DACA Students Can Access In-State Tuition, Financial Aid


Director of the HECC, Ben Cannon, encourages Oregon DACA and undocumented students to make the most of the resources available to them

SALEM – In light of the Supreme Court decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) today, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) has issued a statement from HECC Executive Director Ben Cannon, and encourages DACA and undocumented students to pursue higher education including in-state tuition, scholarships, and financial aid for which they may qualify.

Ben Cannon, Executive Director of the HECC said, “The Supreme Court decision on DACA today is extremely good news for Oregon’s many talented DACA students, and for the Oregon campuses and communities in which they and their families are vital and integral members. We remind Oregon DACA and undocumented students that they are welcome and supported in Oregon higher education. Our agency is proud to administer programs that directly financially support DACA and undocumented students in starting or continuing their college and career goals. We encourage students to apply to attend college, complete the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA), and apply for state financial aid programs for which they may be eligible.”

Since 2013, Oregon has allowed students who have studied in the United States for 5 years immediately prior to receiving their high school diploma, and who have attended Oregon schools for 3 years prior to qualify for in-state tuition at any public institution of higher education in state. Additionally, since 2015, students who qualify for in-state tuition under these provisions may be eligible for the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the state’s need-based financial aid program, the Oregon Promise, the state’s grant supporting community college affordability for recent high school graduates and GED recipients, as well as numerous institutional and private scholarships. 

Undocumented and DACA students interested in receiving state-administered financial aid can apply through the state’s Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA). This application is designed to determine eligibility for Oregon financial aid programs for students who are not eligible to apply for federal and state aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“Every DACA recipient and undocumented student who has a dream to attend college should know that Oregon provides that opportunity to them,” said Juan Baez-Arevalo, Director of the HECC Office of Student Access and Completion. “Through ORSAA, students can qualify for financial aid in Oregon without filling out a federal application, and they will be considered equally as any other student for the aid for which they are eligible.”

The HECC Office of Student Access and Completion has a web page explaining resources for DACA and undocumented students, and is pleased to field questions from students and families.

About Author

Endi Hartigan is the Communications Director for the State of Oregon's Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). The HECC envisions a future in which all Oregonians—and especially those whom our systems have underserved and marginalized—benefit from the transformational power of high-quality postsecondary education and training.

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