Message on Tulane and DACA from President Fitts
September 5, 2017
Dear Tulane Community:
The White House announced today that the president will end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program in six months. Along with many of my fellow university presidents, I urge Congress to act quickly to restore DACA through legislation.
In November I signed a statement, along with more than 600 other college and university presidents, expressing my support for the DACA program. This is a policy that protects from deportation undocumented young people raised in the United States, including hundreds of thousands of undocumented college students. DACA students have grown up in this country, worked and studied hard, and are an important part of university communities. We continue to welcome them as an important part of Tulane University.
In the meantime, I know that our students who registered under DACA will be understandably upset and anxious. Let me clarify, as much as I can, our own university policies, and you can find more guidance on this web page.
Other than international students here on student visas, Tulane does not track the immigration status of our students. Our admission and financial aid policies will not be affected. Further, federal law protects the privacy of student information. In accordance with the Federal Family Education and Rights of Privacy Act (FERPA), we cannot and will not voluntarily share private information about any of our students unless we are specifically required to do so because of a duly issued warrant or subpoena. While we cannot bar representatives of federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection from entering our open campus, I can assure you that it is not the responsibility or the role of the Tulane University Police Department to conduct federal immigration enforcement.
Our new Office of Academic Equity, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Office of International Students and Scholars are available to provide information and counsel for students who may have concerns about their status. We will continue to monitor the situation and determine if there are other things we can do to support DACA students.
I hope that the rest of the Tulane community will understand why some of our students feel particularly vulnerable right now. This is a moment to renew our commitment to treat one another with dignity and respect, and to communicate across our political differences. It is a moment for all of us to learn to discuss issues with those who disagree with us, whether from the left or the right, and to listen to them with an open heart.
What is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program?
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under this program, undocumented students who came to the United States as children and meet certain guidelines may request, through a formal process, to receive a two-year, renewable authorization to remain and work in the United States. In order to be eligible for consideration of deferred action, the individuals must prove, through verifiable documentation, that they meet the guidelines. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the guidelines. A high school diploma or GED is required for DACA. An Immigrant youth who has obtained benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program may be referred to as “DACAmented.” It is important to note that DACA does not pave the way towards citizenship.
Applying to Tulane University
Tulane University encourages all students, regardless of citizenship status, to apply, including undocumented and DACA status applicants. College applications can be an intimidating process and we want you to know that we are here to help you along the way. Questions regarding applying to Tulane as an undocumented undergraduate student can be directed to Jeff Schiffman, Director of the Office of Admissions.
Questions regarding applying to Tulane as a graduate student can be directed to the specific department or program being considered. All admission and funding-related matters are handled individually by departments, programs, and schools, and can vary depending on the type of degree being considered. Contact one or more individuals with the title of Director of Graduate Studies, Program Coordinator, Chair, and/or Graduate Admission Officer in the relevant department.
Fields of Study
Please be aware that undocumented and DACAmented students may face barriers in completing certain programs of study. For example, programs that require a practicum or licensure may be restricted based on Louisiana law to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Contact your advisor to discuss your possibilities.
Undocumented students and students in DACA status are not eligible for any state or federal financial aid and therefore do NOT need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, certain undocumented students and students in DACA status may be eligible for Tulane or private financial aid, and so may need to complete other types of financial aid applications.
Tulane offers merit scholarships and/or need-based scholarships for certain incoming full-time undergraduates, and the latter DOES require the completion of a financial aid application - the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile application - along with required documentation.
Information regarding the financial aid application process and eligibility can be found on the Tulane University Office of Financial Aid website. Questions regarding financial aid application and eligibility can be directed to your personal financial aid counselor (assigned alphabetically) at the Office of Financial Aid.
Outside scholarship opportunities from entities outside of Tulane and non-federal private, alternative loan resources may also be available. See this list of resources for some of these opportunities:
Student Employment Opportunities
The following people are available to support you if you have questions or concerns while applying or after you arrive at Tulane:
John Harris Alexander
Juharah "Juju" Worku
Nicole Caridad Ralston
For more information regarding DACA: