The Unauthorized Student Population: Examining the Alternatives

  • Jennifer Javier
Keywords: undocumented immigrants, unauthorized students, higher education, education policy, immigration policy


Unauthorized students face significant barriers to pursuing a higher education due to their legal status. These challenges include the fear of revealing their status, the inability to work legally, and federal and state laws that increase the cost of tuition. Obtaining a higher education and legal status would allow these individuals to earn higher incomes, lead healthier lives, and fully contribute to their communities. This paper examines alternatives that address the status of the unauthorized population and, among these options, recommends the best approach to their plight.

Author Biography

Jennifer Javier
Jennifer Javier is a second year Master of Public Administration student at The George Washington University, concentrating in public management. She earned a BA at the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in sociology and minors in public policy and Asian American studies. Prior to graduate school, she worked for a congressman conducting constituent services and fieldwork for four years. Her experiences working with immigrants and growing up in an immigrant family inspired this paper.