Resources for DACA and Undocumented Students
There are many resources to help undocumented students meet their educational goals at Chemeketa.
Undocumented students or students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protection Status (TPS) or students in limbo due to immigration processes are from various parts of the world and they are not always eligible for resources or services to help meet their educational goals.
Our mission is to transform lives and strengthen communities through quality education, service, and workforce training. The Chemeketa Board of Education is committed to access, diversity, and equity in support of our students. Full statement.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions on this site
The FAQs may answer questions you may have about going to college as an undocumented student.
Apply for Admission
Follow the steps to enroll based on the type of student you are such as new, returning, transferring, etc. Select the option that best matches your situation and complete the admission application. You will then receive an email from Chemeketa providing you with your student ID number, and steps to activate your account and complete the Placement Assessment.
Apply for Financial Aid
While you wait for the email from Chemeketa, complete the ORSAA application. Make sure to select Chemeketa Community College as your school of choice. Most students under the age of 24 must also have a parent sign the ORSAA electronically. If you are missing a signature, your application is not complete. Learn more.
You are automatically considered for the Oregon Opportunity Grant by completing the ORSAA. If you are awarded, you will receive an email from ORSAA or OSAC between spring and summer.
The funds will go to the Chemeketa Financial Aid Office. They will handle all of your financial aid and disburse the funds into your student account at the beginning of the term as long as you are registered for the required amount of credits determined by your grants, scholarships, and other funding you may be receiving.
- Full-time is 12+ credits
- 3/4 time is 9–11 credits
- Half-time is 6–8 credits
- Less than half is 5 or less
After completing the ORSAA, apply for the following grants and scholarships. Check out the rest of this webpage for more information about these and other resources to pay for college.
- Oregon Promise (high school seniors only)
- OSAAC Scholarships
- Chemeketa Foundation Scholarships
- Chemeketa Scholars
- Student Leadership
- and others
Transferring to a 4-year school after Chemeketa
Applying for Admission to a 4-year University
Visit the schools’ websites to learn about their admission requirements, application and scholarship deadlines, and tuition equity for DACA and undocumented students. Remember to order your official transcripts from Chemeketa.
You may be eligible to pay in-state tuition at a public university. To apply, in addition to your admission application, complete the form Affidavit and Request for Exemption from Nonresident Tuition and Fees, available at the university’s Admissions Office. Out-of-state tuition is usually two or three times more than in-state tuition.
Private universities do not require this form. Contact the private university of your choice to learn more.
Oregon Transfer Schools
Visit universities’ websites and search for undocumented, DACA, or Dreamer on their sites to learn about resources and services for undocumented students at their schools. Visit Oregon Goes to College for a complete list of Oregon community colleges and public and private universities.
TheDream.US Scholarship for transfer students
If you plan to transfer to the following schools, then check out thedream.us scholarships.
- Eastern Oregon University
- Portland State University
- Western Oregon University
Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact us if you have questions that weren't covered in this section.
Can undocumented students go to college?
Yes! Chemeketa has an open-door policy, so anyone who applies can come to Chemeketa. Begin by completing our free admissions application. A social security number is not required.
What is financial aid?
Financial aid is money that helps pay for college such as state and federal grants, scholarships, work-study, loans, and/or sponsorships through employers or other entities. Anyone can get financial aid. Learn more.
Can undocumented students apply for financial aid?
Yes! Undocumented students residing in Oregon may apply for state grants as well as scholarships and Individual Development Accounts (IDA). All degree-seeking students can apply for the Chemeketa Foundation Scholarships, Chemeketa Scholars, and tuition waivers through the Student Leadership Program. Check out the "Paying for College" section on this page to learn more.
Why should undocumented students earn a college degree if they are not eligible for employment?
An education can enrich your life, help you grow, provide stability for your loved ones, and you can use your life experiences to help future generations go to college.
What career options are available for undocumented students?
Some degrees and career technical programs may require a valid social security number to participate in required internships. Speak with one of our career counselors to learn which of our programs best fits your needs.
Gain experience and build our resume and network by getting involved. Ask your academic advisor about our Business Programs and become your own boss. Visit spark.immigrantsrising.org to learn how fellow immigrants across the country are starting their own businesses.
Paying for College
To apply for Oregon grants and scholarships, you must complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) each year. The application opens on October 1. The ORSAA is an alternative to the FAFSA for Oregon undocumented students, including students who have DACA, TPS, or a valid U-Visa. It is a confidential application used to qualify students for Oregon state financial aid by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). Learn more about the HECC's Data and Security.
Use the FAFSA/ORSAA filter tool to determine which application to fill out and whether you are eligible to complete the ORSAA.
External Grants, Scholarships, and IDAs
- The Oregon Promise Grant is a state grant that helps pay tuition for recent high school graduates and GED test graduates from any community college in Oregon. You must apply during your senior year or immediately after completing your GED test. Your graduation date will determine the deadline to apply for FAFSA or ORSAA and Oregon Promise, and when you need to start college to avoid losing the grant. Use the deadline tool to determine when you need to apply.
- Oregon Opportunity Grant is a need-based grant awarded to Oregon residents of all ages who are pursuing their first associates degree or bachelor's degree at an eligible public or private school. You only need to complete the FAFSA or ORSAA to be considered for this grant. No separate application is required.
- OSAC Scholarships has over 600 scholarships for students living in Oregon. You can apply for multiple scholarships by filling out one application. Applications are open from Nov 1–Apr 1, 2024.
- The Ford Family Foundation Scholarship provides up to $40,000 annually in scholarships to high school seniors, transfer students, adult learners, and parents residing in Oregon or Siskiyou County, California. Applications are open from Dec 1, 2023–Mar 1, 2024.
- The Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber provides annual scholarship awards to qualifying applicants. Applications are open from Dec. 9–Jan 28.
Additional resources for undocumented students on how to apply for and pay for college:
- Oregon Goes To College
- Dreamersroadmap.org is a national non-profit app helping undocumented students find scholarships to go to college.
- My Undocumented Life is a volunteer-run organization that provides undocumented students with the latest information and resources, including scholarship opportunities, navigating the education system, immigration, and more.
Individual Development Account (IDA)
An Individual Development Account (IDA) is a savings account that you can invest in your education. You can earn a 3:1 to 5:1 for your savings (i.e. Receive $3 for every $1 you save). The following websites can assist you in finding an IDA program near you.
Chemeketa Scholarships & Opportunities
- Chemeketa Foundation Scholarship provides approximately $500,000 available in scholarship and assistance funds to new and returning students each year. Applications are open from Feb 1– Mar 31, 2024.
- Chemeketa Scholars pays up to two years of tuition in any field of study, including career technical programs. Applications are open from Feb 26–Mar 8, 2024.
- The Student Leadership Program provides students seeking a college degree with tuition waivers, valuable work experience, and the opportunity to develop strong leadership skills. You can apply at any time, but the best time to apply is mid-April, as most students in the program graduate in the spring, opening positions for the following academic year.
Chemeketa has an open-door policy so, all students are welcome regardless of residential status. The following resources are available to all Chemeketa students.
- In addition to career counseling, Counseling Services provides free short-term crisis and mental health counseling to all registered students at Chemeketa.
- The TRIO/College Completion Program (CCP) connects its participants to a Success Coach experienced in working with students of all backgrounds who can guide them through the college systems, connect them to financial and academic resources, and provide them with one-on-one support to meet their educational and career goals. TRIO/CCP can also help save you money with their additional services. Learn more.
- Student Parent Program helps pregnant and parenting students overcome challenges to complete their educational and career goals.
- Safe Haven provides resources and a space for LGBTQ2SIA+ students. Please contact 503.365.4664 for more information
- Getting Involved
- Basic Needs are essential resources needed on a daily/regular basis. For more campus and community resources, visit go.chemeketa.edu/resources.
- Food Pantry is a free resource for all Chemeketa students.
- Student Emergency Funds assist students who encounter an unforeseen financial emergency.
- Chemeketa Closet provides professional clothing to current students at no cost. Located in Bldg. 2, Rm. 230
- Referrals for an eye exam and glasses are available by appointment.
- GED preparation courses are offered in English and Spanish. Earn free college credit when you complete your GED.
- Learn and improve your English with our ESOL courses.
- Chemeketa does not have on-campus legal services. You can find immigration resources on our Student Resources webpage.
- Spark.immigrantsrising.org is a resource for immigrant entrepreneurs
- Top 5 things you need to know about the latest DACA decision.
- USCIS is only processing DACA renewal applications
- Know the facts about Public Charge:
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Public Charge Resources
- Oregon.gov Public Charge Fact Sheet in various languages
- DACA Renewal Scholarship by Centro Cultural
Employees & Students
We strive to provide a safe learning and working environment. We encourage you to learn about Chemeketa’s policies and procedures regarding access to student information and access to the college’s campuses by visitors, including law and federal officers.
Please let us know if you are experiencing an issue by reporting your complaint or concerns.