Undocumented College Students in the United States: In-State Tuition Not Enough to Ensure Four-Year Degree Completion
Dylan Conger and Colin C. Chellman
IESP Policy Brief #01-13
This brief provides a comparison of the performance of undocumented students to that of U.S. citizens and other legal migrants using restricted-access data from one of the largest urban public university systems in the U.S. where many undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition. Overall, undocumented students perform well in the short-term, earning higher grades and higher rates of course and associate degree completion than their U.S. citizen counterparts. But undocumented students are less likely to earn their bachelor's degrees within four years. This finding suggests that, despite their earlier college successes and their access to in-state tuition rates, at some point after enrollment, undocumented students experience higher costs to completing their bachelor’s degrees than they had anticipated upon enrollment. We offer a number of policy considerations for university officials and policymakers who aim to help undocumented college students succeed in postsecondary institutions.
- Undocumented students in UCSNY receive less financial aid and are less likely to enroll full-time than U.S. citizens.
- Undocumented students in UCSNY earn higher GPAs than U.S. citizens.
- Undocumented students in UCSNY earn higher credit completion rates than U.S. citizens.
- Undocumented students are less likely to complete their bachelor’s degrees on-time than U.S. citizens.