Apply to GW as an Undocumented Individual

The George Washington University (GW) values diversity in all forms and we welcome and support students from all backgrounds around the world. The university remains committed to ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality college education by providing significant financial assistance, programming, and academic support services.

If you’ve entered the United States without inspection or overstayed your visa and are present in the United States with or without your parents, we are committed to supporting you throughout your undergraduate or graduate studies at GW.


Undergraduate Admissions Process & Financial Aid

Prospective students interested in GW must follow the standard application process for admission, regardless of country of citizenship, immigration status, residency, or school location.

If you have no immigration status, or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, you are considered a domestic high school student within the application process.

Required documents include the Common Application, an official high school transcript and two letters of recommendation. Like all GW applicants, undocumented students are eligible to apply test-optional. Undocumented students are not required to submit English proficiency exam scores or a Financial Certificate.

While test scores, engligh proficiency exams, and financial certificates are not required, applicants must still waive them by contacting your admissions representative within the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at GW once your common application has been submitted.

The admissions process is confidential and immigration status is not considered by our admissions committee.

Financial Aid

There are two kinds of aid a university or college can award. Merit-based, which is awarded to students who achieve a high level of academic success in high school. Merit-based scholarships are awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to highly qualified undergraduate applicants regardless of immigration/citizenship status. 

Need-based aid is based upon the financial need of a family as determined by the income and assets they report on forms such as the CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). GW is able to offer some need-based aid from its own institutional assets to applicants regardless of immigration/citizenship status; however, federal funds cannot be part of this package for students without immigration or citizenship status. 

For a limited number of undocumented and DACA students, GW will provide additional funding to meet the Estimated Financial Contribution as determined by the CSS Profile. All students, regardless of immigration/citizenship status, must complete and submit the CSS Profile if they wish to be considered for need-based aid. Because the FAFSA is needed for the disbursement of federal funds, it is not required from families who do not qualify for federal aid.

To learn more about the qualifications for funding, or for assistance with completing the CSS profile, contact the GW Office of Undergraduate Admissions at [email protected] or 1-202-994-6040.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am an undocumented student without DACA status, am I eligible to apply for admission to GW?

GW invites applications from all students, regardless of citizenship and immigrant status.

My admissions file is showing incomplete on my portal because I am missing my TOEFL score or Financial Certificate. What should I do to make sure my application is complete and evaluated?

Contact the admissions representatives from your region and let them know you are a domestic applicant. 

What are my financial aid options as an undocumented or DACA student if admitted to GW?

Students without immigration/citizenship status should understand the following when planning for their GW education: 

  • GW provides aid to highly qualified applicants (regardless of immigration/citizenship status) in the form of merit scholarships (see above link for more details) in varying amounts ranging from $5,000 - $30,000 per academic year.
  • Students who have valid work authorization  (such as those with DACA status) ARE eligible for NON Federal Work Study employment, and our Office of Student Employment can help you find work once you are on campus.
  • All students seeking need-based aid, regardless of immigration/citizenship status, should complete the CSS Profile.  However, undocumented students, international students, and students with DACA status are not required to complete the FAFSA.
  • Federal aid (such as Pell grants or Federal Work Study employment) is not available to undocumented students with or without DACA. 
What financial information or documents do my parents have to provide?

Completing the CSS profile entails providing information about your parents’ earnings, assets and expenses. If they are tax filers, they will need to submit their W-2 forms and their federal income tax filings for the “prior-prior” year.  For example, if you are applying to attend GW for Fall 2020, your parents will need to submit their tax documents for the 2018 tax year. If your parents do not submit tax returns (or did not for the 2018 tax year), they will need to submit a Nontax Filer Statement. (Find this GW-specific form under the appropriate academic term.)

I have U.S. citizenship/permanent resident status, but my parents do not. Will my parents’ status affect the outcome of either my admission decision or my financial aid award?

Your parents’ citizenship status will not affect either your admissions decision or your financial aid award.  If you (the applicant) have U.S. citizenship status, you are eligible for federal aid and should complete the FAFSA as well as the CSS Profile. Instructions for completing the FAFSA are available online, as are instructions for completing the CSS profile.

Are there scholarships outside of GW that I might be eligible for?

Two organizations that have made particular commitments to help undocumented students fund their education are Golden Door Scholars (for all undocumented applicants) and Hispanic Scholarship Fund (mostly for applicants with current DACA status), but there are many others. 

Am I eligible for any emergency funding while I am a student?

Yes. Please contact the Office of Student Success if you are a current student in need of emergency funding, and they will walk you through the necessary steps to determine your eligibility and, if so, how to apply. The Office of Student Success is located in Tompkins Hall, Suite 106, or can be reached at 1-202-994-6710, or [email protected].

Graduate Admissions Process

Follow the process to submit an application for graduate admission, regardless of your country of citizenship, immigration status, residency, or school location. The admissions process is confidential and immigration status is not considered by the admissions committee.  

For more information about applying to our graduate programs, contact GW Graduate Admissions at [email protected].

Financial Aid

GW offers school- and program-based assistantships and fellowships, the majority of which are open to highly qualified students, regardless of immigration/citizenship status. Contact the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships for more information.