Supporting Undocumented Students at Berkeley

Berkeley’s more than 500 undocumented students come from 34 different countries and have the highest level of financial need on campus; their average family income is $24,000. The number of undocumented students at Berkeley has more than tripled since our inception in 2012 and continues to rise. 

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Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program provides comprehensive support and services to undocumented students to help them succeed in their educational aspirations. These include:

  • Academic and Peer Academic Counseling: Our academic counselors deliver holistic, culturally appropriate, individualized services for each student to help them balance their personal challenges with the educational demands of university life. Students receive support transitioning to the university, selecting courses, choosing a major, understanding requirements, exploring career options, and preparing for life after UC Berkeley.
  • Immigration Legal Support: Through our partnership with the Easy Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), USP provides undocumented students with general consultations, full legal representation on a wide range of immigration, matters, and other free legal support, including application fee support, immigration law resources, and a comprehensive referral network for other legal needs.
  • Mental Health and Wellness: Undocumented students have access to licensed, culturally competent psychologists who provide undocumented students a confidential space and who will collaborate with them on an individual wellness plan.
  • Emergency grants: USP provides two different types of emergency grants to students every academic year. The housing emergency grant is intended for extenuating housing-related costs, whereas the emergency grant is intended for extenuating food security, medical, dental, computer, and other unforeseen emergencies. Each grant can be up to $800.
  • Community Events and Programming: USP works closely with RISE, the undocumented student and ally organization on campus, to provide special community events and programming that give students a sense of belonging and serve as a medium to connect with one another.

Sharing the Model: In addition to providing support to undocumented students at Berkeley, USP is committed to supporting educational institutions to implement holistic and equitable student support services increase access and retention for undocumented students. We have consulted with more than 212 colleges and universities for them to start and develop programs like USP. In 2018, USP partnered with Immigrants Rising to co-found the California Catalyst Fund, supporting 32 public colleges across California impacting an estimated 19,164 students.

Your generous gift provides vital, comprehensive resources for undocumented students at Berkeley.

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Impact & Giving Levels

The Undocumented Student Program has limited resources to respond to our students’ growing needs. Your generous contribution provides invaluable assistance to our students each year by sustaining and growing the following vital services for our more than 500 undocumented students:

  • $500,000 – Legal Support: Undocumented students would continue having access to two attorneys and two paralegals free of cost to them, for a full year.
  • $310,000 – Mental Health Support: Students would continue having access to free dedicated mental health support and financial support with related wellness co-pays.
  • $150,000 – Emergency Grants: Our students are more restricted to the types of aid/funding available to them. Emergency grants allow for students to have funding releif for their unmet emergency housing and extenuating circumstances.
  • $50,000 – Community Events: Community events are very important to our undocumented students, who can oftentimes feel isolated or alone. Your support would allow for students to continue building community with one another, which would nurture their sense of belonging.

We invite you to join us in ensuring that all Berkeley students — regardless of financial means or documentation status — get the support they need to succeed through and beyond Berkeley.

To Support UC Berkeley’s undocumented students, visit

Contact: Liliana Iglesias, Program Director of Undocumented Student Program at UC Berkeley (