Updates on Actions in Support of Undocumented Students

To our undocumented student community:

Like many of you, we are concerned about the uncertainty that informs too many aspects of daily life for undocumented students. Pursuing a degree is challenging enough. The changing national context makes any barriers that you face on this campus even more troubling. We are committed to sustaining the undocumented community’s access to higher education at UC Santa Cruz, now and into the future.

Although we have worked to provide support and services to you, we know that isn’t enough. This moment requires our consistent and sustained demonstration of that commitment. We are committed to doing even more and being held accountable.

In order to keep you, and the campus community, informed about our work to support the undocumented student community, we have created this web page. We’ll update it whenever there is more to add and let you know about it.

Your presence here, your ability to thrive personally, academically, and professionally, matter to us.

Please come back to this website often to discover the latest updates and information about the available resources.


  • Housing: Recognizing financial precarity and other challenges faced by students seeking housing, we have created a new Enhanced EOP category of housing guarantee. This policy extends a guarantee of on-campus housing to up to four year for students who were admitted as Frosh in Fall 2016 or later and up to two years for students admitted as Transfers in Fall 2019 or later.  PLEASE NOTE:  This program is currently paused given the uncertainty of the ongoing public health crisis and the decision about the manner of instruction for fall quarter it is possible we will not be able to honor guaranteed housing for continuing students.  For the latest updates please check: https://housing.ucsc.edu/guarantee/
  • Career and and Post Graduate Pathways: The professional and student staff of the Career Center have completed preliminary training to better support undocumented students and recent alumni. The staff commits to ongoing training in four areas:
    • on-campus internships
    • work authorization
    • pathways to independent contracting/entrepreneurship
    • culturally competent advising and post-graduate planning
  • Support for undocumented intersectionality programming: We have increased the funding available to students for this programming to $9,000 per year.
  • Gender-neutral restroom: We will convert a second restroom in the area of Undocumented Student Services to a gender-neutral restroom. We do this with the understanding that students who are undocumented are not a monolithic group and that it is our responsibility to provide services and resources that account for the multiple and intersecting identities of our students. The timing of this project has been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic.  More updates forthcoming.
  • Forums: Informational forums are underway for our students. On April 4, 2020, we conducted a workshop on how EOP Counselors are hired.  Another forum will be to discuss how the position of Undocumented Student Coordinator is hired. The other will be to discuss AB–21 and the campus response to it; this forum will be scheduled for Fall 2020.
  • “Know your rights” and protocols. The Division of Student Success will lead an information campaign to ensure that all undocumented community members know their rights, and as many faculty and staff as possible understand protocols to support undocumented community members, in the event that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel appear on campus. We will also provide training on support protocols to all Student Success staff.
  • Student Health & Wellness / CAPS support: Undocumented Student Services is partnering with Student Health & Wellness, including Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), to provide refresh training to all student health staff on issues and support unique to undocumented students. We are re-establishing our CAPS support group for undocumented students in Fall 2020.
  • Space for undocumented students: We recognize the need for dedicated space for students at Undocumented Student Services. We have been actively exploring solutions, and we will provide updates as they become available. 
  • Entrepreneur Pilot Program: USS/EOP is collaborating with STARS, the Career Center and the Pajaro Valley Community Development Corporation to launch a pilot program focused on developing and supporting entrepreneurs. This program is designed for currently undocumented enrolled students and recent grads/alumni. The outreach and application process takes place this winter quarter, followed by an independent study course offered in spring 2020. The course leads participants through developing a business or non-profit (e.g. LLC, 501C3). Then the program participants will be offered technical assistance from the Pajaro Valley CDC for two months in the summer to implement the business plans created in spring quarter. Students will be offered room and board in the summer during this “incubation period”. Later in the summer, we will assess how well the program worked.

Feedback and more information

To learn more about the many programs and services offered to undocumented students at UC Santa Cruz, please visit the Undocumented Student Services web site.

We’d love to hear from anyone in our undocumented student community about ways in which UC Santa Cruz can better support them. If you have ideas or feedback for us, please email vpss@ucsc.edu.