance

Iowa immigration service providers and related resources: (see page two of this sublink for immigration lawyers based in Waterloo/Cedar Falls)

Immigrant Rights Under a Trump Presidency, FAQs from MALDEF:

ICE policy on sensitive locations:

Free legal help through Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC):


Faculty and Staff Resources for Supporting Undocumented Youth

Tips for higher education faculty and staff (see pages 17 -  21) 

United We Dream training presentation for educators:

Resources for educators to support undocumented students and families:

College advising for undocumented students:


Information for Parents:

How to Support College-Bound Undocumented Students:


Frequently Asked Questions*

  1. Is my DACA status still valid? Yes, your DACA is valid until its expiration date. DACA and work permits (employment authorization documents) will remain valid until their expiration date. To determine when your DACA and work permit expire, check your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your employment authorization document (EAD).

  2. Can I still apply for DACA? As of July 2020, the DACA program remains in effect as the result of a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued on June 18, 2020. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has indicated that it will reject any new DACA applications and will be limiting renewals to one year instead of two. Details are provided on the USCIS web page. Individuals who are interested in filing a first-time application for DACA or a renewal application should seek legal counsel regarding their legal options as soon as possible.

  3. If I already have DACA can I renew it? Yes. Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA may request renewal. Visit the following link for more detailed information:

  4. Can undocumented students, including former and current DACA recipients, enroll at the University of Northern Iowa? Yes. The state of Iowa allows students, regardless of immigration status, to enroll in public colleges and universities.

  5. Can undocumented students, including former and current DACA recipients, qualify for financial aid and scholarships? Undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid. However private scholarship funding is available to undocumented students. Admitted students interested in attending UNI can still complete and submit the university scholarship application. See the financial aid information and resources section of this web page for links to these programs.

  6. If my DACA status expires can I continue as a student at the University of Northern Iowa? Yes. You are still a student at the University of Northern Iowa and we are committed to supporting you in meeting your educational goals.

  7. If I am stopped by Iowa police, am I required to show proof of my immigration status? No, the state of Iowa has no “show me your papers” law.

  8. Where can I find access to immigration legal assistance? Visit the Iowa Department of Human Rights Immigration Resources page for legal resources, including a link to immigration lawyers in Iowa.  Note that page two of this document lists two immigration lawyers based on Waterloo/Cedar Falls. 

*Portions of this FAQ copied with permission from Iowa State University.