These FAQs are meant for informational purposes only and are not provided for the purpose of addressing individual situations. The FAQs are not meant to be considered specific legal advice, which can only be given by lawyers to their clients. You should contact your own attorney or a legal clinic if you need guidance about a specific legal question.
- What is the status of the DACA program?
DACA remains in effect at this time. Current DACA recipients continue to be protected from deportation and are eligible for other DACA benefits, such as work authorization. In light of the June 2020 Supreme Court decision holding that DACA remains in effect, we anticipate that the UH Department of Homeland Security will provide further specific guidance on filing new applications and renewals for DACA.
- As a DACA recipient, am I eligible to attend UH?
Yes, upon acceptance through the admission process. Immigration status is not considered as a factor in admission.
- Does UH ask students about their immigration status?
No. UH does not check immigration status when a student enrolls at the University.
- Am I eligible to receive in-state tuition?
Possibly. Students who are Texas residents are eligible for in-state tuition.
- What are the requirements to be eligible for in-state tuition?
Texas residency is determined by state law. For students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, residency may be established if you:
- Graduated from a Texas high school or received a general educational development (GED) certificate in Texas; and
- Continuously lived in Texas for three (3) years leading up to graduation from high school or receipt of GED certificate; and
- Continuously resided or will have resided in Texas for the 12 months preceding enrollment at UH; and
- Have filed or will file an application to become a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity that they are eligible to do so.
- Am I eligible to apply for financial aid?
Yes. DACA students are eligible for state-based financial aid but are not eligible for federal financial aid. To apply for state-based aid, students must file the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). Additionally, DACA students may be eligible for scholarships from outside organizations. The UH Center for Student Empowerment (CSE) can provide more information on scholarships, opportunities, and other resources.
- Am I eligible for work-study?
While DACA students are not eligible for federal financial aid, they may be eligible for state-based financial aid. While funds are limited, DACA students may be eligible for work-study opportunities through the Texas College Work-Study Program. Students must complete an eTASFA or TASFA form to be considered.
- Am I eligible for employment?
Yes, if you have a valid Employment Authorization Card. In response to the backlog due to COVID-19 for renewals to expiring employment authorization, USCIS has indicated that where applicable, employment authorization with the same employer, subject to the same terms and conditions of the prior approval, is automatically extended for up to 240 days after I-94 expiration when an extension of stay request is filed on time.
- Can I study abroad?
It is not recommended for DACA recipients to study abroad at this time. Under the original DACA program, DACA recipients could apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for permission to temporarily travel abroad and return to the U.S. This permission is known as “advance parole”. When the administration sought to rescind DACA in 2017, USCIS stopped accepting and approving applications for advance parole. USCIS has not yet indicated that it will start accepting advance parole applications at this time.
- Can my DACA status be terminated or revoked?
Yes. It can be revoked if you are convicted of a crime that would disqualify you from DACA, including crimes related to violence, drugs, sexual abuse, burglary, possession or use of a firearm, driving under the influence, or gangs, you could lose your deferred action and be placed in removal proceedings.
- Where can DACA recipients or other undocumented students find support on campus?
- UH Law Center Immigration Clinic: The University of Houston Law Center’s Immigration Clinic is available to UH students from any campus who need a free intake consultation. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the clinic's main number at (713) 743-2094. Be sure to indicate you are a student with the UH System and ask for an intake consultation.
- UH Center for Student Empowerment (CSE): The Center for Student Empowerment (CSE) in the UH Division of Student Affairs complements the larger mission of the University of Houston by expanding opportunities for the university's diverse student population by preventing minor obstacles from becoming major setbacks to degree achievement. The priority at CSE is to help students thrive by offering a variety of services that students need to get the most out of their college experience and prepare for a successful future. The CSE Office is located in Student Service Center 1, Bldg., 524, Room 302; email: email@example.com; phone 713-743-6032.
- UH Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): Counseling to help cope with the anxiety of uncertainty is also available through UH Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). CAPS promotes the well-being of the diverse campus community by balancing high-quality mental health services and clinical training with accessibility to foster student success through self-discovery, learning, and interpersonal engagement. CAPS believes that the mental health of students is a vital component of their academic, personal, and professional success. CAPS is able to provide emotional and psychological support for students who may be experiencing a range of emotions, including fear, shock, anxiety, sadness, helplessness, and/or anger. After business hours, CAPS is available to you 24/7 by calling the main number at 713.743.5454 to be connected to an after-hours counselor. CAPS is located at Student Services Center 1, Room 226.
- UH Scholarships and Financial Aid Office: DACA Students may be eligible for state-based financial aid by submitting a Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).
The University provides a number of resources to assist you as you apply for financial aid. Questions? Visit the financial literacy page, contact the financial aid office or get in touch with your financial aid advisor directly. Financial aid advisors are available via email, by phone (713-743-1010, option #5), and by virtual advising appointments (schedule via the Navigate app) to help you with questions about your financial aid process. If you do not have a Cougarnet account, you can call to make a virtual appointment.
- Should faculty or administrative staff inquire about a student’s immigration status?
Generally, no. The very limited exception is if the faculty or administrative staff member works in a capacity to assist DACA students or otherwise assist with immigration questions or related financial aid questions and the student asks for information or assistance.
- Who do I contact if I feel my rights are being violated on campus?
If you are concerned that your rights are being violated, you can file a report with the UH Office of Equal Opportunity Services (EOS), which processes and investigates all complaints regarding protected classes and Title IX protocols. To inquire or file a complaint, please contact EOS to set up an appointment or visit the EOS office in person. The EOS Office is located in Student Service Center 2, Bldg. 526; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 713-743-8835. In compliance with federal, state, and local directives, in-person support services may be suspended temporarily out of concern for the safety and well-being of our community.
Additionally, you can file a report with the Fraud & Non-Compliance Hotline by logging on to Convercent, or calling 1-800-461-9330 to make a report 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The call center supports more than 300+ languages.
- Where can I find out more information about DACA?
Information pages from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC):
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The University of Houston embraces diversity and recognizes our responsibility to foster an open, welcoming environment where students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds can collaboratively learn, work, and serve. We value the academic, social, and broader community benefits that arise from a diverse campus and are committed to equity, inclusion, and accountability. Diversity enriches our university community and is a driving force instrumental to our institutional success and fulfillment of the university’s mission. We commit to engaging in an ongoing dialogue to thoughtfully respond to the changing realities of our increasingly interconnected world. We will continually strive to work together to address the challenges of the future in a way that removes barriers to success and promotes a culture of inclusivity, compassion, and mutual respect. The competencies gained through diverse experiences across campus prepare all of our students, staff, and faculty to thrive personally and professionally in a global society.