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DACA: DACA Information and Resources for Current and Future Lions


Welcome to the new A&M-Commerce DACA/undocumented students resources site! We are committed to the success and well-being of each member of our Lion family, and this page is intended to help you access the support and resources you need to succeed in your academic and personal life. You belong at A&M-Commerce, and we are here to lend a helping hand.

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A group of diverse students walking on campus.

Daca: Letter from President

A Letter from the president

DACA: Letter

Dear A&M-Commerce Students, Faculty and Staff,

In light of recent federal actions related to immigration and immigration status, I wish to reiterate that Texas A&M University-Commerce welcomes and supports all students without regard to their immigration status. The university admits students in a manner consistent with our nondiscrimination policy and without regard to a student’s race, color, national origin, religion, citizenship or other protected characteristics.

Further, as an academic community, our educational mission is enhanced by the robust exchange of ideas that occurs within a diverse and inclusive learning environment, with a diverse student body, faculty and staff. We are dedicated to maintaining a nurturing and respectful learning environment.

Federal law protects student privacy rights and system policy provides additional privacy protections. When the University receives requests for information that implicate individual privacy rights, we work closely with the Office of General Counsel of The Texas A&M University System to protect, within the parameters of state and federal law, the privacy of all members of the A&M-Commerce community.

Please know that your university values the rich diversity that our multicultural and global students, faculty and staff bring to our campus. We are committed to your safety and well-being, as well as providing the opportunity for dialogue on how we may continue to serve you.

The president signature.
Dr. Mark Rudin
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DACA:: Letter !Spanish

Estimados estudiantes, profesores y personal de A&M-Commerce,

Debido a las recientes acciones federales relacionadas con inmigración y el estado migratorio, deseo recalcar que Texas A&M University-Commerce da la bienvenida y apoya a todos los estudiantes sin importar su estatus migratorio. La universidad admite estudiantes de manera consistente con nuestra política de no discriminación y sin tomar en cuenta la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, ciudadanía o otras características protegidas de un estudiante.

Además, como comunidad académica, nuestra misión educativa se ve reforzada por el intercambio robusto de ideas que ocurren dentro de un entorno de aprendizaje diverso e inclusivo, con un cuerpo estudiantil, profesores y personal diverso. Estamos dedicados a mantener un ambiente de aprendizaje enriquecedor y respetuoso.

La ley federal protege los derechos de privacidad de los estudiantes y la política del sistema proporciona protecciones de privacidad adicionales. Cuando la Universidad recibe solicitudes de información que implican derechos de privacidad individuales, trabajamos en estrecha colaboración con la Oficina del Asesor General del Sistema Universitario de Texas A&M para proteger, dentro de los parámetros de las leyes estatales y federales, la privacidad de todos los miembros de comunidad universitaria.

Tenga en cuenta que nuestra universidad valora la rica diversidad que nuestros estudiantes, profesores, personal multicultural y global aportan a nuestra universidad. Estamos comprometidos con su seguridad y bienestar, así como también brindamos la oportunidad de dialogar sobre cómo podemos continuar sirviéndole.

The president signature.
Dr. Mark Rudin
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Facebook Live videos

April 15, 2020 – Immigration attorney Gil Manzano takes questions live

April 22, 2020 – Latinx Lions presentation
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A second letter from the president

May 8, 2020

Dear A&M-Commerce Latinx Family,

I want to take this opportunity to check in and see how you are doing. I know this is an extremely stressful time with the many uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the pending decision by the U. S. Supreme Court. I want you to know that we are here for you. We are here to provide you with the many services on our campus to aid you during these unprecedented times. In fact, our staff and students have implemented a weekly LatinxLions series and a DACA/Undocumented webpage dedicated to our unique populations.

We would love to hear your feedback on both so that we can continue to lead the effort in providing services. If there is anything we can do to help you, please do not hesitate to reach out.

We are committed to the success and well-being of each member of our Lion family and we appreciate the rich culture and heritage you bring to the university. I encourage you to stay strong and persevere through these challenging times.


The president signature.
Dr. Mark Rudin
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DACA: Student Counseling Services

A student smiling talking to a counselor.
Young man talking in a group of people.

Student Counseling Services

Our on-campus Counseling Center, supports students’ emotional and mental well-being. The Counseling Center staff values the inherent worth and dignity of all people, and respects and cares for those they serve. They are also social justice advocates, who are dedicated to supporting our DACA and undocumented students.

Emotional Well-being

The Counseling Center staff is committed to your emotional well-being and mental health, with a mission to support, connect and empower. Make an appointment by calling 903.886.5145 or drop in for a confidential counseling session at Halladay Student Services Building, Room 203.

Legal Counsel

An attorney is also available by appointment in the Counseling Center to assist students with non-immigration related legal counsel and advice. There is no fee for this service. Call 903.886.5145 to schedule a legal consultation.

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DACA: Admission to A&M-Commerce

Admission to A&M-Commerce

Did you know that, through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to attend college in the United States?

In fact, qualified individuals in Texas are eligible for in-state tuition under the 36-Month Provision, which allows residency to qualified international students through high school graduation in Texas.* To establish residency through high school graduation, a person must:

  • Graduate from a Texas high school or receive a GED in Texas AND
  • Physically reside in Texas for the 36 consecutive months immediately prior to high school graduation AND
  • Physically reside in Texas for the 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the census date of the semester in which the student enrolls in a Texas public college or university.

If you are thinking about attending A&M-Commerce, please visit our admissions page or email [email protected] to learn more about admission requirements, residency requirements, or to fill out an application. You may also contact 903.886.5000 to speak with an admissions representative.

*Conditions apply.

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DACA: Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Although DACA-eligible students do not qualify for federal student aid, many other scholarships and financial aid options are available to help cover college costs. If you are a current or future student, visit Financial Aid to discover your options.

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Applying for Financial Aid – TASFA

In 2001, the Texas Legislature passed legislation allowing certain categories of foreign students to meet state requirements for residency. This classification enables these students to pay resident tuition and fee rates while attending public institutions of higher education in Texas. The classification also allows these students to meet residency requirements for some state financial aid programs.

Step 1. Review Requirements

  • Students who are not able to complete the FAFSA due to their immigration status may be able to file the TASFA.
  • Classified as a Texas resident
  • Eligible to pay the Texas in-state tuition rate, not due to waivers such as an in-state scholarship or an assistantship

To receive this classification, you must be able to meet one of the three criteria below:

  • You must hold a visa that enables you to domicile in the United States. You (or your parent(s) if you are a dependent) must be gainfully employed in Texas for at least 12 months.
  • You (regardless of INS status) have petitioned for permanent residency status (have filed an I-130 or I-140).
  • You have resided in Texas for three years leading up to graduation from high school or the receipt of a GED certificate, living at least part of that time with a parent or court-appointed legal guardian. You have not established a residence in another state or location and have not taken ANY college hours prior to fall 2001 that required admission to an institution of higher education (this includes hours taken through dual enrollment while attending high school).

If you qualify for resident status based on one of the three criteria listed, you are eligible to apply for state aid. Please complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid.

Step 2. Determine Your Dependency Status

Step 3. Gather Documents

  • Your Social Security number if you have one
  • Your parents’ Social Security numbers if they have one and you are a dependent student
  • Your driver’s license number if you have one
  • Foreign tax return
  • Records of your untaxed income such as child support received, interest income, and veteran’s non-education benefits, for you, and for your parents, if you are a dependent student
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks, bonds and real estate, but not including the home in which you live; and business and farm assets for you and for your parents if you are a dependent student.
  • To verify your earnings, attach to your application the appropriate tax return transcript and W-2s appropriate to the academic year.

Step 4. Fill Out the Online Form

  • When you are ready, submit your TASFA and required documents here to complete the process.
  • Please note that the TAFSA can take 3-5 weeks to be reviewed and processed by A&M-Commerce.

Step 6. You're Not Finished Yet!

  • After the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships receives your TAFSA, you will be contacted via LeoMail (through your myLEO account) if any additional information is needed.
  • Complete any outstanding requirements as soon as possible otherwise your financial aid will be delayed and you will not be awarded in a timely manner.

*Applications for assistance cannot be fully considered until all of the required application forms are received by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the applicant is fully admitted as a regular degree-seeking student. Contact the Admissions Office for admission information. A&M-Commerce officially corresponds with students through their assigned A&M-Commerce email account within their myLEO.

Important Dates

The application period begins on October 1 of each year for the following academic year. You should complete the FAFSA or TASFA as soon as possible for each academic year. Mark it on your calendar as a reminder.

Application Priority Deadlines

To receive the best possible combination of financial assistance, an applicant should submit all required application forms to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by the priority deadline dates listed below. Applications received after these deadline dates are awarded based on funds available.

Fall/SpringJanuary 15
Spring OnlyNovember 15
SummerApril 15

Deadline for 2020-2021 TASFA

Financial aid applications for the 2020-2021 year need to be received in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by June 10, 2021. Due to the various processes required, applications will not be accepted after June 10, 2021.

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DACA: Student Privacy

Student Privacy

A&M-Commerce fully complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The Texas A&M University System provides additional privacy protections. Under FERPA, A&M-Commerce will not voluntarily share your private information, and we will protect your information to the fullest extent of the law. When we receive information requests that implicate individual privacy rights, we work closely with the Office of General Counsel of The Texas A&M University System to protect, within the parameters of state and federal law, the privacy of all members of the A&M-Commerce community.

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Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) offers training courses, support, news and information, including the latest DACA updates.

Informed Immigrant

Informed Immigrant can help you find nearby DACA renewal clinics as well as legal help and financial assistance.

National Immigration Law Center

National Immigration Law Center publishes important DACA information, including:

State Bar of Texas

State Bar of Texas features a comprehensive search tool to help you find qualified immigration attorneys based on a variety of criteria, including fee options offered.

The United States Department of Homeland Security

The United States Department of Homeland Security publishes the most accurate information about immigration regulations, policies and updates.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provides forms, news, citizenship information, tools and legal resources for citizen-seeking individuals.

  • The USCIS’ archived DACA page features previous DACA updates, important information about DACA requests and other DACA-related information.

The United States Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice features a national directory of pro-bono legal services, including Texas providers. The list includes legal immigration services available to undocumented persons in Texas.

* All external links in this section are meant solely to provide potential resources to students. As such, the university is not responsible for content or views contained therein. Students are always encouraged to check with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) to get the most accurate information about immigration regulations, policies and updates.

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