Presidents’ Alliance unveils Higher Ed Immigration Portal

The new resource provides comprehensive state and federal information, as well as effective practices for institutions.
By: | March 5, 2021

Looking for an easy-to-navigate, one-stop spot for data and policies on immigrant and international students? This website has it.

For example, there are more than 1.7 million first-generation immigrant students in the U.S. and more than 3.6 million who are second-generation immigrants. There are also more than 1 million international students – Pennsylvania has 50,000, while North Dakota has 2,000. Idaho’s In-State tuition and state financial aid access for undocumented students is limited to DACA, while neighboring Oregon offers comprehensive access.

Those are the kinds of statistics and data points – along with policies and best practices – that can be found on the new Higher Ed Immigration Portal, which was launched by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education.

This site, filled with state and federal information and resources, offers key insights for higher ed leaders to peruse at a critical time when institutions are striving to be more inclusive and more adept at getting diverse students from access to degree completion.

“Nearly one of every three students in higher education is a first or second-generation immigrant or international student, making it essential that up-to-date and comprehensive data, policies, and best practices are widely available to higher education leaders, policymakers, students, and other stakeholders,” said Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. She says the Alliance has crafted “a tool to make advocacy and best practices more cohesive and effective and, ultimately, expand these students’ access and success in higher education.”

A look at a part of the state map that can used to navigate tuition and financial aid information for undocumented students.

Inside the Portal

A big advantage of the portal is it combines all of the resources that typically would be found on dozens of websites into one location. Data, research and best practices are current but will continually be updated to serve college and university leaders looking for critical and timely information.

One of its most attractive and rich features is its 50-state map of Tuition & Financial Aid Equity for Undocumented Students. The interactive map allows users to click on a state and get an overview of the number of first- and second-generation immigrant students and international students it has, as well as state policies on tuition and financial aid. By clicking another tab, users can also access deeper data such as the economic contributions of international students, the number of DACA-eligible students and international students in higher ed, and undocumented students graduating high school each year.

Within the State portion, there are sections on professional and occupational licensure, admissions and funding opportunities, and a ranking of the top states by immigrant and international students: spoiler, California, Texas and Florida rank 1-2-3.

The National portion contains federal data on immigrant and international students as well as policies – from DACA to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act – again giving leaders a quick list of relevant resources.

Users can also navigate among four groups – DACA and Undocumented Students, Immigrant Students, International Students and Refugee Students – and view several effective practice papers for each. There are even narratives from those who came to the U.S. as refugees, asylum seekers and international students, such as Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan.

Their stories help highlight the need to provide paths for these students and also how their achievements can change their course of history and potentially that of the institution, too.

“Expanding college access and affordability for immigrant youth is a priority for forward thinking leaders and institutions,” said Gaby Pacheco, Director of Advocacy, Communications and Development for TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college and career success program for immigrant youth. “The Portal is also a valuable source of best practices to support these students and enrich campuses and communities in the process.”