For Prospective Students
At Bryn Mawr, we work closely with our undocumented+ students to ensure that they are provided with the proper support and resources based on their personal, academic, and professional interests.
Applying to College as an International vs. Domestic Student
In the U.S., most colleges and universities consider any student who currently holds a visa of any type or who is seeking a visa to be an international student. Meanwhile, students with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status are considered domestic students. This creates a gray space for undocumented students as they do not identify with either international or domestic definitions. Nonetheless, institutions that are “undocumented friendly” (institutions that admit students regardless of citizenship status) require students to identify as either domestic or international when completing their undergraduate college admission application. This is because the domestic student application process is slightly different than the international student application process. To determine which option to select, Dean Leslie has listed the following steps to consider,
- Go on the school's Admissions Office website and see if there are any instructions related to this question published on the site.
- The Admissions Representative for your state will oftentimes list their contact information on their Admissions Office website under the “Staff” or “Contact Us” or “Our Team” page. Consider contacting them or having someone you trust (ex. high school counselor, teacher, mentor, etc.) contact the Admissions Representative and ask them which option to select on the application.
- If an Admissions Representative will be visiting your school, college preparation program, etc., consider connecting with them or having someone you trust (ex. high school counselor, teacher, mentor, etc.) connect with them and inquire about this question.
- If the institution has a designated staff person working closely with undocumented students, consider contacting them or having someone you trust (ex. High school counselor, teacher, mentor, etc.) contact and ask if they can support you with this question.
For financial aid purposes, undocumented students are asked to complete the international student application process when applying to Bryn Mawr. Bryn Mawr College does not discriminate on the basis of national origin or citizenship in our admissions process (DACA and Undocumented Students, n.d.).
May of High School Senior Year
Believe it or not, our process in supporting incoming undocumented+ students begins as soon as you register with Breaking Barriers! By mid-May of your high school senior year, eligible students for our Breaking Barriers program will receive a welcome letter and invitation to apply from Leslie Castrejon, Assistant Dean for Student Support & Belonging. Dean Castrejon directs the Breaking Barriers program and serves as the primary contact for Undocumented, DACA and TPS students. Admitted undocumented+ students who commit to Bryn Mawr are highly encouraged to register!
The Summer Before College
All students who register with Breaking Barriers will be asked to schedule a Welcome Check-In with Dean Leslie over zoom or on the phone. The welcome check-in is a great way for Dean Leslie to get to know you, your interests and answer any questions or concerns you may have as you prepare to come to Bryn Mawr. Forms of support include reviewing your financial aid award to ensure that you are receiving 100% of demonstrated need, gaining early access to our Dorm Supply Reserve (helps cut back on the number of items to purchase for your dorm room!), and more.
Over the summer, incoming students are invited to join Dean Leslie and our Breaking Barriers Student Coordinators for our July Hangouts! The hangouts take place each Wednesday for 1 hour and 30 minutes, we have a guest speaker present on the resources and support available through their office/department for the first hour. The last 30 minutes is facilitated by our student coordinators for socializing with peers and asking any questions about college life!
Dorm Essentials Request Sign Up – Every spring, we have current students donate gently used dorm materials (ex. Desk lamps, laundry baskets, bed sheets, etc.) to be offered to incoming and current students. This has been a huge relief and money saver for our students, especially those traveling by plane or other methods of public transportation. Items are thoroughly washed and stored in sealed vacuum storage bags. Students registered with Breaking Barriers will receive an email over the summer with more information.
For many, this will be their first time away from home for a significant period and/or residing in an environment completely different from their own. It takes time for everyone to establish a new daily routine, familiarize themselves with their surroundings and find community with others. Knowing this, both Dean Leslie and your assigned Advising Dean will reach out to check-in, see how you are doing, get you connected to groups or opportunities that you may not have had a chance to learn about, and more. All students are assigned an Advising Dean who supports them in crafting an academic plan and serve as a resource. Through her role, Dean Leslie serves as an additional resource and support person for undocumented+, first-generation and students coming from limited-income backgrounds.
Moreover, undocumented, DACA and TPS students are invited to join Building Bridges and Navigating Pathways, which are additional opportunities to meet and establish connections with Bryn Mawr and Haverford’s undocumented+ community. And, as a Breaking Barriers scholar, students are welcome to attend our social events and workshops throughout the year!
Once a student has declared a major, Dean Leslie will continue to work closely with the student, their Advising Dean, and Academic Major Advisor to ensure the student’s academic and professional success and personal well-being.
Internships & Opportunities
A huge part of the college experience includes finding and applying for internships, fellowships and opportunities that enhance one’s academic interests and professional development. Throughout your time at Bryn Mawr, Dean Leslie will work closely with you, your Advising Dean and Academic Major Advisor on identifying and applying to opportunities open to undocumented+ students. In partnership with the Career & Civic Engagement Center, we offer Navigating Pathways, which focuses on career and professional development-oriented workshops and discussions for undocumented, DACA & TPS students. Students are asked to commit to attending all sessions. In doing so, we believe that students will graduate from Bryn Mawr equipped with the knowledge and understanding to forge their own path.