Undocumented Student and DACA Resources
We understand the unique challenges undocumented students, first generation and/or low income face in higher education. This web page is a resource for all students, families, and faculty members who may need additional assistance in navigating on and off campus resources. If you need additional information or resources please contact Social Services Coordinator Jahahi Mazariego, LSW, by visiting JCSU 303-C or calling (775) 784-1547 to schedule an appointment.
The University of Nevada, Reno offers multiple degree programs but understanding the requirements for each program and balancing personal responsibilities may be overwhelming. There are academic advising for all majors, where they assist students in creating academic plans that best meet their study of interest.
For additional cultural and academic support, please visit The Center: Every Student. Every Story. They can meet the unique needs of students of undocumented statuses and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Educational Protections and Benefits
The University of Nevada, Reno believes that our campus should be welcoming, safe and supportive where all students regardless of their immigration status, national origin, age, disability gender, disability, race, color, religion and veteran status. Addition to the policies we have under the Equal Opportunity and Title IX office we encourage you to read more about the policies below to understand the educational rights of all students.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records and students identifying information. Learn more about FERPA at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Plyler V. Doe (1982). The Supreme Court issued that states cannot constitutionally deny students a free K-12 public education on account of their immigration status. This court ruling does not extend to secondary education creating barriers for students with undocumented statuses to attend college.
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). IIRIRA prohibits states from providing any higher education benefit based on residency to undocumented immigrants unless they provide the same benefit to United States citizens in the same circumstances, regardless of their residence.
In-state tuition. All students regardless of their immigration status must earn their admission to any Nevada institution of higher education through their own merits. In the state of Nevada, a student is considered a Nevada “resident” for tuition purposes under the following conditions:
- An enrollee or graduate of a Nevada high school.
- A member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in Nevada as a permanent duty assignment, pursuant to military orders, or the spouse, family or legal guardian of such a person.
- A student who is financially dependent upon a family member or legal guardian who has been a resident of the state of Nevada 12 months prior to the first day of instruction of the semester in which the student intends to enroll.
- A student who is financially independent and has established residence in the state of Nevada for a minimum of 12 months prior to the first day of instruction of the semester in which the student intends to enroll.
- A financially independent person who has relocated or transferred to Nevada specifically for the primary purpose of permanent full-time employment or to establish a business in Nevada, or the spouse, or dependents of such a person.
- A student who has been classified as an in-state resident by another NSHE institution.
For full details about Nevada Residency please visit the Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4 Chapter 15: Regulations for Determining Residency and Tuition Charges. For additional information about University of Nevada, Reno in-state tuition and policies, refer to our page on Becoming a Nevada Resident.
Financial Aid. The University of Nevada, Reno offers institutional grants and scholarship opportunities based on merit or financial need. These scholarships do not require for a student to complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Undocumented students can apply for private scholarships. Please visit The Center: Every Student. Every Story for a list of scholarships or additional scholarship assistance.
Mental Health Support
It is important to recognize the resiliency that undocumented students have but continue to acknowledge that at times the challenges that these students face can affect their mental health, self-esteem, relationships and well-being. The University strives in supporting all students and their unique challenges through supportive services. Below you will find on campus counseling services for students.
- University of Nevada, Reno Counseling Services
- The Downing Counseling Clinic
- Victims of Crime Treatment Center
For additional counseling and mental health services you can contact Social Services Coordinator Jahahi Mazariego, LSW, by visiting JCSU 303-C or calling (775) 784-1547 to schedule an appointment.
Immigration Legal Support
The University of Nevada, Reno does not endorse or specifically recommend any resource. We encourage you to do additional research when looking for any legal help. We recommend you follow the toolkits at the bottom of this page to better assist you in finding reliable and legal assistance.
Northern Nevada Immigration Legal Services (non-profit organizations)
- Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada
- Nevada Legal Services
- Progressive Leadership of Nevada
- State Bar of Nevada
- Tu Casa Latina
- Washoe Legal Services
Resources for Students and Families
- What Do I Need to Know About the End of DACA?
- If DACA Ends
- How To Find Immigration Help
- Family Preparedness Plan (Spanish)
Resources for Educators
The Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) provides a range of resources, scholarship information and toolkits for educators to support undocumented students and their families. You can learn more in their Resources for Educators website.
Many colleges and universities have created a personalized UndocuAlly training program. The University of Nevada, Reno is in the process in creating an UndocuAlly Program that offers an opportunity for faculty, educators and staff to learn the strengths and challenges that many undocumented students face personally and in higher education.