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Undocumented Students

Mills College is in solidarity with undocumented students and students of mixed-status families. Mills is committed to supporting a more inclusive, equitable campus environment as well as advocating for broader protections and opportunities, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The information below is intended to help Mills students, staff, and faculty navigate resources relevant to undocumented students. This is a living page that will be updated to reflect changes in resources and policies, with the goal of providing accurate, practical information.

Financial Support

Federal Aid
Federal Aid, including federal work-study, is regulated by the Department of Education. Specific information about federal financial aid and undocumented students is available here.

California Dream Act
The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain provisions to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants.

Students who live in California and meet the eligibility requirements of Assembly Bill (AB) 540 or AB 2000, as well as students who have a U visa or TPS (Temporary Protected Status), can use the California Dream Act application (CADAA). CADAA is unrelated to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, meaning a student does not necessarily need to be a DACA recipient or have current DACA paperwork to apply.

More information about CADAA is available here, as well as in the FAQ.

Mills College Financial Aid
Undocumented students, including those enrolled in DACA, are eligible for all Mills awards available to students. Additionally, Mills offers awards specifically focused on supporting the financial needs of undocumented students.

Mills will continue to enroll and provide financial aid to undocumented students, including DACA students. Our financial aid office works individually with all students to plan and predict costs. Please know that students are only withdrawn for non-payment or non-registration, and never for their immigration status.

Funding for DACA Renewal
In September 2017, following a federal action to phase out the DACA program, the President’s Office at Mills announced that it would help DACA students cover the cost of DACA renewal requests that needed to be accepted by October 5, 2017. All eligible students who applied for assistance received aid. These funds were specifically offered to Mills students, not staff.

The DACA program is currently closed to renewals and new applicants. If and when DACA or a comparable program should reopen, Mills College will reassess to most appropriate and effective ways to support student in the application and/or renewal process.

On-Campus Employment
Students who do not currently have DACA status, or whose status changes, are unable to work on campus in student employment positions due to federal employment laws. Mills will continue to monitor legislation being discussed in Congress that would authorize continued work opportunities for DACA students and other undocumented people.

Mills can address the cost of attendance and make students aware of  opportunities like Residential Assistance, which support students via room and board, for those unable to work on campus in student employment positions due to federal employment laws, who do not currently have DACA status, or whose status changes.

Immigration Enforcement Policy

Unless otherwise required by law, Mills College Public Safety and other departments will not enter into agreements with law enforcement agencies for the purpose of enforcing federal immigration laws. We will not honor immigration hold requests and will not contact, detain, question, or arrest individuals solely on the basis of being—or suspected of being—a person who is without documentation. Any member of the Mills community—students, faculty, or staff—who is approached while on campus by federal, state, or local officials asking for information or documentation regarding immigration status, should immediately contact Chief of Staff Renee Jadushlever at or 510.430.2033.

On-Campus Support

Programs for First-Generation College Students
Throughout the year, the Center for Leadership, Equity, and Excellence hosts programs specifically for Summer Academic Workshop (SAW) and other first-generation students to build community and assist in navigating campus resources.

As part of our commitment to supporting undocumented students, Mills staff and faculty practice an adaptable, responsive programming model guided by student needs and interests, campus climate, and current events.

Health Insurance
Mills’ insurance company requires that the College mandate insurance coverage by our students. We are unable to completely waive this requirement and still maintain the College’s insurance, as required by law.

We can provide some options that will assist students during transition periods. Mills will offer a temporary waiver, for up to one semester, to any undocumented student enrolling in their first semester so they can work with the Wellness staff to apply for Medi-Cal or another appropriate resource. The Wellness Manager in the Division of Student Life can meet with any undocumented student who needs support in completing the paperwork needed to apply for Medi-Cal. Please contact for more information.

Mental Health and Counseling
The staff at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) recognize the chronic and  increasing levels of distress, anxiety, depression, and fear that many undocumented students face and acknowledge the numerous barriers encountered to access mental health services in the greater community. With these realities in mind, the following are a set of next steps that aim to create a foundation of ongoing culturally-congruent care and healing that addresses undocumented students’ emotional, psychological, and spiritual wellness at Mills:

  • Effective spring semester 2018, undocumented students are eligible for ongoing individual psychotherapy services at CAPS beyond the current eight-session therapy model. Individualized plans for support will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Effective spring semester 2018, undocumented students on a waitlist for individual psychotherapy services at CAPS will be prioritized. These students will not be required to disclose their immigration status on formal documentation or to other staff members.
  • Beginning in spring 2018, resources within CAPS will be reallocated in order to provide the Campus Outreach Counselor time dedicated to address the mental health and emotional needs of Mills’ undocumented student community. Such reallocation of resources will, in turn, allow time and energy for the establishment of the expanded wellness programming.
  • In spring 2018, CAPS will hire an external consultant to provide a training seminar to all staff members at CAPS tailored to understanding and addressing immigrant mental health and wellness.
  • CAPS will consult with off-campus community resources to identify and establish collaborative efforts with mental health practitioners in the community who have experience and expertise in supporting the mental health and wellness of undocumented college students.

Latinx Taskforce
The Mills College Latinx Taskforce is charged by the President to explore concerns that impact Latinx students and continue to address curricular, climate and resource areas. While not all undocumented students are Latinx, this group of cross-institutional members serves as an important source for ongoing institutional change that will positively impact our undocumented and mixed-status family communities. In addition, the taskforce has a subcommittee specifically focused on support for undocumented students.

Mills Student Services
All campus services—including academic and career counseling, tutoring, mental health services, the multi-faith chapel, and student organizations—are available to all Mills students regardless of immigration status. More information about on-campus resources is available here.

President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration
President Hillman will represent Mills as one of the founding presidents on this alliance. This group will assist college and university presidents in addressing immigration issues at the federal, state, and campus level and bring their voices and experience to the policy making process on immigration, including policy that affects international and undocumented students.


Contact Information

Division of Student Life
Cowell Building

P: 510.430.2130

Last Updated: 2/8/18