Frequently Asked Questions by DACA and Undocumented Students Applying to BCC
- Who can apply to Brookdale?
Brookdale is an open admission college. We will accept anyone 18 years of age or older, anyone who is a high school graduate or holder of an equivalency diploma, or anyone who has been home-schooled and can document age-appropriate learning skills.
- Do undocumented students submit the same application as everyone else when applying to Brookdale?
- Who can I ask for help with my college application?
If your parents are unable to assist with your college application, you should seek the assistance of your high school guidance counselor or the admissions office. You can also visit My (Un)documented Life. This website includes information on applying to college and graduate school as well as finding funding. It also offers advice from other undocumented students. Visit: https://mydocumentedlife.org
- Do I need to provide proof of citizenship to apply to Brookdale?
No federal law requires proof of citizenship.
- What do I put for country of citizenship?
“No selection” is the recommended response for undocumented students because that allows the students to pass other questions regarding permanent residency and visa status that are not applicable to their status.
- What do I put on my college application if I do not have a social security number?
You can either skip this question entirely or enter zeros. Doing so will not disqualify your application. You cannot use your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or the Alien Number gained through DACA status.
- Can school officials disclose personal information about students?
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act prohibits school officials from providing personal information.
- Are application advisors, admission officers, and financial aid counselors required by law to report undocumented students to US Citizenship and Immigration Services?
No. What you tell advisors, admissions officers, and financial aid counselors cannot be used as incriminating evidence against you.
- Are undocumented students eligible for federal financial aid?
No. Undocumented students, including DACA students, are not eligible for federal financial aid. However, if you attend an eligible New Jersey institution of higher education, you will be considered for New Jersey state financial aid – such as the Tuition Aid Grant Program (TAG), Educational Opportunity Grant (EOF), New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJSTARS) Programs, and Governor’s Urban Scholarship (GUS) – if you complete the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application. Please see the link to NEW Financial Aid Information for DACA Students.
- Should undocumented students complete the FAFSA?
Colleges use the information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for aid. You may complete the FAFSA if you are a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen with a Social Security number, and you are encouraged to do so at fafsa.gov. Your parents’ citizenship status DOES NOT affect your eligibility for federal student aid. See the FAFSA definition (http://fafsa.ed.gov/help/fotw15a.htm)
You should complete the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application if you DO NOT meet the FAFSA definitions above or DO NOT have a Social Security number, and if you meet these qualifications:
- Attended a New Jersey high school for at least three years.
- Graduated from a New Jersey high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in New Jersey
- Registered with Selective Service (male students only)
- Are able to file an affidavit stating you will file an application to legalize your immigration status or will file an application as soon as you are eligible to do so.
To complete the New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application:
- Apply online at http://www.hesaa.org/Pages/NJAlternativeApplication.aspx
- Apply for admissions to Brookdale Community College and follow all steps in your admissions acceptance letter
- Submit proof you have attended a New Jersey high school for at least three (3) years (such as a high school transcript) to Brookdale Community College
- Submit proof you have graduated from a New Jersey high school (such as a final high school transcript which shows your date of graduation) or its equivalent (such as a GED certificate) to Brookdale
- Males must register for Selective Service at www.sss.gov
- Complete the Alternative Financial Aid Affidavit – click here
- Select “Login to NJ FAMS” on https://www.hesaa.org/Pages/NJAlternativeApplication.aspx create an account, log in, and see if NJ HESAA (Higher Education Student Assistance Authority) is requesting any additional information. Please check this website regularly.
- Do undocumented students pay in-state tuition in New Jersey?
Yes. New Jersey grants in-state tuition rates to undocumented students attending colleges in New Jersey through the New Jersey Tuition Equity Act. You can read more about the act here: http://www.state.nj.us/highereducation/TuitionEqualityAct.shtml
- Can I receive any financial assistance as an undocumented student?
Yes; there are scholarships available specifically for undocumented students, but you will need to search for these opportunities. These websites include some of the options:
UndocuJersey provides educational resources for undocumented students and documented students with undocumented parents who are pursuing higher education. You can find information on events, resources, and timely scholarships. Visit: www.facebook.com/undocujersey
The Dream.US partners with over 75 colleges to offer scholarship opportunities specifically for undocumented students. Visit: www.thedream.us
The Brookdale Foundation offers scholarships for Brookdale students. Undocumented students are eligible for some of these. Visit: https://www.brookdalecc.edu/advancement/brookdale-foundation/available-scholarships/
2020 Scholarship and Fellowship Lists from Immigrants Rising: https://immigrantsrising.org/2020scholarships/?fbclid=IwAR14xvo6-IXyaEcXdDEqjOYz3tHKeGYR4g9pdvvdhLuaHLAnWky5lUeqDTE