#WeBelongInCollege Stories

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Immigration Related Challenges

Jeffrey's Story

When Jeffrey and his family immigrated to the United States, they had to rebuild their lives from scratch. When he started in his new school, he did not speak a word of English. In his story, he talks about the moment when he realized what he needed to do to get the education he wanted.

Because of her immigration status, Karen doesn’t qualify for federal financial aid. But that was not going to stop her. She figured out how to work full-time to pay for college while attending college part-time and taking night classes. However, she still needed a document to qualify for in-state tuition and when she couldn’t get that document, she started to question if she belonged in college.

Karen's Story

Maria's Story

Despite feeling strong pressure to become the first in her family to attend college, Maria questioned whether she belonged. She wasn’t sure how she would be able to pay for college given her immigration status. It was when she saw that she wasn’t alone, and so many other undocumented students were also enrolling, that she began to feel that she belonged in college.

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It was only when he started to apply to college that Ruben learned that he was undocumented, and as a result could not apply for federal financial aid. He thought this meant he would never be able to go to college and was devastated. Thankfully, Ruben’s school counselor provided the guidance he needed. Now he has a message for undocumented students like him: “It is possible!”

Ruben's Story