RCTC/Minnesota State DACA Information

The mission of Rochester Community and Technical College is to provide accessible, affordable, quality learning opportunities to serve a diverse and growing community. The core mission of Minnesota State is to provide higher education to more than 375,000 students every year. Our colleges and universities are dedicated to helping all Minnesotans build a better future for themselves and to sustaining the diverse and vibrant economy of our state by supplying a highly educated workforce.

Minnesota State serves more than 63,000 students of color, 48,500 first-generation college students, and 84,000 students with modest financial means. The System and RCTC are steadfast in our commitment to ensuring that our campuses will remain safe and welcoming places of inclusion, hope, and opportunity for all students and employees.  Please visit the System’s Campus Climate page or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) page for additional information and resources.


Terminating or phasing out DACA will leave thousands of young people, including perhaps some of our students, with an uncertain future.

  • We have strongly urged our federal delegation to work towards and implement a long-term solution that supports DACA students. Minnesota has long benefitted from the economic, scientific, and cultural contributions of international students, scholars, and immigrants from around the globe, including DACA students. It is in our best interest to have students use their intellect and skills to continue contributing to our vibrant communities and to our economy. We appreciate the hard work our federal representatives are doing and we stand ready to continue to advocate on behalf of our colleges, universities, students, faculty, and staff.
  • Letter of Support for DACA from Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra (August 30, 2017)
  • Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Smith Press Conference (Fox 9, KMSP; August 30, 2017)

Resource Pages on DACA

Minnesota Immigrant & Refugee Rights Helpline: 651-287-3715

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

Minnesota Office of Higher Education

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

American Immigration Lawyers Association

FAQ: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

**see NAFSA link above about the current status

1. What is DACA?

DACA is a policy created by the U.S. Departmental of Homeland Security. Using its prosecutorial discretion, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced it will not initiate removal proceedings for certain individuals who arrived in the U.S. as children and do not hold legal immigration status. DACA does not change the status of successful applicants. It simply provides that Homeland Security will defer removal proceedings.

2. Does DACA status automatically apply to eligible persons?

No. Individuals must affirmatively apply to receive deferred status. It is the responsibility of any individual interested in DACA status to obtain the necessary information and apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for DACA status.

3. Does DACA change the immigration status of successful applicants?

No. DACA is not a “lawful status” under immigration law and it is not a basis for eligibility for permanent residency or citizenship. DACA authorizes an individual to seek employment and provides some assurance that the individual will be able to stay in the United States for two years, subject to renewal.

4. Who is eligible for DACA?

In order to be considered for DACA status, an applicant must:

  • Have come to the U.S. before reaching his/her 16th birthday;
  • Currently be under the age of 31;
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
  • Be in school, have graduated or completed high school or received a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. armed services; and
  • Not have been convicted of crimes (including a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors) or pose a threat to national security or public safety.

There is no expedited process for receiving DACA status. According to federal sources, students who are approved for DACA status are not eligible for employment until their Employment Authorization Document is received.

5. What is the role of a college or university in the DACA process?

DACA has no direct impact on current Minnesota State policies. There is no prohibition on enrolling undocumented students at the colleges and universities of Minnesota State.

College and university personnel are encouraged to provide students with information about resources regarding DACA. However, they should not attempt to advise individual students about whether they are eligible for DACA status. Rather, college and university personnel should refer students to accurate sources of information about eligibility and application procedures. (Information resources regarded as reliable are listed below.)

Students may be reminded of the importance of providing truthful information in their applications, as immigration publications have emphasized that fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. College and university officials may be asked for copies of documents to establish enrollment or other information needed to apply for DACA status. The established college and university procedures for handling such requests apply.

6. Does DACA status confer eligibility for federal financial aid?

No, under federal law, undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid. Undocumented students may be eligible for certain benefits under the Minnesota Dream Act. Information on the Minnesota Dream Act is available from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

7. Does DACA status confer eligibility for in-state tuition?

No, DACA status does not confer eligibility for in-state tuition. However, many of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State have only one consolidated tuition rate (rather than resident and nonresident rates); the consolidated rate applies to all students, including undocumented students. In addition, undocumented students may be eligible for certain benefits under the Minnesota Dream Act.

8. Where can individuals get more information about applying for Deferred Action?


Individuals can call United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at 1-800-375-5283 with questions or to request more information on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process.

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