DACA and Undocumented Students FAQs

The following frequently asked questions and answers are intended to provide general information on matters of privacy, admissions, financial aid, taxes, travel and resources available to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Undocumented Students.  Please check back for additional FAQs which may be added from time to time as questions arise. 

Privacy Issues

1. Do any federal laws protect the privacy of student records?

Yes.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal statute that protects the privacy of student records and controls the circumstances under which such records may be disclosed.  Princeton’s policy on “Student Privacy Rights under Federal Law” provides detailed information on FERPA and can be found in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities (RRR) 2016, Section 2.7, http://www.princeton.edu/pub/rrr/part2/index.xml#comp27.  

2. How does Princeton protect the privacy of students’ personal information?

Consistent with FERPA, Princeton’s general rule is not to disclose a student’s personal information to anyone outside the University—including government officials or law enforcement officers—without the student’s prior written consent. 

3. Are there exceptions to the general rule that Princeton won’t disclose a student’s personal information?

Yes, there are some limited circumstances in which certain information about a student may be available to the general public and/or the government.

First, unless a student submits a written request to the Registrar asking for confidentiality, the University may share the student’s “Directory Information”: the student’s name; telephone number; email address; photo; dates of attendance; major field of study; degrees and awards; school(s) attended prior to Princeton; participation in officially recognized activities, organizations, and athletic teams; and weight and height of members of athletic teams.  Princeton’s policy is to keep student addresses, dates of birth, and places of birth confidential, even though FERPA identifies that information as available for public disclosure.  Directory information can, however, be kept confidential by request to the Registrar

Second, Princeton may be legally required to provide a student’s records to government officials or law enforcement officers if presented with a subpoena or comparably binding requirement (for example, a court order).  In that case, Princeton will ordinarily provide notice to the student whose records are requested before complying with the request.

Additional details are available in RRR Section 2.7, http://www.princeton.edu/pub/rrr/part2/index.xml#comp27.

4. Is there anything a student can do to further limit information available to the public?

Yes.  A student may request to have some or all directory information restricted from disclosure by making a written request to the Office of the Registrar at  registrar@princeton.edu  specifying the information the student wants to be restricted.

5. What role does the University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) play in immigration enforcement?

Enforcement of immigration laws is primarily a federal responsibility.  DPS has not entered into any agreement with any federal law enforcement agency (including ICE) to assist with immigration enforcement.  Therefore, enforcing the immigration laws is not DPS’s mission, and DPS does not routinely gather information about the immigration status of members of the University community, including students.  In addition, DPS will not honor immigration detainer requests.  DPS does not ask victims or individuals reporting potential crimes about their immigration status. 

Undergraduate Admissions

1. What is Princeton’s admission policy for DACA or undocumented students?

At Princeton, we seek applications from highly qualified students regardless of their citizenship status.  Princeton’s admission and financial aid policies are the same for undocumented and DACA students as they are for all other students applying to the University for admission or financial aid.

2. How is the Admission staff trained about DACA?

The Admission staff and their affiliated representatives will receive additional training and information related to DACA and undocumented students to better answer inquiries related to the application process and campus resources.

Financial Aid

1. What financial aid is available to DACA and undocumented students at Princeton? 

The University’s need-based financial aid program applies equally to all applicants.  If admitted, DACA and undocumented students can be confident that their full financial need, as determined by the financial aid office, will be met.

2. Are there funds to cover the filing fees for DACA students?

Yes, the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office will arrange to cover the cost of the DACA renewal filing fees for undergraduate students.  Students should take a copy of their DACA filing receipt notice to Ben Ely, Associate Director, Financial Aid, at 220 West College to arrange the reimbursement.  Students who don’t have the resources to pay the fee prior to filing the renewal application should consult with Ben Eley  (beley@princeton.edu)  for assistance.

3. Can DACA/undocumented students be employed on campus?

DACA students who have a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) are allowed to be employed on campus and must submit a completed I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form to the Student Employment Office in Financial Aid.  DACA students may seek further information from Benjamin Eley, Associate Director, Financial Aid, at 220 West College (beley@princeton.edu).  Undocumented students are not eligible for employment.

Graduate Admissions

  1. The admissions policy and instructions for students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. legal permanent residents (including DACA and/or undocumented students) is available at https://gradschool.princeton.edu/policies/nonimmigrant-applicants.
  2. The current Graduate School admission policy states that graduate students must be in the country in a status that allows for legal employment authorization, which is required when they serve as AI’s (Assistants in Instruction) and AR’s (Assistant in Research).


1. How is campus employment income taxed?

DACA students who have questions about payroll taxes should contact Karen Murphy-Gordon, Non-Resident Tax and Compliance Reporting (NTCR) at ntcr@princeton.edu.

2.   How are scholarships taxed?

DACA and undocumented students who have questions about scholarship taxes should consult Ben Eley at the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office at beley@princeton.edu.

3. Do DACA students need to file income tax forms?

DACA students who earned income during a calendar year while in valid DACA status are required to file taxes just like U.S. citizens.  The annual tax-filing deadline is usually April 15.  Specific DACA tax-filing resources can be found at United We Dream http://unitedwedream.org/daca-tips/taxes-daca-need-know/.  Other tax-filing resources can be found at Internal Revenue Service (IRS); NJ State Taxation; Publication 519; Form 1040 Instructions; and NJ 1040 Instructions.

Travel (Study Abroad, International Internships, Bridge Year, and other Educational Opportunities Abroad)

Important Note:  Although the information below currently applies to DACA students, in the aftermath of the presidential election, we are advising DACA students not to travel abroad after January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) until we have further guidance from the new administration.  DACA students who are currently abroad are advised to return to the United States before January 20, 2017.  DACA students who still wish to consider applying for Advance Parole for Study Abroad, Internships Abroad, or any other educational opportunity abroad according to the procedures listed below should first seek legal counsel.

  1. DACA students may be able to study or intern abroad if they are granted “Advance Parole” for “educational” or “employment” purposes.  More information is available from the Office of International Programs (OIP) at https://www.princeton.edu/oip/sap/programs/daca-study-abroad/.
  2. Information related to the application for Advanced Parole is available from the Davis International Center at http://www.princeton.edu/intlctr/news/archive/?id=17308.
  3. The Advance Parole process is complicated and requires early planning and organization.  Due to the risks associated with leaving and re-entering the United States, we strongly suggest that DACA-mented students seek legal counsel before moving forward with a study abroad program or an international internship.

Campus Resources

DACA and undocumented students are welcomed and encouraged to reach out to all campus resources, which can be helpful to their well-being and success.  Although many will be sensitive to the needs of all students, the contacts below are specifically available to assist with issues related to DACA and undocumented students.

Confidential Campus Resources

  1. Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), Calvin Chin, Director cc23@princeton.edu 609-258-3285 
  2. Office of Religious Life (ORL), Matt Weiner, Associate Dean mcweiner@princeton.edu 609-258-6245
  3. Carebridge Assistance Program for faculty and staff, https://www.princeton.edu/hr/benefits/worklife/carebridge

Other Campus Resources

  1. Career Services, Pulin Sanghvi, Executive Director pulins@princeton.edu 609-258-0650
  2. Davis International Center (general immigration information), Jackie Leighton, Director jleighto@princeton.edu 609-258-5012
  3. Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Understanding, Tennille Haynes, Director thaynes@princeton.edu 609-258-5895
  4. Emergency Campus Funding Resources
    1. Dean’s Emergency Fund, Mike Olin, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students molin@princeton.edu 609-258-3052
    2. Medical Emergency Funds (Special Needs Funds), Diane Cook, Coordinator, Health Promotion and Prevention Services dcook@princeton.edu 609-258-4842
  5. Financial Aid and Student Employment Office, Benjamin Eley, Associate Director beley@Princeton.edu 609-258-3330
  6. Financial Aid for Freshmen Scholars Institute/Scholars Institute Fellows Program (FSI/SIFP), Elizabeth Badger, Associate Director badger@princeton.edu 609-258-3330
  7. The Graduate School, Dale Trevino, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion dtrevino@princeton.edu 609-258-3257
  8. International Internships:  Lisa Duarte-Silva, the Office of International Programs lduarte@princeton.edu 609-258-2354 
  9. Non-Resident Tax Compliance and Reporting Office, Karen Murphy-Gordon, Analyst km5@Princeton.edu 609-258-3734
  10. Office of Admission, uaoffice@princeton.edu 609-258-3060
  11. Office of the Dean of the College, Khristina Gonzalez, Associate Dean,
    Freshman Scholars Institute/Scholars Institute Fellows Program (FSI/SIFP) kfg2@princeton.edu 609-258-1013
  12. Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Students (ODUS), Kathleen Deignan, Dean kdeignan@princeton.edu 609-258-5431
  13. The Pace Center for Service and Civic Engagement, Evan Schneider, Program Coordinator emschnei@princeton.edu 609-258-7443
  14. Payroll Office, Lora Benson, Payroll Manager lorab@princeton.edu 609-258-6056 
  15. Registrar’s Office, Jonathan LeBouef, Associate Registrar jlebouef@princeton.edu 609-258-3363
  16. Residential Colleges, Mike Olin, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students molin@princeton.edu 609-258-3052
  17. Study Abroad, Gisella Gisolo, Director ggisolo@princeton.edu 609-258-1010

Legal Resources

  1. The Davis International Center is a good place to start with your general immigration questions about DACA or undocumented issues http://www.princeton.edu/intlctr/news/archive/?id=17308
  2. Other Low-cost or free DACA/undocumented legal resources:
    1. Educators for Fair Consideration (E4C) http://e4fc.org/home.html
    2. New Jersey Immigration Advocates
  3. US Citizenship and Homeland Security (USCIS) DACA resources https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
  4. National Immigration Law Center https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/
  5. Immigration Advocates Network app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/immigo/id891595380?mt=8  or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.probononet.immigo&hl=en
  6. Beyond Deferred Action: Long-Term Immigration Remedies Every Undocumented Young Person Should Know About http://www.e4fc.org/images/E4FC_BDAGuide.pdf
  7. Red Cards (to help people assert their rights and protections) https://www.ilrc.org/red-cards
  8. Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC): Immigrant Rights under a Trump Administration  https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/kyr_two_pager.pdf

Advocacy Resources

  1. Princeton Dream Team (Pace Center) https://pace.princeton.edu/get-involved/dream-team
  2. Educators for Fair Consideration (E4C) http://e4fc.org/home.html
  3. The Dream.US resource library http://www.thedream.us/resources/
  4. United We Dream http://unitedwedream.org/
  5. Own the Dream https://www.weownthedream.org/#
  6. Immigration Advocates Network app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/immigo/id891595380?mt=8  or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.probononet.immigo&hl=en
  7. College Board’s Repository of Resources for Undocumented Students https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/professionals/repository-of-resources-for-undocumented-students.pdf
  8. U.S. Department of Education’s list of scholarships available to undocumented students (pgs. 38 – 42)  https://www.nacacnet.org/globalassets/documents/knowledge-center/undocumented-students/supporting-undocumented-youth-ed-2015.pdf