What is DACA and how can DACA students get a loan without a cosigner?

by Juliet Terrill | In Pick of the month, Immigration Assistance and Information | 25 August 2020

What is a DACA student? 

DACA is an immigration program started under the Obama administration that stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA recipients would normally be undocumented immigrants in the United States, but under this program, they receive work authorization and temporary protection from deportation. The program protects over 700,000 young adults from deportation because they were brought to this country at such a young age and did not make the decision to immigrate themselves.

To be considered eligible for the DACA program: 1) you must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16, 2) you must have lived in the United States since 2007, and 3) you must have been under the age of 30 when it was enacted in 2012 (Source). These young people have grown up as Americans, often only speak English, and have limited connection with their birth country or no memories of it. Many DACA recipients did not know they were undocumented until they were teenagers, and tried to get drivers licenses or apply to college like their peers. Those eligible for DACA must reapply every two years for renewal and pay a fee of $495. 

Who are these DACA recipients?

  • 94% are from Latin American countries (the 3 most common are Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala)
  • Two-thirds of DACA recipients are ages 25 or younger
  • DACA recipients most likely live in these five metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Houston, and Chicago
  • 45% are in school, and of those in school, 72% are pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher (Source)
  • While DACA recipients are almost as likely as U.S. adults in the same age group (15-32) to be enrolled in college (18% versus 20%), they are far less likely to have completed college (4% versus 18%). (Source)
  • 91% of recipients are currently employed

DACA Students and Loans

DACA students are not eligible for federal aid for school, but many states and some private lenders offer options for these students. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington all offer state financial aid to DACA students. Many public universities also offer in-state tuition benefits to DACA students who can prove residence and have graduated from a high school in that state.

MPOWER now offers reduced interest rates on our no-cosigner loans for DACA students! 

  • Graduate DACA students: 7.99% introductory rate (8.89% APR), reduced to 6.49% (7.52% APR) if you qualify for all 3 interest rate discounts
  • Undergraduate DACA students: 9.99% introductory rate (10.91% APR), reduced to 8.49% (9.56% APR) if you qualify for all 3 interest rate discounts
  • 1.50% interest rate discounts available:
    • 0.50% for autopay sign-up
    • 0.50% for 6 months of autopay payments
    • 0.50% upon proof of graduation and full-time employment

All MPOWER Scholarships are open to DACA students

MPOWER will never share any information about your DACA status with outside parties

Author: View all post by Juliet Terrill

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