Undocumented Students

Undocumented Students and Seattle University

The Seattle University Undergraduate Admissions Office recognizes that undocumented students make important contributions to the intellectual and social life of the campus; Seattle University admits and enrolls students regardless of citizenship.

Applying to Seattle University

Students should complete the Common Application, and may list themselves as ‘undocumented’ under citizenship field or leave this question blank. Filling out the citizenship question is an optional field on the Common Application.

Transfer students may complete the Common Application or the Seattle University Transfer application, and may leave the citizenship field blank.

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, you may also email Monica Tafoya, Assistant Director of Admissions, or call her at 206-296-6971.

Who is an Undocumented Student?

An undocumented student is a foreign national who: (1) entered the United States without inspection or with fraudulent documents; or (2) entered legally as a nonimmigrant but then violated the terms of his or her status and remained in the United States without authorization (as defined by the National Immigration Law Center).

Most college-bound undocumented students:

  • have lived in the United States most of their lives
  • have been brought to the United States by their parents at a young age
  • have learned English - have attended elementary, middle, and high school in the United States
  • have excelled academically in high school and want to pursue a college education
  • currently lack a way to become legal residents or citizens in the United States

English Proficiency

Applicants for whom English is not a first/native language must demonstrate English Proficiency regardless of English language studies, academic history, residence in the United States or other English-speaking countries, or immigration status.

For additional information, please see our Proof of English Proficiency webpage.

HB 1079

HB 1079 was approved as state law and 1079 students are considered “residents” for purposes of higher education. This means 1079 students are permitted to pay “in-state” tuition, or “resident,” tuition rates, to attend Washington public colleges and universities.

You qualify as a 1079 student if you have lived in Washington State at least three years, and you meet one of the following requirements:

  • You graduated from a Washington state high school and you completed your senior year of high school in Washington; or
  • You earned the equivalent of a high school diploma, such as a GED.


All undocumented students are eligible for our Merit Based Scholarships, Costco Scholarship and Sullivan Leadership Award. For additional information/requirements on the above mentioned scholarships, please see our scholarship page.

Financial Aid

At this time, undocumented students cannot legally receive any federally funded student financial aid, including loans, grants, scholarships or work-study money.

However, SB 6523 (The REAL Hope Act), has expanded eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to low-income, non-citizen students who meet the program’s eligibility requirements and satisfy the residency criteria. Complete the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) and find out what you may be eligible for. Priority deadline is February 1st; students who file the WASFA after that date may still be considered based on available funding. 

Those with questions about financial aid for undocumented students should email Student Financial Services or call at  206-220-8020 

Office of Multicultural Affairs

Additional information and resources for undocumented students/applicants at Seattle University can be found in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.