Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who are undocumented students?

Undocumented students are students who are not U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or “eligible noncitizens.” Undocumented students are sometimes referred to as "Dreamers." This term generally refers to undocumented youths who have lived in the United States from a very young age.

2. What is the Maryland Dream Act?

The Maryland Dream Act became law on December 6, 2012, and applies to all future semesters, starting with the 2013 winter session and beyond. MD Dream Act is a tuition equity law and allows Maryland high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants the opportunity to qualify for the lowest tuition rates at their public colleges and universities upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and submitting required documentation. The Act applies in all 24 jurisdictions within the state of Maryland - every county in the state of Maryland, plus the city of Baltimore.

3. What does the Maryland Dream Act do?

This law enables certain undocumented high school graduates to obtain a post-secondary education at an affordable price. First, if students meet the requirements of the law, they can qualify for the in-county rate at the Maryland community college in jurisdiction from which they graduated from high school. Second, students who earn their first 60 credits or an associate’s degree from a community college and continue to meet the requirements of the Dream Act are eligible for the in-state rate at a four-year public university in Maryland.

4. Who is eligible to apply for the Maryland Dream Act?

To be eligible for the Maryland DREAM Act, students who are undocumented immigrants must have:

  • Attended a Maryland high school for at least three years, starting no earlier than the 2005-2006 school year
  • Graduated from a Maryland high school or received a GED no earlier than the 2007-2008 school year
  • Registered at a Maryland community college within four years of high school graduation or receiving a Maryland GED

5. If a student is eligible for the Maryland Dream Act, how do they apply for it?

Students who are eligible to apply for the Maryland Dream Act must submit the following forms to the Enrollment Services Office by the deadline:

  • A signed affidavit vowing to file an application to become a permanent resident within 30 days after becoming eligible to apply.
  • If male, proof that student registered with the U.S. Selective Service. Instructions about how to register can be found on the U.S. Selective Service System website. Students can register for Selective Service at any U.S. Post Office. A receipt from the post office that indicates that application was submitted will be accepted as proof.
  • Copies of Maryland state income tax returns filed by the student or the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian. This income state tax return will state Form 502 or Form 503 at the top in bold print. The tax returns must be signed and must be from:
  • Each of the three years the student attended high school,
  • Each year that the student attended community college, and
  • Each year between high school and community college.
  • An official copy of the student’s high school transcript that shows his or her graduation from a public or nonpublic high school in Maryland. If a student got a Maryland GED, they must submit a copy of their Maryland high school transcript and a copy of their GED.

6. What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

On June 5, 2012, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Certain undocumented people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. This action is separate from the Maryland DREAM Act.

DACA advisory post Obama administration

7. Who is eligible for DACA?

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
  • Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

DACA advisory post Obama administration

8. If I am granted DACA, for how many years will I have it?

Under the current program’s guidelines, you will be able to apply to renew both your DACA and your work permit up to January 20th 2016.
https://www.nilc.org/FAQdeferredactionyouth.html

9. As an undocumented student or DACA student, am I eligible for federal student aid?

Undocumented students, including DACA students and Dreamers, are not eligible for federal student aid. However, you may be eligible for state or college financial aid, or private scholarships. Most states and colleges use information collected on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine undocumented students’ eligibility for non-federal financial aid programs, including scholarships. If you do not have a Social Security number, you may still complete the FAFSA.
How to fill out a FAFSA if you and/or your parents do not have a Social Security number

10. Are there allies or organizations that support undocumented students in MD?

  • Casa de Maryland is a community organization that strives to improve the quality of life and fight for equal treatment of low-income immigrant communities.
    http://wearecasa.org/
  • United We Dream (UWD) is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. UWD’s powerful nonpartisan network is made up of over 100,000 immigrant youth and allies and 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. 
    http://unitedwedream.org/
  • Maryland DREAM Youth Committee (MDYC) is an immigrant youth led organization founded in July 2010 committed to empowering undocumented youth to pursue educational opportunities. 
    http://www.md-dyc.org/

11. Am I eligible for admission to Maryland? If so, how do I apply?

Yes, all students with interest in Maryland are encouraged to apply for admission. If you are a first time freshman, you should seek to complete the freshman application for admission. If you are transferring from another institution, and will have completed 12 credits or more, you should seek to complete the transfer application for admission. Please visit: https://www.admissions.umd.edu/apply/requirements.php