Undocumented Students

North Seattle College is committed to supporting undocumented students.

It is important to remember that the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (1974) prohibits schools from providing any outside agency—including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—with any information from a student’s school file that would expose their immigration status.  Immigration status should be treated like other student information, such as participation in Running Start or receiving accommodations from Disability Access Services.

College employees should only inquire about a student’s immigration status:

  • If it is beneficial to the support of student’s educational goals.
  • To evaluate appropriate access to the same educational opportunities as all students.
  • To ensure that students are exposed to learning experiences that focus on college aspirations.

Even after, the information given to the college staff should remain confidential.

Related Legislation

The Real Hope Act/ WASFA

On February 26, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523) also known as the Washington Dream Act. This new law expands eligibility for the Washington College Grant to non-citizens. Visit the page to learn if you qualify and how you can apply through WASFA.

HB 1079- A guide to understanding this law

Effective July 1, 2003, Washington state law changed the definition of "resident student" allowing certain students eligible for resident student status- and eligible to pay resident tuition rates when they attend public colleges or universities in the state. Learn about the requirements on the HB1079 page

DACA- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Learn more about how you can qualify for this program. A list of local and state-wide resources for DACA students is available at the DACA Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals page.

Resources for Undocumented Students

Our resources page includes a list of local and statewide advocacy and support organizations. Among those listed are the Washington Dream Act Coalition, the Latino Education Achievement Project, and  the Northwest Immigrants’ Rights Project.


A number of scholarships are available for DACA and undocumented students. North Seattle College offers various scholarships to help undocumented students continue on with their education. These scholarships include the College Bridge Scholarship for ESL students who wish to take college level English and the North Seattle College Ed Fund Scholarship. Visit our Scholarships page.

You will Succeed

Five Secrets to Success for Undocumented Students
by Katharine Gin, Journal of College Admission, Winter 2010

  • Get comfortable asking for help. You can’t do this alone.
  • Find older students who can be role models and mentors. They may just be a few years older than you!
  • Form strong relationships with teachers and mentors with whom you can speak honestly and openly about your challenges.
  • Be creative. Be entrepreneurial. Don’t take no for an answer.
  • Believe in yourself. Know that you have value to your family, your community, your classmates, and your country.