Most Colleges Knowingly Admit Illegal Immigrants as Students, Survey Finds

Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 17, 2009

More than half of the colleges that responded to a recent survey said they knowingly admit illegal immigrants to degree or diploma programs under certain circumstances, according to findings released on Monday by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

The report of findings was based on responses from 613 of the association’s 2,000 U.S.-based member institutions. Of those that responded either fully or partially to the survey, 54 percent said they did, and 46 percent said they did not, knowingly admit undocumented students.

The percentages varied widely according to the type of college, with 70 percent of public two-year colleges and just 41 percent of private, nonprofit four-year colleges answering in the affirmative. Twenty percent of the respondents said they verify the immigration status of all applicants, while 31 percent said they do so only for those seeking financial aid. Nineteen percent said they verify applicants who seek to pay in-state tuition.

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[Editor’s Note: The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers’s survey “Undocumented Students in the U.S.: Admission and Verification” can be read or downloaded as a PDF file here.]

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