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Open Access Publications from the University of California

How Can Universities Foster Educational Equityfor Undocumented College Students:Lessons from the University of California


Undocumented students face a multitude of barriers when pursuing highereducation. This report examines what universities can do to promote theeducational equity of undocumented students. We focus on the Universityof California system, nine undergraduate educational institutions thathave supportive institutional policies and are located in a state that offersaccess to in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid. Drawing on focusgroups and interviews with 214 undocumented University of Californiaundergraduate students and an original survey with 508 respondents, weoutline how these educational institutions have successfully closed someresource gaps by creating undocumented student programs. We thenexplore four persisting barriers: financial need, academic distraction, mentalhealth, and limited postgraduate preparation. We end by outlining policyrecommendations.

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