Your Questions Answered

  • Who are UndocuScholars?

    For this project we define UndocuScholars as students attending U.S. colleges who do not have the benefit of recognized documentation status. UndocuScholars attend every type of institution, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, public or private across the country. UndocuScholars are born in every region of the globe but have mostly gone to schools in the United States. Many call themselves Dreamers, but not all identify with that term. Some were brought as infants but others arrived during their adolescence. Some live on campus while others commute. Many do not work but some do so under DACA. Some are members of a community and others are isolated. Some are ‘out and proud’ and others are quietly deep in the shadows.

  • What is this survey about?

    • This national survey focuses on the college experiences of undergraduate UndocuScholar students.
    • Undocumented college students are often misunderstood, mischaracterized, or invisible in higher education. We have several, inter-related goals:
      • Expand knowledge about the range of UndocuScholars’ experiences in order to challenge false assumptions and damaging misperceptions;
      • Use this knowledge to inform better on-campus practice and services as well as local and national policy.
      • The survey is co-created by our advisory board of UndocuScholars and community-based organizations from around the country. To learn more about our advisory board and how to get involved check out the Advisory Board tab under "Our Team"
    • Broadly, we want to learn about the following:
      • As a student, what challenges have YOU encountered in your college experience?
      • What particular challenges do you face as an UndocuScholar?
      • How has YOUR college served your needs?
      • Or failed to meet your needs?
      • How can colleges better serve UndocuScholars?
  • Who can take the survey?

    You are eligible for this survey if you:

    • Are currently enrolled as an undergraduate college student (in community college or 4 year colleges and universities; public or private);
    • Are between the ages of 18 and 30;
    • Currently live in the United States;
    • Were born in another country;
    • Arrived in the U.S. before age 16;
    • Are not a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or F-1 visa holder:
  • Why are we conducting a study on the experiences of undergraduate UndocuScholars?

    • UndocuScholars attend college despite the odds, facing a variety of challenges. The cost of college can be daunting as restricted access to financial aid diverts and derails educational pursuits. Further, UndocuScholars also face uncertainty about the future; juggle multiple roles, encounter stigma, and are often isolated.
    • There is emerging and important qualitative data about the experiences of UndocuScholars (especially attending selective colleges in urban centers). Yet, very little is known about the experiences of UndocuScholars either in less selective colleges or across all regions of this nation.
    • This study aims to shed light on students who are in college despite the odds. Your responses will help to contribute to institutional policies around undocumented college students as well as inform the current immigration policy debate.
  • How is this survey different than other surveys?

    • Although previous studies have shed important light on the experiences of undocumented students in a variety of local contexts (particularly bi-coastal urban centers) and among several specific groups (especially Latina/os), this study seeks to capture these experiences at the national level;
    • We intend to capture the experiences of the range of diverse undocumented college students. While the experience of Latina/o UndocuScholars has begun to emerge, little is known about Black, Asian, and European undocumented college students;
    • We want to examine experiences at a range of different types of colleges (community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities; public and private)
  • Who are WE (the UndocuScholar Research Team)?

    • The UndocuScholars Research Team is a group of graduate students, post-graduate scholars and professors at UCLA and NYU who are dedicated to shedding light on the undocumented student experience through scholarship and community organizing. We provide information to the community, work to educate and enhance understanding.
    • We are also working closely with an Advisory Board, a team made up of members from community-based organizations, researchers, and college students like YOU.
    • We want YOU to be an integral part of our team by having a voice in shaping our research goals, interpreting and analyzing the data and disseminating the findings. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook for more information when we roll this phase out
    • Additionally, we are working with community- and nationally-based organizations: We are working directly and collaboratively with organizations to advise the research design, create dissemination plans, develop reports, and to help analyze and interpret data. For more information on partner organizations, check out the Community Organizations Tab under "Our Team"
  • Why should I participate?

    • You count and you matter! Share your experiences so something can be done to change them or/and that of others like you.
    • We need your help! Your response will serve to expand knowledge on undocumented college student population; As an UndocuScholar you are encouraged to shape this research from the design, to the analysis and dissemination of the findings. As data comes in we want to encourage creative ways to react, engage and interpret the findings.
    • This is your chance to be heard (don’t worry, all responses are completely anonymous and confidential);
    • Putting together all the responses can serve to challenge false assumptions and damaging misperceptions surrounding undocumented students;
    • The results will be used to contribute to institutional policies around undocumented college students as well as inform the current immigration policy debate. We intend to use a variety of dissemination strategies:
      • Our active dedicated website;
      • Policy briefs; Media outreach;
      • Journal articles;
      • And other creative strategies designed by you!
      • We also plan to share the data with researchers, community-based organizations, and students.
    • As we respect your time, you will receive a $20 Amazon gift card for your time and participation.
  • I've taken the survey, how else can I help?

    • This effort will only be made possible through your participation and your help in spreading the word.
    • Please reach out to your friends and networks. We hope to have a nationally and ethnically diverse sample of undocumented students, you can help by sharing this survey with your friends and networks.
    • Also, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! We will continue to post useful information for undocumented students and their allies through our social media outlets, so by sharing our survey, you will also be sharing access to resources. Our goal is to collect at least 1000 surveys during the spring of 2014.
  • Will my responses be anonymous and confidential?

    • Yes, there is no way to track responses back to you. The UndocuScholars research team will strictly maintain confidentiality. The survey does not collect any identifying information; therefore, nothing can be traced back to you through your responses.
    • We have especially developed a online survey that keeps your identity completely confidential; we automatically send out the Amazon card and then erase the IP address;
    • All collected surveys will be managed in an encrypted database and housed in a secure server.
    • We will ensure that no identifying information will be used in any publications or presentations.
  • How do I get my giftcard after I participate?

    • You will receive instructions to directly obtain your gift certificate after you have successfully completed the survey.
    • Please note it is our UndocuScholar Survey policy to provide Amazon Gift Codes to participants who comprehensively complete the survey. Though respondents have the option of leaving a few questions blank, neglecting to answer entire sections of the survey leaves the survey completely unusable for our research. Thank you for your consideration. understanding, and participation in our Survey.
  • Can I get a copy of the consent form for my records?

    • You will be able to print a copy of the consent form after you complete the survey.
    • You can also download the form at the bottom of the FAQ.
  • How can I stay connected to the project so I can get all the most up to date information?

    • We will provide information about emerging findings on our website;
    • Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Where can I contact you for more information?

    • For more information please contact us at or visit our contact page.
2014 UndocuScholars Survey PDF

©2014 Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education

Sponsors and Associates

Made possible by the generous funding of


©2014 Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education

Sponsors and Associates

Made possible by the generous funding of