New report reveals astonishing number of illegal immigrants enrolled in American universities

  • Roughly two percent of all students in American higher education are undocumented.
  • California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois are highest in number of undocumented students

A recent report published by New American Economy claims there are approximately 450,000 illegal immigrant students attending higher education establishments in the United States.

The publisher of the report, New American Economy, bills itself as a “bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans.” The group’s mission involves revealing the positive “value of immigrant contributions,” to the American economy.

“The findings in this report show that far more undocumented students enroll in higher education than was previously thought…”   

The report, published this month, reveals that illegal immigrants make up about two percent of the total higher education population.

The findings indicate that of the 450,000 illegal immigrants attending universities, only 216,000 are eligible for the DACA program.

[RELATED: Conservatives blast Ohio State student gov candidates running to ‘support undocumented students financially’]

The report breaks down the statistics of illegal immigrants attending higher education based on age and when they came to the United States. 

It states that among DACA-eligible students enrolled at American universities, “nine out of ten (89 percent) arrived as children (ages 0-12), while the rest (11 percent) arrived as adolescents (ages 10-16).” Among illegal immigrants enrolled at colleges across the country who are not eligible for DACA, “nearly half (47 percent) arrived before age 12, while 39 percent came between the ages of 13 and 21.”

The report also notes, “undocumented adult learners, who came to the U.S. as older adolescents or as adults, are also a portion of the undocumented student population.” 

Specifically, 14 percent of illegal immigrant students are over the age of 22. Zero percent of this bracket is DACA eligible.

The states with the highest populations of illegal immigrant students at universities, according to the report, are California (92,000), Texas (66,000), Florida (42,000), New York (33,000), and Illinois (21,000). 

There are an additional 68,000 illegal immigrant students attending college in all other U.S. states combined. 

Eighty-two percent of illegal immigrant students in America attend public colleges.

Among the DACA-eligible students, 84 percent are in public colleges and sixteen percent are in the private sector of education.

When it comes to financial aid access for in-state tuition, according to New American Economy, “a growing number of states have successfully expanded in-state tuition and financial aid to undocumented students,” and, “in 19 states and the District of Columbia, all undocumented students who meet state residency requirements have access to in-state tuition, regardless of DACA status.”

[RELATED: Georgia Dems propose cheaper tuition for illegal immigrants]

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Although illegal immigrant students are only two percent of the student population in universities, the report highlights the contrast between past data versus current data.

“Immigration over the past 40 years and the rise of immigrant students pursuing higher education have greatly contributed to college enrollments in the past decades while strengthening campus diversity,” notes the report, adding “The findings in this report show that far more undocumented students enroll in higher education than was previously thought.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @matthewkeyess



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Matthew Keyes
Matthew Keyes | Ohio Campus Correspondent

Matthew Keyes is an Ohio Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. He is a junior at the Ohio State University and majors in Political Science and minors in Journalism. He is also a member of College Republicans at OSU.

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