Hello Terry,

Read your column on how to maximize college scholarships that you can receive (in Chicago Tribune, 11-Jan-2016), and loved the suggestions (talking to your high school counselor to find out about locally offered scholarships, was new to me). I would appreciate if you can guide/suggest some things for my situation :

I am here in USA on a work visa (H1) and am waiting for my (and for my son’s) green-card to arrive, which will take several more years. I have a son (who is my dependent and hence on H4 visa) who is a sophomore in high-school. I have stayed in IL state for about 10 years now and have paid Federal and State taxes for all those years.
Recently, I got a chance to talk to a college counselor and he said that my son would not be eligible for FAFSA loans (because he does not have a green-card or citizenship). And I was also told that he will be considered an international student, and hence he will have to pay higher fees.

I would greatly appreciate if you could guide me on how to best handle this situation.
Is there anyway my son would qualify for FAFSA loans?
Is there a way my son can qualify for In-State tuition fees?


Terry Says:  Sadly, your son is still considered a “foreign student” and therefore cannot receive traditional Federal student loans.  But I suggest you appeal to the financial aid office of the University of Illinois to see if there is any other financial aid or scholarships that could be granted.  It appears that Illinois is one of the few states that have a provision for in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students.  Here is a link to that article.  I would check with the University of Illinois financial office to see if your son fills these requirements.

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