FAQs: Undocumented Students

As the fall 2017 academic semester gets underway, Emory University is proud to reaffirm its commitment as a safe harbor for undocumented students, who are integral to the social, intellectual, and moral fabric of our institution and our nation. Recognizing the unique challenges undocumented students often face, the university is dedicated to ongoing collaboration with them to develop resources and implement programs that address their needs. One of our major goals is keeping the campus updated about this commitment by sharing useful information – such as these FAQs.


How will the recent news about the future elimination of the DACA program impact current Emory students and applicants?

Emory supports the enrollment of qualified undocumented students who graduated from a U.S. high school. DACA status is not required for admission or financial aid.For more information about support services, please visit our resources page.

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Is Emory University considered a "sanctuary" campus? What does that term mean?

We have considered various views on this issue. Although Emory will not be declared a sanctuary campus – a phrase with no legal meaning – we remain committed to supporting undocumented students in our university community.

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What is Emory's position on protecting the privacy of undocumented students?

We will protect the privacy rights of all students, including those who are undocumented. Emory will continue to adhere to all applicable laws regarding students’ privacy. Just as we respect the authority of government officials performing their legal duties, we respect federal and state laws that protect the privacy of our students, including students registered with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Following those laws, we do not share confidential student records with law enforcement agencies without a valid subpoena.

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Are there resources available for undocumented students who need legal help?

Yes. Emory Law’s Center for Public Service has recruited local immigration attorneys to meet with and advise undocumented students. For a referral, students should contact Adrienne Slaughter (adrienne.slaughter@emory.edu), director of the Office of Student Success Programs and Services.

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As an undocumented student at Emory, am I eligible for financial aid? If so, where can I get more information?

Emory was one of the first and remains among the few universities in Georgia to provide financial assistance to undocumented students. The Office of Financial Aid supports, counsels, and educates students in the financial aid process. Undocumented students admitted to Emory as first-year, first-degree-seeking undergraduate students and determined by Emory to have financial need will be awarded financial aid to assist them in meeting their full, demonstrated need.

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What is Emory doing to make undocumented students feel welcome on campus?

We embrace a multi-faceted approach to make our campus culture as inclusive and inviting as possible. For example, we coordinate training sessions to sensitize staff to the needs of undocumented students, support the formation of a student-led advocacy organization, and conduct ongoing dialogues in student orientations and other venues to promote mutual understanding of issues around immigration status. We will continue to identify and implement best practices at other institutions to enhance our programming and support services in ways consistent with Emory’s values and policies.

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How can I get more information about specific programs available to undocumented students?

We have launched a web page that centralizes resources and lists our new initiatives to support of undocumented students. You can also keep track of progress on this issue by viewing the latest progress report (April 2017).

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Does Emory offer other programs to assist undocumented students?

The university also has several existing programs available to all students regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, or immigration status. These programs include:

  • Student Success Programs and Services assists students in times of crisis, including, but not limited to meeting academic, medical, financial, and social challenges. SSPS offers judgment-free assistance and a safe space to access resources.
  • International Student Life is designed to connect international students to relevant on-campus opportunities, offer events and programs highlighting the diversity of nationalities and cultures at Emory, and provide opportunities for all students to connect with each other in meaningful ways.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services and the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, a key partner of Emory Campus Life, provides confidential assistance for students, including crisis intervention, community referrals, and community outreach services.

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How can I get involved in the issues affecting undocumented students at Emory?

As Emory continues building on existing programs and creating new initiatives to strengthen our support for undocumented students, we encourage you to participate. Please visit our “Dialogue at Emory” website for updates on these initiatives and to find out how you can contribute to our collective efforts.

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