Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science announced on Monday that undocumented applicants will now be eligible for the same need-blind admissions and full-need financial aid policies as U.S. citizens and permanent residents are.
This policy change is part of the University’s announcement from earlier in the day, which stated that Columbia will provide sanctuary and financial support for undocumented students. The plan was released in response to student concern about President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to repeal Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, a federal law that protects undocumented students from deportation and allows them to work in the United States.
Previously, undocumented students were considered international students, who are eligible for full-need financial aid but are not evaluated for admission on a need-blind basis. Administrators worked on this change for several months, and the policy will take effect for new and continuing students enrolling in fall 2017.
“The experience of undocumented students at the College and Columbia Engineering, from the time they first seek admission through their graduation, will not be burdened in any way by their undocumented status,” Provost John Coatsworth wrote in an email to students.