Michigan State University welcomes all students to apply to the university’s undergraduate and graduate programs regardless of their immigration status, and we are committed to making the enrollment process for undocumented students, refugees, and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as seamless as possible.

What is DACA?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services defines the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as a deferred action program in which certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Individuals who can demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet guidelines will be considered for deferred action on a case-by-case basis.

You may request consideration of DACA if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
    1. You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
    2. Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  7. And, have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Recipients of DACA can receive a social security number, apply for a work permit, and obtain a Michigan driver’s license. If you already have DACA, to maintain valid employment authorization, the best time for you to submit your DACA renewal application is 120 to 150 days (four to five months) before the date your current DACA and work permit expire.

If you have questions about your immigration status or eligibility for DACA, please contact a qualified legal attorney through the JUSTIA Michigan Immigration Lawyers website or visit Michigan Legal Help to access resources and information related to immigration. Additionally, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to learn more about DACA.

DACA and Education

In order for an undocumented/DACA student to qualify for in-state tuition status they will need to meet the all of following criteria:

  • Establishing that they have attended for at least three years an accredited Michigan high school;
  • Have graduated from an accredited Michigan high school or obtained a Michigan General Educational Development High School Equivalency Certificate (GED); 
  • And, will start their education at the University within 40 months of high school graduation or receipt of a GED.

This information is automatically calculated based on the high school transcript submitted upon admission to the university. If at some point a student receives a fully processed permanent resident green card they can apply for in-state tuition status via that application process found at:

Tips for Filling Out a College Application

The following information is taken from the State of Michigan’s 2019 “Aspire Higher: An Undocumented Student Guide to College in Michigan” 

  1. Fill out the application completely.
  2. Do not claim you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident if you are not. You may choose to leave questions about citizenship or immigration status blank.
  3. If the application asks for your Social Security Number, leave it blank or fill in all zeros unless you have your own valid Social Security Number.
  4. If you are leaving some answers on your application blank, you may not be able to fill out the online application, as many will not let you continue to the next page until every section is complete. If that’s the case, you may have to print the application and send it through the mail, which is usually acceptable. Be sure to call or email to make sure you can mail your application in and also to confirm their mailing address.
  5. It’s very important to make sure all information on your application is true/accurate. Making a false claim of U.S. citizenship or providing fraudulent information on an application can have serious consequences on your future immigration options or lead to criminal prosecution.

If you have any further questions or need additional information, please contact Florensio Hernandez with the Office of Admissions at (517) 355-8332 or